Fun and interactive activities are a great way to reinforce important math concepts. Whether your child is struggling or looking to practice more challenging concepts, try these ideas to help your child succeed and master fifth grade math word problem.
1. Draw Pictures
One reason many students have trouble with 5th grade math word problems is that they are not properly visualizing the problem. They don’t know what to do because they can’t picture what the problem is asking them to do.
You can help by encouraging your child to draw pictures. The picture does not have to be to scale or even fully accurate, but it can give your fifth grader a starting point to figure out the processes required to solve the problem. By visualizing the word problem, you can help your student better grasp what needs to be done.
To make this even more fun as an after-school activity, take it outside! Use your driveway and some sidewalk chalk for a fun way to visualize word problems.
2. Cook Together
To kids, cooking may seem unrelated to math, but it actually involves many math concepts, such as fractions, division, and multiplication.
Cook or bake with your child and create basic math word problems for them to solve.
For instance, you can bake a batch of cookies and tell your child, “we are going to double this recipe.” Then, have him double each amount. Some problems may be easy to solve, such as two cups of flour becomes four, but others involving fractions are not as simple.
3. Home Improvement Projects
Many homes have plenty of house projects that need to be tackled. Finding the time, energy, and money to do so might be difficult, but that doesn’t mean your fifth-grader can’t help!
For example, if he wants to repaint his room, direct him to figure out the area of his walls, how much paint will be needed, how much that paint will cost, and how much estimated time the job will require.
He will be applying math skills to a real-world problem, which ultimately helps him with 5th grade word problems. Then, when you do get around to painting his room or any other planned projects, he will be more eager to help!
4. A Trip to the Store
Shopping at a retail or grocery store is a great way to have your child practice math.
Give your fifth grader a shopping list and a budget, then let her do the shopping while you push the cart.
Be a little vague about how much of each item you need so that she must determine what she can afford. Allow for some wiggle room so she can buy a treat, but again, ask her to use her estimation skills to decide if she will have enough money for that treat.
If your fifth grader is advanced and eager for a challenge, you can also have her calculate sales tax on the purchase!
5. Party Planning
Kids love parties, and though you obviously can’t let them throw unlimited bashes, you can let them plan as many as they want!
Give your child a budget and challenge him or her to come up with a menu, party favors, and decorations that will keep them within their budget. For example, your fifth-grader may want to order specialty pizzas instead of just going to Pizza Hut —how will that decision affect what other food can be served and how many guests can ultimately be invited?
Your child will use essential math skills while discovering how challenging the task of planning a party can be.
6. Help Develop Problem-Solving Plans
Another way to help kids think through word problems is to teach them to use a problem-solving plan. This is a four-step plan that can help them conquer word problems.
1. Understanding the problem
2. Devising a plan
3. Carrying out the plan
4. Going back to check work
Students must first read and understand the problem, then create and carry out a plan.
The final step, checking their work, is crucial because it is what helps them determine if their answer and plan make sense. The more your child uses this process with 5th grade math word problems, the better equipped she will be.
To make this an activity, give your child some fun word problems and work through the four steps together.
7. Use Technology to Help Master Math Word Problems
If your kids are running to the tablet or computer after school, enroll in an engaging, tech-based tutoring program to help with word problems. With the right math learning program, your children can be motivated, engaged and even entertained while learning and developing crucial math skills.
When shopping for a program, look for one that is personalized to your child’s level of learning. This ensures that your child gets the exact practice needed for fifth grade math word problems. Thinkster Math is a program created by teachers that personalizes instruction for each child.
Plus, it’s a fun and exciting way to reinforce math skills after school!
What activities have you tried with your fifth grader to help them with math word problems?