Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Math: Next Steps - January 2019

Students have been introduced to and practiced the traditional division algorithm. Next we'll work as a class to think about the many ways we can work on and think about division problems. On Friday through Tuesday/Wednesday students will work with friends to review division in many ways and complete their practice packets by the day of the test. Then on Tuesday/Wednesday students will take an online practice test, and on Wednesday/Thursday of next week students will take the unit test. The challenge as the teacher is to foster a good review that invites voice and inspires deeper learning--I'll take that step by step. I'll also enlist parents' support by asking students to bring packets back and forth from school to home next week as they work to complete the practice.

Following the division unit, students will study fractions. I'll begin that study with a review of what we've learned about so far this year including the following:

  • base ten numeral system
  • order of operations, multiplication, addition, division and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals including the many properties related to this. 
  • introductions to volume, metric measurement, coordinate grids, and volume (we'll go deeper with those topics later)
I'll bridge past learning with fraction learning by talking about how fractions are similar and different from whole numbers and decimals. Then we'll discuss why it's important to understand fractions and when we use fractions in our world. Later we'll move through fraction study including vocabulary, the many ways fractions "behave" and lots of varied practice including problem solving.

There's a lot to learn, discuss, explore, and practice in the fifth grade math curriculum. The learning helps students learn to think, problem solve, and use numbers, shapes, and measurement in multiple ways. I believe the study is worthwhile and the more I can foster study that is engaging and empowering, the better it will be.