Best Parent Pointers to Support 5th-Grade Common Core Math Homework
I hear the woes from parents and kids frequently about their struggles with Common Core Math. This change is not easy, the math standards are very different from when we were in elementary. Each grade brings its own challenges as the student is expected to expand their working knowledge of multiple math concepts that can seem very foreign to them and their parents. Fifth grade is no exception and usually presents some new concepts that sometimes baffle parents and leave the child extremely frustrated and stressed.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for both teachers and parents to know and understand what level the student is on in previous grades and where they are headed. We need and we must see the whole picture. My point is, what is being taught in the lower grades (first grade through fourth grade) enables the student to do quick mental math in their head, which frees their mind for harder, more difficult mathematic concepts as they enter fifth grade. It is necessary for your child to already have a basic understanding of addition, subtraction and multiplication facts because Common Core Math topics build on each other. If the child is already behind in math concepts in previous grades, there is a chance they will be behind in fifth grade too.
As a parent, what has helped me is seeing and reading examples of the Common Core Math standards. If I can understand the concept behind my child’s homework when they show me a diagram, number line or multiplication formula, then I can address the questions that my children have with math. If you or your fifth-grade child is already struggling with Common Core Math concepts, Math Goodies is a great resource for showing parents in detail the lessons that are being taught in fifth grade. The Common Core Math standards are broken down into several examples with graphics and multiple solutions of how your child can reach the answer. It has an easy format to follow so any parent can utilize it with their child.
I will give one such example. Rounding using a number line is a lesson of how the new standards require us to teach our students and children to understand the “why” in a way that is not at all familiar to many of us (I know it was not for me). However, I believe when our children understand and learn rounding this way, we have the potential to create a generation of more flexible mathematical thinkers, which could help our children progress in career fields like engineering, neurobiology and finance, just to name a few.
Navigating Common Core Math
From my experience when working with students who struggle in math, helping my own children at home, and through my observations in our schools, I have now have greater insight on how to help more parents navigate the Common Core Math homework struggles that seem to creep in around fifth grade.
Here are a few tips that I try to incorporate into homework time that may help you with your daily math homework battles.
Evaluate your child’s work
Check your child’s homework and help him or her redo problems if they are incorrect. If the numbers are illegible, ask them to recopy the numbers so the teacher can read their work. This exercise also helps with handwriting. Keep it lighthearted and not stressful, but explain the importance of turning in work that is readable and correct.
Brush up on some math concepts
In order to help your child, you need to understand some of the basic concepts he or she is learning. You don’t need to be a math professor to do this. There are many resources and websites available to help you learn the same math standards your child is learning like you will see here on Great Minds. It is a fabulous resource that has examples of all the Common Core Math Standards (grades preschool through eighth grade) and how they are being taught. This site is very easy to understand and utilize.
Provide proper tools
Provide a math folder that is separate from your child’s other homework, folders, or papers. This folder gives your child plenty of room to hold flashcards, notes and other math helps when they need it. Also, make sure there is a calculator available, sharp pencils and an eraser.
Help with organization
Disorganization leads anyone to frustration and stress. Poor time management can be a factor in causing your child’s lack of concentration, follow through, and poor learning skills. Help your child write a list after school. Post the list where he or she is easily able to view it. Go over what is due in the next few days or weeks and write what math homework is coming up in the next few days of the week on the calendar or add key dates on the teacher’s list. For example, if there is a book report due in three weeks, put the goal date and list what needs to be done every day to reach that goal. For example, read five pages a night to complete the book. For math homework, review flashcards for five minutes every weekday evening before bed.
Allow for natural consequences
Your student may not follow through with a math assignment or may forget to turn in his or her division homework. Allow those natural consequences to take place at school. Your child should be allowed to experience whatever the teacher deems appropriate for a consequence: a lower grade, having to redo a messy worksheet or missing out on a special reward. This will promote personal responsibility and self-reliance.
Common Core Math doesn’t have to be a terrible experience as your child gets older with the resources and tools available now for parents. There are many ways to make math concepts fun and enjoyable for any student.
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