Easy Way for a 5th Grader to Learn Math

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Easy ways for a fifth grader to learn math include physical activities that are also fun. Find out about an easy way for a fifth grader to learn math with help from an experienced mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Math Solutions
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Marija, and today I'm going to show you an easy way for a fifth grader to learn math. In 5th grade, one of the most challenging topics that comes up is negative numbers. So this is when they are first introduced. So this is the first time that students will see things like negative three plus five. I think that the easiest way for them to learn this is through physical activities. So I would do this using money. So if you teach a fifth grader that a positive number means that you have money and that a negative number means that you owe money, it should make it a little bit easier for them to be able to figure out what situation is being represented by these numbers here. So I would definitely start with some coins in the classroom the first time that I did this lesson and show them that this part means that you have five, so give a student five coins, whatever they might be, and this part means that you owe someone three. So now the students can work together to physically give the other students three of their coins and realize that they have two left in their hands. Making negative three plus five equal to two. And they can do the same thing the other way if they're going to end up owing more money. Let's say they had negative five plus three. Now they have three coins in their hands and once they give those three coins away to their partner, they can have the discussion about the fact that we still owe I still owe you coins, how many. I still owe you two, therefore it's a negative two. So I think the easiest way for a fifth grader to be introduced to negative numbers is to be taught through negative being owing money and positive being having money and physically doing an activity with some coins to display that.


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