Calculator Math

Math curriculum today includes learning how to properly use a calculator. It is important that kids understand completely how to work the calculator with ease. They will need them at various points in their life.

Calculators make math much faster. They can help ease math anxiety by helping you figure out if you worked a problem correctly or if you made a mistake along the way. It is very important though that students learn how to estimate the result of a math problem before reaching for the calculator. It is very easy to make mistakes when punching in the numbers on a calculator, and a student must not learn to ‘rely’ on the calculator without checking the reasonableness of their answer.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Evaluation Standards (1991) recommended that long division and “practicing tedious pencil-and-paper computations” receive decreased attention in schools, and that calculators be available to all students at all times in order to enhance mathematics instruction. Calculators allow students to spend less time on tedious calculations and more time on understanding and solving problems.


Technology has and continues to open the doors of information and entertainment for kids. Parents must be proactive in internet safety for kids, by helping their child make wise (safe) decisions while using the Internet. Parents must also help their child be a little more selective in how they use technology for learning as well as for entertainment purposes. One way to get this over to your child is by simply modeling proper learning skills–encouraging lifelong learning, and monitoring their child’s use of software on the Internet.

Technology is wonderful for learners of all backgrounds–gifted and learning challenged both. From audio books to spell and grammar checkers, to classroom sound systems, many families have found that assistive technology (AT) can provide a crucial boost to struggling students’ academic performance and self-esteem. Gifted kids are able to find sites that challenge and encourage them push forward further than they ever thought they could go.

Pearson Education did a research study on students and technology. They found that 92% of students under the age of 16 now use a home laptop or desktop computer to complete their school work. The average child spends almost four hours per week on a computer doing school-related activities, while for children whose parents expect them to achieve above average or excellent results this figure increases to five hours per week.

Technology is here to stay. Don’t you think it is time you become a little more tech savvy for the sake of your child’s education?


Does your child like taking tests? Probably not. So why do school kids have to take so many? Most people think the only way to measure knowledge is by giving a test. In schools, the most common form of assessment is done with paper, pencils and lots of questions.

The purpose of tests is to determine what children know, identify any special needs they might have, determine correct placement, choose appropriate homeschool curricula, refer kids to proper departments for special needs, and to communicate with parents about their child’s progress in school. Assessments should bring about benefits for children. Assessments must have a clear benefit—either in direct services to the child or in improved quality of educational programs.

Want to know how you can help your child do their best on tests at school? Make sure they attend school every day so they have an opportunity to learn what is needed to do well in school — and to do well on tests. Let your child know you are interested in their school work and how they do on tests. Provide a quiet place at home for your child to do homework assignments. Work with your child’s teacher to ensure they will become good readers. Don’t judge your child’s abilities — or let others judge your child’s abilities — on the basis of a single test score. Any test provides only limited information about what your child knows and is able to do.

Computers and Internet Safety

Most fifth graders have some experience in using email, chat rooms, IM, and so forth. They are also still willing to listen to appropriate adults, so it the perfect time to teach them about computers and Internet safety for kids, both of which are included in most fifth grade curricula. Kids today can instantly message one another, work together on projects, download all kinds of multimedia files, and post to blogs, Websites, and RSS feeds. This is great for working on school projects, but what happens when or if your child is exposed to cyber bullying or a predator? What about links that take your child to a porn site? Do they know what to do?  Fifth graders must learn about appropriate use of the Internet, property rights, ethics, and Website evaluation as well as how to handle a cyber bully and what to do if a stranger encourages them to meet them in person.  You  and your child can be ready when or if they ever need by exploring a few Internet Safety sites such as Netsmartz, NetSafekids, and Internet Safety for Kids.

Summer Bridge

It is important to keep kids busy, learning, and having fun during the summer so they don’t lose up to a full grade level of learning. Summer activities and books are a great way to keep your child engaged and prevent the learning loss that is sure to happen. Try to focus on reading, writing, language, and math skills so the transition to the next grade will be much easier.

Visit the local library often during the week. Often times they offer great free summer programs as a means for kids to stay involved. Since there isn’t any homework, surely your child will be more than ready to jump right in. Have your child come up with a fun book club for herself and her friends to enjoy over summer break,you could even have them read books by homeschoolers. Ask your son if he can write a family newsletter to mail to family and friends. Most of all, encourage your child to have fun as they enjoy the lighter side of learning!

Health and Safety

Fifth graders will begin to take note of personal life-style choices such as smoking, drinking, taking drugs…as they learn about the effects they have upon the body and the environment. They also learn something about medicine and its effect on health. Fifth graders are approaching or have reached puberty, so some attention is given to bodily changes and the further changes that they can  expect as they grow. Many schools offer sex education, in some form or another. If your child has not taken a health class or your prefer for them to be older, they can always take a high school health course later on. Personal responsibility is discussed in relation to the use of condoms, AIDS, sex education… This is very controversial to say the least. Some parents and educators question whether it should included in the fifth grade curriculum at all.

Fifth graders also learn about dental health, problems associated with sewage disposal, our water supply, vision care, nutrition and diet, exercise, diseases-their causes and cures, community health resources, insects and pests, accident prevention, emergency procedures, and basic first aid. Kids will learn to be cautious and safe.

The Arts

Most states require that the Arts be included in every school’s and homeschool curriculum, and most states have National Standards for Arts Education. If your school has an emphasis on the arts, your child will have opportunities to create, appreciate and learn the history of the visual and performing arts. She will be encouraged to relate them to other subjects. Your child may go on a field trip to a concert, dance performance, play, or art museum. Research has linked arts education to overall academic achievement and social development.

Visual Arts includes painting, sculpture and photography – from different cultures and time periods. Fifth graders will learn about famous artists, styles and cultures. Your child will have an opportunity to study and create art,  including landscapes, portraits, sculptures and collages. She will explore various art materials such as pastels, clay, papier-mâché and watercolors. She will learn the elements and principles of art such as color, line, shape, form, texture, space, balance and repetition.  Your fifth-grader will compare and interpret works of art. She will be able to create works of art by selecting her own subject matter, elements, composition, media and techniques to communicate an idea, mood or feeling. She will work with warm and cool colors, and contrast and perspective to show depth. Most of all, she will have fun as she broadens her horizon.

Geography, Map, and Globe Skills

Fifth graders will study and identify all fifty states of the United States on a map. They will study and identify geographic regions in the United States. Salt maps are fun way to study map skills and get messy at the same time! Kids will learn about and identify the seven continents. Most fifth grade geography and map skill lessons will include learning to use an Atlas. Kids will learn major world bodies of water, mountains of the world, major world landmarks, important places in the world, countries and their capitals, identify borders of major countries, and places in the news. They will embark on a journey that reviews how to use a compass rose to using a map scale and lines of latitude and longitude. Fifth graders will experience a wide range of adventures using map symbols and keys. They will compare altitudes, use precipitation maps, use longitude and latitude, map coordinates, and time zones.

History/Social Studies

Fifth grade history/social studies covers early American history. Kids will learn about events and the people. They will compare Native American and colonial experiences with present-day life, focusing on the differing cultures of each original colony. Fifth graders will explore reasons why folks wanted to and did move to the United States. They will learn about the various routes and consequences of those movements. Cultural geography also covers the various geographic regions of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Your fifth grader will learn about the people of these nations and how their physical environment impacted them. They will also learn about the fifty states and their capitals as well as lakes, rivers, and mountains. Fifth graders should be able to identify the continents and major bodies of water. The issues involved in the development of the U.S. Constitution, The American Revolution, and European exploration and the settlement of North America will also be explored.

Forensic Science Fun

Forensic science is a scientific method of gathering and examining evidence. Crimes are solved with the use of pathological examinations that gather fingerprints, palm prints, footprints, tooth bite prints, blood, hair and fiber samples. Handwriting and typewriting samples are studied, including all ink, paper, and typography. Ballistics techniques are used to identify weapons as well as voice identification techniques are used to identify criminals.

Television today is filled with shows that are based on using forensic science. However, forensic science has been around for ages, beginning in 44BC with the assassination of Julius Caesar. The Forensic Science Timeline is an interesting one to say the least. The first recorded application of medical knowledge to the solution of crime was in 1248 . The Chinese book Hsi DuanYu or the Washing Away of Wrongs, described ways to distinguish between death by drowning or death by strangling. Technology has improved the field of study and will continue to help it advance.

Fifth graders will have lots of fun while learning at the same time as they study forensic science.