Math Empowers 5

Middletown Township Public Schools

Fifth Grade • 2nd Trimester • 2018-2019

Trimester 2 takes 5th graders into the world of dividing decimals before the focus shifts to adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions. Read on for some ideas for these areas of focus.

Fractions with Graham Fletcher

On December 11th, Graham Fletcher spent the day engaging fifth grade teachers with hands-on fraction activities. Two favorites were the making congruent squares and the apple and cubes Three Act Task. Graham discussed different ideas for fraction counting circles and placing factional values on number lines. Remember to incorporate these activities as your students investigate fractions this trimester. Resources from the day can be found here. These activities will support students' conceptual understanding of fractions. Looking for more great ideas from Graham Fletcher? Check out his website, his library of Three Act Tasks, his progression videos or follow him on Twitter @gletchy.

DreamBox New Year's Challenge - Resolution Time!


  1. Let's make a New Years resolution to love math! 2019 will kick off a Dreambox Challenge - the school that demonstrates the most growth will win the district challenge banner. The contest will start January 14th and end February 14th, Valentine's Day! Check with your building Math Specialist for any building based details and incentives.
  2. Please click here to learn more about DreamBox's approach to student's learning and "How a Little Help Can Go a Wrong Way."
  3. Students having trouble logging on to DreamBox from home? Make sure the correct URL is being used. Type play.dreambox.com/login/kc58 into the address bar and it will link to the Middletown homepage for DreamBox. From there, students can choose their home school.

Why C-R-A?

C-R-A stands for Concrete (using manipulatives), Representational (drawing pictures), Abstract (mathematics rules) and has been a widely proven successful strategy for teaching mathematics. Although we typically think students in the younger grades would benefit more from this technique than the older guys, it has been proven that this works for secondary students just as well. This approach, when taught by bridging and connecting the concrete to the abstract math concept, will help students retain their facts longer and truly understand the concept from a deeper level. This strategy is of utmost importance for fractions and decimals, a somewhat foreign concept to 5th graders, who have worked with whole numbers for most of their lives. Experience with seeing the sizes of the pieces compared to one another is a must! For more on this approach, please see the following:

mathcoachscorner.com/2015/05/why-cra/

notafraidtolearn.wordpress.com/mathematics-the-cra-approach/

hand2mind.com/resources/why-teach-math-with-manipulatives

Follow Steve Wyborney on Twitter!

Steve Wyborney is a K-12 District Math Coach. He has authored 14 books, including The Writing on the Classroom Wall. Steve frequently presents at conferences, connects with fellow educators through Twitter, and shares math instructional strategies and resources through his blog. Throughout his 23 years in education, Steve has earned numerous teaching awards. In 2005, he was named the Oregon Teacher of the Year. Among some of the rich, engaging math tasks that Steve creates are Esti-Mysteries, Splat!, The Estimation Clipboard, and Cube Conversations. Explore his website for more great activities by clicking here. All of his creations are super motivating for students...see your building math specialist for help implementing any of these great activities!

Thank you for reading! :)

Have any questions, comments, or great ideas to share with your fellow 5th-grade teachers – please email me, or your building Math Specialist. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."


Ashley Connors

Elementary Mathematics Specialist

Navesink Elementary School

Math Empowers - Fifth Grade Representative

connorsa@middletownk12.org

@MsConnorsMTPS