One of the foundational concepts in 5th grade math is fractions. Many students find working with fractions a challenge. If your child is struggling, or if you just want to reinforce what is being taught at school in a fun way at home, consider these fraction games for 5th grade.
1. Common Denominator War
Many fraction games for 5th grade take basic fraction concepts and break them down into something that can be practiced over and over. Common Denominator War does just that.
For this game, take 20 index cards and write numbers on them, striving for most of the numbers to be composite (not prime). Divide the cards into two equal piles, giving one pile to each of two players. Play begins when students countdown “1, 2, 3 . . . war!” and flip the top two cards. As soon as the cards are visible, the players work quickly to determine the lowest common multiple, calling it out. The first with the right answer adds that card to his or her pile. Play continues until one player is out of cards, declaring the other player the winner.
2. Fold for Fractions
This simple game will give your child a better understanding of what fractions really mean. Grab a plain white piece of paper and some colored pencils. Talk with your child about the word “equivalent,” and make sure she understands what it means. Then, have your child fold the paper in half, then open it, shading one of the halves with a colored pencil. Fold the paper in half again, then in half again, making fourths.
Ask your child how many fourths are equivalent to one-half. The shaded side of the paper makes this clear. Then, fold the paper more to create eighths, asking the question again. Repeat as many times as you can fold to help your child understand the idea of equivalent fractions.
3. Improper Fraction “Go Fish”
Does your child love to play “Go Fish?” Then make it a chance to practice math. Make cards with improper fractions and mixed numbers. This game is played just like regular Go Fish, but with one change. The pairs should be mixed numbers and the improper fractions that match them. Play requires the player to choose a card in his hand, figure out what the equivalent mixed number or improper fraction is, and ask for it.
So, if your child has 3 3/5 in his hand, he would figure out that this is equivalent to the improper fraction 18/5. He would then ask you if you have 18/5 in yours. If you do, you give it to him, and he places the match on the table like in traditional “Go Fish.” If you do not, you tell him to “go fish” and he will draw from the draw pile. Play continues until all cards are used, then players count the number of matches to see who is the winner.
Math games are a great way to practice important math concepts, especially those tricky fractions, with your 5th grader. If your child is showing signs of needing additional help, consider investing in a tablet-based tutoring program. Choose one, like Thinkster Math, that is designed by teachers and offers instruction at the point of learning that is tailored to what your child already knows and needs to work on. This, as well as fraction games for 5th grade, can make those pesky fractions a lot easier for your child to comprehend.