Engage Your 5th Grade Traveler!


You’ve been talking about this vacation for years. You’ve saved the money and hoarded your days off from work. Your fifth grader is even, finally, old enough to savor the sights. It’s a dream! There’s just one teeny problem: about five hundred miles in the car, each way. Of course, it’s wonderful to think about the overflowing photo albums you’ll enjoy for years to come. But in the meantime, you can be sure you’ll hear a nagging soundtrack, too, with refrains like “Do we have to hear that song again?” “Do you really believe that joke was funny?” and, of course, the perennial favorite, “Are we there yet?” Try as we might, we parents can’t make those questions go away, but here is a suggestion that may help: Call on your fifth grader to be a Trip Guide. Try the following activity and you have a good shot at engaging your kid…and reinforcing valuable multiplication skills as well.

What You Need:

  • Road map
  • Highlighter
  • Ruler
  • Paper and pen/pencil

What You Do:

  1. For this activity, be sure to choose a big map with a clear key showing scale and types of road. (Rand McNally makes good ones, as does AAA).
  2. Before your trip, spread your map out on a table and talk about it. By the end of fourth grade, your child should be able to read and apply all parts of a standard map key. Check for understanding by asking your child to identify landmarks, roads, boundaries, and so forth.
  3. Start by having your child find your starting point and destination, and mark each one with a highlighter; then ask your fledgling travel buff to recommend an itinerary. When he or she has made a decision you can live with too, invite your kid to trace it with a highlighter.
  4. If your fifth grader is on track in math, he or she should be ready for the next stage: calculating distance, rate, and travel time—but do expect this part to be challenging, and be ready to help! Have your child use a ruler to estimate the miles between junctions and intersections; for speed, estimate 15 miles per hour in crowded downtown areas; 20 on suburban roads; 40 on “scenic” country roads; 60 on major freeways. On a piece of plain lined paper, create a chart like this:

    To figure out how much time each section of the trip takes, your child will have to use not only addition estimation skills (generally covered in second and third grades), but fourth and fifth grade division, fractions, and decimals. For time, your child will need to divide distance by rate. In the example above, that means that if you go five miles from home to Route 95, you’d divide 5 by the speed—20—to come up with .25 of an hour.
  5. Here’s a great chance to show how math really IS a practical skill in life. When you’re driving, put your child in charge of checking off each leg of the trip. How accurate were your time estimates? What conditions helped you beat those estimations, and which ones held you back? How should you adjust your itinerary on the way back? Of course, in our techno-savvy era, your fifth grader may very well point out that you can get the answers to these questions by clicking a MapQuest button. But what you won’t get is the chance to dream up your own, original routes, or to test your personal calculations against the challenges of the real open road. Your child’s teacher will love the fact that you’re reinforcing social studies and math skills that are crucial foundations for the future. And finally, if you’ve ever weathered one of those long family road trips, you can also be sure: if you can lessen that incessant wail of “How Much Longer?” you’re already halfway there.

This post was shared  by www.education.com 

Homeschool Help: Sir Cumference Math Adventures

If your child is not very fond of Math, you can try looking for living math books like the Sir Cumference picture book series.

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Math concepts are explained in an illustrated story format. Different math characters have exciting adventures including Sir Cumference, Lady Di of Ameter and their son Radius. The titles in this series:

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland
Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter

The drawings are drawn using soft painting and time of the events happen during the time of the Kings and the Knights. Indeed, this is truly a different and fun way to learn about Math concepts!

UberSmart Math Facts Review

As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I was given the opportunity to review the software UberSmart Math Facts from  UberSmart Software.

UberSmart Math Facts Review

Long before the device age, memorizing math facts were simple. Dot cards and flash cards were the way to go. But since the mobile gadgets became widely used, the applications became graphic oriented and it was hard to find a simple application which can help the children memorize math facts. It is because of this that David Kocur created UberSmart Math Facts!

Memorizing math facts is an important skill which can help children to become more confident when solving math problems. It would be an important skill to learn before they move to higher math. But oftentimes, memorizing math facts is not easy and doesn’t come naturally. UberSmart Math Facts helps parents by providing the platform that the children will use regularly to ensure familiarity with all the math facts. Automaticity or recalling the facts without thinking about it can easily be achieved through the drills offered by the program.

UberSmart Math Facts is a downloadable software which you can install on your  computers with the Windows operating systems only like Windows 7, 8, XP and Windows Vista. It primarily teaches the children to master math facts using simple dot cards and flash cards. The application is made for children grades K-6 but anyone can really use this simple math review software which focuses on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division drills.

UberSmart Math Facts software has 3 main components:

Dot Cards  It is like domino faces. It teaches the younger child to be familiar with the different operations using dots.

UberSmart Math Facts Review

Keyboard Entry  It teaches the student to be familiar with number’s location on the keyboard and visualizes the numbers for them.

UberSmart Math Facts Review

Flash Cards  It shows numbers and focuses on addtition, subtractraction, multiplication and division. It teaches one number group in a time and ensures that children have mastered the set before moving to the next number. The addition and subtraction goes up through the 9s while the multiplication and division can be set to 20s.

UberSmart Math Facts Review
As soon as you has installed the program on your compter, you can access the program without the need of internet connection. The program is independently installed on your computer and can be accessed anytime of the day and without limit. You can install the program on another computer but the test results will only stay with one computer since every copy of the program has their own record of results.

 

We installed the program to our laptop and didn’t encounter any problems. I added the name of my 7 year old son who is in 2nd grade and made him use the program at least 3x a week during the review period. He used the program for about 15 minutes each day.

The menu options of the program is learn, practice, test, compete, report and maintain. The child can start with learn where he will choose if he is a beginner (dot cards) or an intermediate (flash cards). Then student can choose what skill and number group they want to learn. As they practice, there is a bar on the lower portion of the screen which shows their progresss. This is not a timed session.

The practice sessions are basically the same with learn except that they are timed sessions. Each flashcard has a time limit.  The student also finds out the result of their answer at once as the computer checks their answer.

The test sessions are timed as a whole set. The student will automatically see how well he did at the end of the test and the right answers to the wrong questions.

The compete sessions are timed and the students grade will compete with other users all around the world based on their age range.

As the teacher, you can go to the maintain menu and set the name of the students, the time for their practice problems, mastery time limit and beat the clock time. You can also see the progess of your students by checking the report option.

My son took the assessment test and this is the report that I received.

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There are different types of report available. There are mastery reports, you can even see the practice drills result and how your child did in every number group. This gives the teacher a great overview of what you need to work on with your child. I really liked this feature!

It is stated in the website that  two or three fifteen minute sessions per day is recommended. But even if your child can do only a single ten minute session, the consistent daily review should be enough to help your child master his math facts! The software only costs $24.95 for home use and can be installed on as many computers as you have in your house. You can also use the software indefinitely.

After using this software, I found out that even if my son loves math, he still has many facts that he needs to master and daily sessions using UberSmart Math Facts can be a big help to him as he memorizes the basic math facts! In fact, I am also going to ask my 10 year old daughter to start using this program to help her with her math too!

If you are looking for a simple and direct math program that would help you child remember math facts with automaticity, go and try UberSmat Math Facts!

For more reviews on this product, check the Schoolhouse Review Crew posts.

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