Adding and subtracting fractions is typically taught in grade 5. Fifth graders often start with addition of fractions with common denominators and subtraction of fractions with common denominators. From there, they build on skills learned in fourth grade to practice adding fractions with different denominators and subtracting fractions with different denominators. They use a variety of strategies to find an equivalent fraction with a common denominator, then add or subtract, and simplify or reduce the fraction as needed. Thus, students need to be fluent in finding equivalent fractions in order to truly master adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.
Adding and subtracting mixed numbers can be relatively easy for 5th grade math students when there is no regrouping required. Students learn to add like units; whole numbers go with whole numbers, and fractions go with other fractions of the same denominator. This is comparable to the work that students have done in lower grades with place value, adding hundreds to hundreds, tens to tens, and ones to ones.
Adding and subtracting mixed numbers is trickier when students need to “regroup,” or convert between fractions and whole numbers in order to complete the calculation. As with all new math concepts, students benefit from using visual models and manipulatives, such as fraction strips, as they start to make sense of the new skill. Once students are fluent in converting between mixed numbers and fractions greater than one (also known as improper fractions), adding and subtracting mixed numbers becomes much easier!
5th grade math is a key year for mastering fraction operations, so make sure your students have plenty of opportunity to practice these skills to prepare them for sixth grade math and beyond!
Hi! My name is Miss Becca, and I’m an elementary school teacher in New York. Over the course of my teaching career, I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten through fifth grade. I’m certified in both special and general education, and I’ve taught students from both populations.
I’ve never been fully happy with the various free math sheet generators out there. I feel that many of them are targeted towards high school or middle school students, and they don’t really understand the elementary school classroom. My biggest pet peeve is math worksheets that give students almost no space to show their work! Little kids need space to work, and they often have LARGE handwriting! I wanted to make a math sheets generator that was specific to elementary school students, both for my own use and for other teachers!
What features would you like to see added to PracticeMathWorksheets.com? I’d love to hear your ideas! Shoot me an email at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions or feedback!
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