Math is all about problem solving. One of the best ways to help children learn math is to present them with a problem in which they have to devise their own strategies to find the solution(s). There is usually more than 1 way to solve math problems and children need the opportunity to discover shortcuts and their own algorithms to determine the appropriate solution, they should also justify their solution(s).
The following math word problems are specific for children in the fifth grade and are divided into the main math cagegories: Number Concepts, Patterns and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, Data Management and Probability. Children should be involved in problem solving activities every day. Problems for second grade students should be read to them. Students should also be able to describe why their solutions work or how they know it's the right solution. My favorite question to children is 'how do you know'. When they have to explain how they arrived at their answer, you immediately know the learning that has taken place.
Patterns and Algebra
Billy was offered a job at the nearby golf course. The owner offered him $500.00 per seven day week or $50. the first day and agreed to double it for each following day. How could Billy make the most amount of money? Which deal should he accept and why?
Sally is having a birthday party with 10 people. When everyone gets there she asks everyone to introduce themselves and shake everyone's hand. How many handshakes will there be? How do you know?
Data Management and Probability
Soccer Time! The coach has asked you to create a soccer schedule. There are a total of 8 teams and all the teams need to play each other twice. There are two soccer fields and games can be played on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Create the schedule.
How many different types of pizza can you make with the following toppings: pepperoni, tomatoes, onions and green peppers? Show your answer.
Who has the largest piece of chocolate? Bill has 1/3 of a bar, Sally has 4/6 of a bar, Peter has 9/12 of a bar, Jen has 13/18 of a bar. Show how you know the answer.
Geometry and Measurement.
Watch your favorite television show from beginning to end. Time each of the commercials and determine the percentage of commercial time for the entire show. Now determine the percentage of time the actual show is.
Mr. Sports wants to buy enough sod for his new field. The length of the field is 30 feet, the width of the field is 66 feet. How much sod will he need to buy? How much will it cost him if the sod sells for $5.00 per 25 cubic feet?