In a fifth-grade math class, the students are taught the concepts of numbers and operations, geometry, algebra and data analysis. The National Mathematics Standards dictate that all students must understand these concepts by the end of fifth grade.
The numbers and operations the fifth-grade curriculum teaches the place values of whole numbers and decimals. The idea that fractions are simply units of whole numbers is introduced, as well as how to locate fractions on a number line.
The geometry curriculum in fifth grade includes developing a comprehension of two- and three-dimensional objects. Polygons such as squares, rectangles, pyramids, cubes, cones, spheres and cylinders are studied, along with how those polygons incorporate parallel and perpendicular lines in their structures.
Fifth-grade algebra students learn how to represent functions using words, graphs, tables and models. They also learn and apply the commutative, associative and distributive properties of multiplication. A fundamental understanding of expressions and equations is developed as well.
Fifth-grade data analysis centers on developing a vocabulary with which to explain mathematical findings. Data is displayed in line plots, bar graphs and line graphs. Students are taught how to draw conclusions from data they collect through experiments and surveys. They use these conclusions to predict likely future outcomes.