ProTeacher Community

ProTeacher Community (
-   The VENT (
-   -   Mathematics Drowning in 5th (

evansvilleace 11-10-2019 05:33 PM

Drowning in 5th
Okay, so I moved here from Japan two years ago. I came back to the US for professional development, as I felt like I was stagnating in Japan. Well, after these two years, I would give anything to go back.

These kids know nothing and they (and their former teachers) just don't care! Two out of every three students in my grade level don't have their multiplication facts from 1-10 down fluently. They struggle with basic subtraction. They can't grasp that 287 is not the same as 728. When I asked their fourth grade teacher about it, I get, "Yeah, that was a hard bunch, but this year's is better!" Well, now I have that "better" bunch and it's just more of the same.

I work with them in small groups and one-on-one. They resent me for pulling them during their "homework time", which is the only time I'm allowed to pull them, and they just do whatever they can to get out of there as quickly as possible. I always find the extra practice from small group either in the recycling bin or the trash. Or, with my critically low students, I've enrolled them in XtraMath and I never see anything done.

Also, when I'm reteaching my lower periods the 3rd/4th grade standards they missed, that's always when my principal does a walkthrough and I've been told, on more than one occasion, that I'm supposed to be teaching the fifth grade standards, not anything lower. Well, I'm sorry, but these periods don't even know 74 and now I'm supposed to be teaching them 345117? It's just not possible. How do I teach 5th grade math with 2nd grade-level students?

Zulbi 11-11-2019 12:39 AM

Welcome to America
Keep doing what you're doing.. Clearly P doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

And as for the papers in the trash issue, try centers, giving them manipulative, a los of visuals for division .. .

Youthcantknow 11-11-2019 03:26 AM

Access to technology?
If you have access to technology, use it. In my opinion, games are the best way to get math facts mastered and we saw significant progress in my school when we started relying more on their tablets to master facts. My students really like reflex math and get rewarded for reaching the 'green light'. We also like room recess and there's always math playground. They also love prodigy - the site offers less basic facts and more of a mix of skills, though. The kids will be a lot more engaged and get those very necessary basic facts out of the way without using your precious class time - they can do it as their warm-up, as a small group independent activity, or during "homework time", etc.

Singvogel 11-11-2019 06:20 AM

Response to Intervention, RTI, is mandated. Even when there is no support staff, we are required to show that we are targeting these students' specific deficits.

Maybe you can make your warm-up activity for the whole class be a multiplication facts competition/game. Students like this will need tangible rewards. If you can make praise for the "winners" public, all the better. A cheap way that works for intermediate students at our school is a VIP table. It's got some special pens and pencils, seat pillows, and other free or cheap things they get to use when sitting there.

Rick Morris has a great way to check multiplication facts. Here's the link:

My final thought is that maybe your school needs a culture change. It seems strange that homework time is part of the regular school day. If your school wants to make sure that kids have no homework, have that conversation. If it's really an individual needs-based practice time, maybe it could be "rebranded."

Summerwillcom 11-11-2019 10:11 AM

Piggybacikg off of Evan....
I have not stepped foot in another school in probably 10 yrs, other than for an inservice once in a blue moon. So I truly do not know what other schools believe in different states when it comes to this.

Does your school expect you to teach ALL of the kids the same grade level that are in your room alike? Like Evan....mentioned she was expected to teach division when the kids did not know their basic x facts.
I have seen where some schools want "fidelity to a program" on the board.

Is it common practice in your school that everyone gets taught on 1 class grade level as opposed to where they are?
I know schools can be unreasonable by expecting you to catch them up to level, but that sounds really archaic if schools are expecting you to teach someone on 3rd grade level 5th grade material. <!--turkey--> So sorry! I was trying to make a new post and am

klarabelle 11-11-2019 03:28 PM

My P would tell me the same, teach the grade material [4th] even though they can't add 2+2. She would tell me that it would need to be addressed to teachers in the lower grades. Sorry but that doesn't help with adding, subtracting, multiplication or division now. I just gave students drill sheets for lower level math and worked at their level.

PindleLou888 11-12-2019 04:03 PM

Use Xtra At first my kids didn't like it, but when one of the kids "graduated" from addition to subtraction and then to multiplication, the others started getting a little competitive and started working harder. Also, I changed the time that they have to do the problem from 3 seconds to 6 seconds....otherwise they were frustrated. Except for the ones who are super fluent...they wanted to do it in 2 seconds!

ElizabethJoy 11-12-2019 04:54 PM


I'm supposed to be teaching the fifth grade standards, not anything lower.
Your P is clueless. There is no point moving on to harder content when there are gaps that need to be filled!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:03 AM.

Copyright © ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.