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Challenging Common Core Math Lessons (Grade 5): Activities and Extensions for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grade 5

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The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics are curriculum standards that describe the mathematics skills and concepts students need to develop for success in higher education and the 21st-century workplace. This book from the Center for Gifted Education provides gifted and advanced learners challenging activities to master and engage with the CCSS for mathemati The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics are curriculum standards that describe the mathematics skills and concepts students need to develop for success in higher education and the 21st-century workplace. This book from the Center for Gifted Education provides gifted and advanced learners challenging activities to master and engage with the CCSS for mathematics. The lessons cover mathematics content for grade 5, including operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base ten, number and operations—fractions, measurement and data, and geometry. Activities and practice problems enrich and extend current grade-level mathematics content. Each lesson follows a predictable structure and includes a teacher page that outlines the CCSS and mathematical practices covered, estimated time, key terms, materials, and objectives; a challenging activity to allow students to explore the concepts in depth; practice problems; and an assessment similar to CCSS-based grade-level standardized assessments.


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The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics are curriculum standards that describe the mathematics skills and concepts students need to develop for success in higher education and the 21st-century workplace. This book from the Center for Gifted Education provides gifted and advanced learners challenging activities to master and engage with the CCSS for mathemati The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics are curriculum standards that describe the mathematics skills and concepts students need to develop for success in higher education and the 21st-century workplace. This book from the Center for Gifted Education provides gifted and advanced learners challenging activities to master and engage with the CCSS for mathematics. The lessons cover mathematics content for grade 5, including operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base ten, number and operations—fractions, measurement and data, and geometry. Activities and practice problems enrich and extend current grade-level mathematics content. Each lesson follows a predictable structure and includes a teacher page that outlines the CCSS and mathematical practices covered, estimated time, key terms, materials, and objectives; a challenging activity to allow students to explore the concepts in depth; practice problems; and an assessment similar to CCSS-based grade-level standardized assessments.

32 review for Challenging Common Core Math Lessons (Grade 5): Activities and Extensions for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grade 5

  1. 4 out of 5

    Demetria Dolgorukova

    As a mathematics instructor - albeit in a secondary context - and a former “gifted” student, I was excited to receive an advanced copy of this collective of lessons and activities to review. (I received a free copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.) I hoped to use some of the lessons and activities in this book to help my older students regain the number sense they didn’t develop in elementary and middle school classrooms dominated by calculator use. I appreciate the emphasis on As a mathematics instructor - albeit in a secondary context - and a former “gifted” student, I was excited to receive an advanced copy of this collective of lessons and activities to review. (I received a free copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.) I hoped to use some of the lessons and activities in this book to help my older students regain the number sense they didn’t develop in elementary and middle school classrooms dominated by calculator use. I appreciate the emphasis on logic and collaborative activities. I tell my students who complain that they don’t need math to treat the class as a mental discipline - a way of learning how to think clearly and explain precisely. The Standards for Mathematical Practice are a good tool for explicating this attitude and lending it a certain amount of weight. (See, kids - it’s not just your wacky teacher who thinks this.) The exercises in this book were clearly written with that approach to the study of mathematics in mind. Exercises hinge on logical interpretation of data and frequently ask students to understand and critique their classmates work. The first lesson in the book in an outstanding example of this approach. Students create number puzzles for their classmates. The challenge is to figure out where to place the mathematical operators in order to produce a certain answer. Not only is the activity cerebral and collaborative, but the directions to have students to use notecards to arrange and rearrange numbers and operators would be a boon to “twitchy” students who need something to engage their hands during class. Another near perfect lesson (3.1) has students measure the flight of paper airplanes using different fractions of a meter and then compare the distances achieved. If that isn’t putting the competitive nature of kids to work - I don’t know what is. Not all of the lessons in this collection achieve the high standards of the ones above. The directions for the instructor are vague. I was attracted to an exercise that had students create an alternative to the Arabic numeral system in order to explore the meaning of place value (2.1). However, I couldn’t figure out if students were supposed to be translating back and forth between their representations and the conventional Arabic system or how one student was supposed to “decode” another student’s system of symbols. The problem of vagueness extends to the construction of the questions. Some exercises that attempt a “real-world connection” lack sufficient detail to be engaging - in fact, the lack of detail makes the exercise confusing. For example, one lesson asks students to graph outcomes from an undescribed “number game” to explore functions (1.2). The problem includes a scenario about students occupying themselves during an unexpected snow day, but gives no information about the game. Students can still do the work the lesson asks - observing trends and writing function rules, but I was distracted by nagging questions. What are the rules of this number game? Which boy is winning - the one with higher points or lower points? Students - especially gifted students - are likely to share in this distractions. While the flaws in some lessons detract from the overall quality, overall, this book has quite a few good lessons and activities. I look forward to testing out a few in some of my secondary classes, and based on my memories of being gifted and bored in late elementary and middle school, I think the material here is on target for that sub-group.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amanda B Gillespie

    Review to come.

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