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Fifth grade: What your child should know

Keep tabs on your fifth-grader's development with this handy checklist.

By GreatSchools Staff

No two kids are alike, especially when it comes to hitting developmental benchmarks. But it helps to have a rough idea of which academic and social skills your child should acquire at his or her grade level. Learn more about the fifth-grade classroom in these subject areas: reading, writing, math, science, technology, social studies, the arts, and physical education and health. Or check your state's academic standards to find out what students are required to learn.

By the end of the year, you can expect your child to:

  • Be generally truthful and dependable
  • Develop increasing independence
  • Improve problem-solving skills
  • Acquire increasingly advanced listening and responding skills, such as responding to peers’ comments and opinions
  • Enjoy organizing and classifying objects and ideas
  • Be able to read and concentrate for long periods of time
  • Read complex text fluently and with good comprehension
  • Research a topic using a variety of sources, and use the features of a book (for example, the index, glossary, and appendix) to find information
  • Identify conflict, climax, and resolution in a story
  • Write an organized, multi-paragraph composition in sequential order with a central idea
  • Correctly use commas and quotation marks in writing
  • Use problem-solving strategies to solve real-world math problems
  • Add and subtract fractions and decimals
  • Understand and do math problems involving parentheses, brackets, and braces
  • Classify two dimensional figures into different categories (e.g. a rectangle has four right angles, so a square is always a rectangle)
  • Find the area of two-dimensional shapes
  • Use long division to divide large numbers by multi-digit numbers
  • Identify and map a pair of coordinate numbers on the coordinate system (along the x-axis and y-axis)

Comments from readers

"yes, thank you verymuch. i had use this on my 5th graders, and by the time, it worked 100%! thank you. (= "
"I think that all students in 5th grade should know that stuff so I agree that a average 5th grader should know that information. "
"i liked it "
"Having been an instructional Paraprofessional in 5th grade classes, this list is spot on! My probelem is that my own child is now a 5th grader and wants to walk home from school. My mind knows she is ready, but heart does not...any suggestions??"
"Good to have a baseline of ideas of what the school year will be about. I think my child can master these items, so I look forward to what the school year brings. "
"Hello! I think my child knows all of the items on the list."
"i really like this article it makes sense!"