Students in the intermediate grades are developing more abstract understandings of many mathematical principles, and they begin to be able to see connections from one dimension of math to another, such as the relationship between fractions and decimals or area and multiplication. Teachers continue to extend these understandings through the use of manipulatives as needed, interactive whiteboard lessons, frequent guided and individual practice, and other research-based practices for math instruction. In third grade, students will continue to build their number sense, developing an understanding of fractions as parts of whole numbers. They will develop a foundation for multiplication and division and apply problem-solving skills and strategies to solve word problems. Students will also explore of the area of a rectangle and other aspects of measurement. In fourth grade, students will use all four operations to solve word problems, including problems involving measurement of volume, mass, and time. Students will continue to build their understanding of fractions—creating equal fractions, comparing the size of fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, and multiplying fractions by whole numbers. They will also start to explore the relationship between fractions and decimals. In fifth grade, students will expand their understanding of place value by working with decimals up to the thousandths place. Students will also add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions with like and unlike denominators. They will continue to expand their geometry and measurement skills, learning the concept of volume and measuring the volume of a solid figure.
Students are encouraged to find ways to apply their mathematical understandings to the world outside of their classroom as a means of reinforcement. Teachers also support students in developing the perseverance and problem solving skills necessary for success with future math concepts.