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Learning to add numbers in your head is an essential part of your child’s math journey. There are a number of methods students can use to make adding numbers using mental math much easier. Here we share some of those addition tips and tricks.

Friendly numbers

For this technique, imagine a number line. You make a ‘friendly’ number first and then add the rest. Let us show you how.

For example: 17 + 7

Making a friendly number means a number ending in 0.
For 17, that friendly number is 20.
You borrow 3 from 7 to make it 20.
That means you have 4 left: 7 – 3.
Here’s how that looks on a number line:

friendly numbers mental math


In grade 5, students build on areas started in grade 3 and 4, including:

  • Past, present and future tenses, and the introduction of progressive tenses (also called the continuous tenses);
  • Possessive, relative and indefinite pronouns, and using pronouns to express different points of view;
  • The ordering of adjectives in sentences, the use of adverb phrases, and the use of prepositional phrases as adjectives and adverbs;
  • Prepositions, interjections and conjunctions;
  • Improving sentence structures, including sentence fragments, run-on sentences and comma splices;
  • Punctuation covering the use of commas, semi-colons and colons, as well as introductory words and phrases, direct address, question tags and titles.

Where to find the grade 5 grammar worksheets

You will find the grade 5 grammar worksheets in the grammar section of our worksheets pages:

grade 5 grammar worksheets


By Sheila Welch

Are you looking for some great summer reading? Sheila has some tips for you.

Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic

Max and Maria have a picnic
Max and Marla Are Having a Picnic by Alexandra Boiger is a quiet picture book about a lasting friendship. Boiger’s charming illustrations fit the tale perfectly while adding just the right amount of whimsy. The only characters depicted are a young boy, Max, and his best friend, an owl named Marla. They set out with a picnic and the expectations of a perfect day. Max decides he needs one more thing to make their picnic complete. While he’s collecting flowers for Marla, she falls asleep. Max is upset when he returns to discover the perfect picnic food has been unwittingly shared with other critters, and Max blames Marla for spoiling the day. Max’s hurt feelings will ring true with K– 3rd graders – especially those who have had imaginary friendships. More reality-based kids will empathize with Max as they recall their own efforts to have – and be – good friends.


The first step in learning cursive writing is to master each individual letter. Before practicing writing entire words, we suggest the next step is to learn and master the four main letter joins. Those four letter joins are:

bottom joins
bottom to c-shaped joins
e-joins – both top and bottom joins
top letter joins

You’ll find that we have a page on cursive letter joins in our free worksheets section.

Let us demonstrate each of these four letter joins with examples:

Bottom letter joins

The bottom letter joins are the easiest to learn, so start practicing these.  The reason these are the easiest is that the pen stroke extends from the first letter into the second letter in one direction. There is no need for a direction change.

bottom letter joins

The letter joins covered in bottom joins are: ai, are, au, aw, ay, xh, ck, er, ew, ff, ir, kn, ll, qu, sh, th and ur.


Let’s take a step back. First, what are conjunctions? What do we use them for?

What are conjunctions?

If we didn’t have conjunctions, we would have to say everything in short sentences.

I like to play. I like to run. I don’t like to sit still.

Simply put, conjunctions are words that link other words, phrases and clauses together.

Some examples of conjunctions are: and, but, yet.

In the above sentence, we can add conjunctions to make a more complex, elegant sentence.

I like to play and run, but I don’t like to sit still.

What types of conjunctions are there?

There are three types of conjunctions:
Coordinating conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions
Subordinating conjunctions

We’ll leave the last two for another day. In this blog post, we’re going to focus on coordinating conjunctions.



Decimals can be expressed as a fraction. Converting decimals to fractions is usually a two-step process:

1.    Depending on the number of decimal places, convert the fraction using tenths, hundredths, thousandths, etc.
2.    Simplify the fraction to the lowest common term.

Let’s demonstrate this with an example:

The decimal is 0.4.   

Convert the fraction

Write down 0.4 divided by 1

decimals to fractions
Now, multiply both top and bottom by 10 for every number after the decimal point.

In our example, there is one number after the decimal point, so multiply by 10.

decimals to fractions


Grade 4 is a key year in elementary school. Our kids are now “big kids”, and with that comes higher academic expectations. In this grade, among other things, students should know the subject-verb agreement and to use punctuation properly.

Our new grade 4 grammar worksheets cover verb and verb tenses, pronouns, adjectives and adverbs, other parts of speech, sentences, capitalization and punctuation.
First, let us show us where to find the grade 4 grammar worksheets on our web site:

How to find the grammar worksheets

You’ll now find that our grammar sections are divided by grade, …
grade 4 grammar


When the denominators in the fractions you want to subtract from each other are different, things get a little more complicated than subtracting fractions with like denominators.

Let’s say we want to subtract 1/6 from ½.

subtracting unlike fractions


Yesterday we published updates to our reading comprehension workbooks for kindergarten students in our bookstore.  Each workbook contains 20 fiction and non-fiction stories, followed by reading comprehension exercises. Answer sheets are also provided.

Our reading comprehension workbooks are leveled from A-Z, based on the following grade-level text complexities:

  • Vocabulary words
  • High-frequency words
  • Average word size
  • Number of words per sentence, on average
  • Amount of repetition of words and phrases
  • Story length
  • Subject matter complexity

We’re sure you’re curious to see what the stories and exercises look like. Let’s show you one of our stories from our Level C workbook.

Sample kindergarten reading comprehension story

On each of our pages, we indicate the vocabulary words for each story. The high frequency words are included in a list at the beginning of each workbook.

kindergarten reading comprehension story


What are fractions?

A fraction is a part of a whole.  Every fraction has a denominator and a numerator.


The bottom number of the fraction is called the denominator. It shows how many equal parts the item is divided into.

fractions denominator