Amazing August Activities to Engage and Motivate | 5th Grade

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Ease in to 5th grade with hands-on math activities to motivate and excite your students. Start the year with a Growth Mindset as you help students set goals, tackle challenges head-on, and embrace the struggle that comes with learning new skills.

These activities are perfect for incoming fifth graders. Throughout your math block, discuss what it means to be a learner, set goals, and rejoice in successes and failures alike as students play games, solve puzzles, and create artwork with interesting, colorful, just-right challenges to engage students of all levels.

Activities are Common Core aligned and start by reviewing fourth grade skills. Each resource has two different levels practicing the same skill.

Look for • and •• to quickly differentiate and meet your students where they are at as they return to school this fall. Print in color and create a reusable center with a sheet protector. Copy the black and white versions to create quick handouts, center activities, or homework

Don’t stop now! Take a look below to see everything included in this month’s bundle of activities to start your year.

  • Addition Riddle
  • Subtraction Missing Digits
  • Ice Cream Patterns
  • Multiplicative Comparisons
  • Prime & Composite Banners
  • Number Forms
  • Comparing & Ordering Numbers
  • Factors & Multiples

Multi-Digit Addition Riddle

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Multi-Digit Addition Riddle August Math Centers

Addition is a great place to start with this fun activity! Students will solve 12 addition problems to check subtraction, then rearrange letters to solve a fun Back-to-School riddle.

The lower and higher level look the same and solve the same riddle, but look for • and •• following the title.

If you’re training your students how to rotate through math centers, you have two leveled sets of the same activity to differentiate for your students!

Missing Digit Subtraction

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Missing Digit Subtraction August Math Centers

This is one of my favorite activities because it isn’t just plain old subtraction. The subtraction problems are already there, but some of the numbers are missing. Students cut out number tiles 0-9 and place them on their sheet to make all the subtraction problems true.

This is great if you’re introducing how to work with a partner, share materials, and practice using math talk to explain your reasoning for placing a tile in a certain location.

For the lower level, each number can be placed independently, but for the higher level, students will need more critical thinking and flexibility to solve some of the problems which seem to have multiple solutions at first.

The color versions can be laminated or put in a sheet protector to make a reusable center, or have students cut and paste, then color the black and white version.

Ice Cream Patterns

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Number Patterns August Math Centers

These aren’t your Kindergarten patterns! While making patterns can feel like play (especially with ice cream cones!), building and extending higher-level patterns can help students with problem solving skills.

Students start with a picture pattern, then move on to filling in incomplete number patterns. Students will also reflect on pattern rules and predict if a certain number in the pattern will be odd or even.

Once students have done this activity, you can easily extend it by having students make their own complex patterns for a partner to complete.

Multiplicative Comparisons

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Multiplicative Comparisons August Math Centers

Students will connect with real-world travel as they match situations to multiplicative comparisons. Then, students will match and solve the equations that fit each situation.

Again, these activities are in BW and color, and there are are two levels to choose from.

Answer sheets are also provided for your grading convenience or for students to take responsibility and correct their own work, saving you time and giving them timely feedback. 

Prime & Composite – Banner Coloring Activity

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Coloring Banner Activity - Open House Decorations August Math Centers

When developing a growth mindset, improving character is a must. With this activity, math skills, character traits, and artwork combine for a definite win!

First students practice finding prime and composite numbers and color independently, with a partner, or in small groups. Then, they’ll cut out the letters and rearrange them to spell out a character trait. When the letters are combined, you have student artwork to display proudly in your room.

There are 6 character traits in all: stamina, respect, kindness, honesty, patience, and courage. With a total of 44 letters to color, you can divide them among your students in so many ways, or have each student create his/her own banner to display or take home.

After the banners are complete, students complete an exit ticket explaining their character trait, how they will use it in class this year, and what they’ve learned about finding prime and composite numbers.

Number Forms

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Number Forms August Math Centers

This worksheet is a quick, simple go-to for a math warm-up, your early finishers, a homework sheet, or that awkward 10-15 minutes between recess and music.

You could also copy double-sided with the next activity for a review center as you set up math rotations in your classroom. Students match numerals to words to expanded notation. Then they fill in a chart for the three number forms. 

Comparing & Ordering Numbers

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Comparing & Ordering Numbers August Math Centers

 Students fill out a chart comparing numbers with greater than (>), less than (<), and equal to (=). Then, they solve a maze by finding numbers in order from least to greatest or greatest to least.

With two levels, students can complete the first, check their work with the teacher or answer key, then move on to the more challenging level.

Factors & Multiples

5th Grade Back to School Math Activities - Factors and Multiples August Math Centers

Students play lifeguard as they search for factor pairs in the life preservers. Students also find factors, multiples, and write in factors and multiples for the last 4 problems.

This makes a great center activity when printed in color and put in a protective sheet. Students can use a whiteboard marker to complete the worksheet, and then they use the answer key to check their work. This quick feedback will help students know if they’re on the right track. 

Stay tuned for more monthly activities…

Each month, we’ll be introducing a new set of activities specially designed to help your 5th grade students grow their math skills this year!

Sign up for a friendly email reminder and you won’t miss out as each Monthly Activity Bundle is released. Plus, receive a free surprise download as a welcome back to school gift for you and your students!

Purchase the August Bundle

Available for grades 3-5.


  • Skills practice aligned to Common Core Standards
  • Monthly themed games, puzzles, riddles, coloring, and more!
  • 2 levels for differentiation
  • BW & Color
  • Answer Keys
Math Tech Connections

Math Tech Connections

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