What's Inside: Fluency Activities and Daily Word Problems

September 30, 2020

We are excited to announce the addition of two new curriculum features for our 3rd–5th grade math courses: unit-aligned Fluency Activities and Daily Word Problem Practice.

Our math team has been working all summer to develop these resources, led by Elementary Math Curriculum Director, Sarah Britton.

“Giving elementary students multiple opportunities to practice their application and fluency skills is so important to sense-making and deep internalization of what they're learning. We hope that these resources, which are flexible for teachers to use based on the needs of their class and fun for students to engage with, provide the additional practice in these areas that you and your students are hoping for.”

This content is available as part of a Fishtank Plus subscription for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade math. 

How to find fluency activities and word problems from a unit page.

Here's where to find these two new features on a unit page.


Fluency Activities

To support students as they strengthen their procedural skills and fluency, each 3rd–5th grade math lesson offers a selection of fluency activities to practice targeted skills and standards related to the topic they are studying. 


Skills aligned to fluency standards also appear in later unit’s fluency plans in order to provide opportunities for continued practice, development, and demonstration to ensure fluency is achieved and maintained by the end of the year.

By clicking the 'View Fluency Activities' button, you can access a filterable activity bank for each grade to see all activities that relate to specific standards.

Fluency activities bank


We have created new Teacher Tools to support bringing this practice into your classroom, including a browsable (and growing!) library of fluency activities with detailed instructions for executing each one with your class and variations to target certain facets of a skill or standard.

List of fluency activties


Daily Word Problem Practice

To support students as they strengthen their application skills, each 3rd–5th grade math lesson offers a daily word problem to practice solving. 

The sequencing of the daily problems has been designed so students have already been introduced to a word problem type before beginning to practice it. For example, after students are first introduced to multiplicative comparison in Grade 4 Unit 2 Lessons 1–3, they encounter their first word problem involving multiplicative comparison on the same day of instruction of Grade 4 Unit 2 Lesson 4.

Because the word problem for the day is not directly tied to the lesson objective, they can be deployed at any time during the school day. They should take about 15 minutes from start to finish, including reading, solving, and discussing the problem and solution.

If you want to focus on a different word problem type for a lesson, based on what your students need, we offer a filterable problem bank for each grade where you can find alternative problems to use instead.

List of word problems


We have also released new Teacher Tools to support implementation of these new resources. 

You can review the definitions and examples of different word problem types.

Teacher tool on word problems

And you can check out our guidance for using tape diagrams to model these word problem types.

Guidance on using tape diagrams.


We hope that these two new features can help you support your elementary students as they develop these crucial skills in a fun, flexible, and engaging way. 

Upgrade to Fishtank Plus today to unlock these and many other resources to make teaching the Fishtank curriculum easier and more effective!


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