Fourth Grade

Welcome to 4th Grade math!

Highlights from this year include:

• Reading, writing, picturing, comparing, and ordering four- and five-digit numbers
• Rounding numbers to estimate
• Investigating number patterns (using word tables and word rules to describe patterns)

Numbers in Base-10

• Number sense strategies developed with two- and three- digit numbers in earlier
grades are extended to four- and five-digit numbers.

• Students learn to read, write, picture, compare, and order these larger numbers
using familiar and new models.


At home:

Talk informally with your child about number comparisons during everyday activities, such as grocery shopping (prices), travel (distances on a map, road atlas, or car odometer),or car listings in the newspaper or online.

• Ask your child to read numbers aloud, e.g. the number of “hits” on a favorite website or low scores on a video game. Follow up by asking whether the number is closer to 50,000 or 100,000 and why.

• Compare large numbers and ask your child to explain why one number is larger or smaller than another.



Students build on the skills developed in earlier grades to compare four- and
five-digit numbers using greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols that were
introduced in Grade 1.

When rounding numbers to the nearest ten, hundred, or thousand, students visualize where numbers are actually located on a number line to understand the
concept of rounding instead of focusing on “rounding rules”.

Tens, hundreds, and thousands are important benchmarks in our number system.
Knowing where other numbers are in relation to these benchmarks on a number
line makes rounding and comparing more concrete.

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-5-27-02-pmWhen compared on a number line, numbers that are greater than (>) are positioned at a greater distance from 0 on the number line, and numbers that are less than (<) are closer to zero.


30 > 20 and 20 < 30 are both true because 30 is farther
away from 0 than 20 on the number line.

Algebraic Thinking

• Exploration and description of number patterns using pictures, tables, number sentences, and word rules are important for preparing for future work with number patterns and equations in the study of algebra.

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-5-33-03-pmFor home:

Use toothpicks or pennies to create a pattern that grows from one picture to the next and ask what the
next two will look like. Ask your child to create a pattern for you to predict.

• Use bathroom or kitchen tiles to make patterns. Notice the numbers that grow with
the pattern and predict how many tiles will make up picture 10.



A numeral expander shows how each position in a number represents a designated place value.


An abacus is a counting frame that shows place value. Each bead is the equivalent
of 1 base-10 value, depending on the place. E.g. this model emphasizes that “3 ten-thousands
is the same as 3 × 10,000, etc”.


More to come.

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