4th Grade Math: Problem Solving Made Easy
Learning how to extract important information and manipulate data from word problems can be challenging. Help your child understand what information can be ignored and what to look for by providing him or her with extra practice at home. Keep reading for tips, sample problems and solutions.
How to Make 4th Grade Math Problems Easy
In 4th grade math, students learn to multiply numbers with multiple digits and continue their study of fractions and decimals. In addition, they continue to refine their problem solving skills. Problem solving usually involves word problems and is challenging because students have to identify the important information and choose the appropriate operation. Not only can word problems help students develop higher order thinking skills, but word problems are also on standardized math tests. Here are some tips that may make the problem easier when your child is solving a word problem at home:
1. When solving a word problem, ignore the unnecessary story parts of the problem. Nonessential information often distracts and confuses students. Encourage your student to only look for important information, which includes the numbers and how the numbers relate to one another.
2. Help your child recognize key words that indicate what math concept is required to solve the problem. For instance, the phrase 'in all' indicates that addition is necessary. Alternatively, the word 'difference' can often imply that subtraction is necessary.
3. Advise your child to use scratch paper to make notes, draw pictures or show his or her work. Writing information down can help your child visualize the problem at hand, rather than try to remember everything.
Math Problems and Solutions
Multiplication
Problem: Last week, your mom had a garage sale. Twenty toys were sold for $4.50 each and ten shirts were sold for $6 each. How much money did your mom make in all?
Solution: For this problem, the information provided in the first sentence can be ignored because it does not provide any pertinent information. This problem requires both multiplication and addition. Begin by making note of how many toys were sold (20) and for how much ($4.50). Then, solve using multiplication: 20 x 4.5 = 90. Repeat the process for the shirts, so the equation should look like this: 10 x 6 = 60. Finally, add the sums together and you will find that your mom made $150 from the garage sale.
Fractions
Problem: In Matt's class, 2/6 of the students wear glasses, 3/6 of the students wear watches and 1/6 of the students wear hats. How many of the students in Matt's class are wearing glasses and a hat?
Solution: For this problem, you can ignore the number of students who are wearing watches because the question is asking how many students are wearing glasses (2/6) and hats (1/6). The equation should look like this: 2/6 + 1/6 = 3/6.
Decimals
Problem: On her math test, Sandy got 24 out of 30 questions correct. What percent did Sandy receive?
Solution: To solve this problem, begin by dividing 24/30, which equals 0.8. Then, calculate the percentage by multiplying 0.8 by 100, which is 80%.
Other Articles You May Be Interested In

If you have a third or fourth grade student who is having problems with math, you can help them out at home! This article can show parents how to teach their 3rd and 4th grade students the mathematics skill they need to excel.

The Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving (SPMPS), which was recently profiled by 'The New York Times', is as academicallyoriented as its name suggests. This isn't a camp for kids who want to play kickball or make lanyards, nor is it focused on remedial math. This is a camp for highachieving math students hoping to...
We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In
Huntington Learning
 What Huntington Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 One on one tutoring
 Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
K12
 What K12 offers:
 Online tutoring
 Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
 AdvancEDaccredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Kaplan Kids
 What Kaplan Kids offers:
 Online tutoring
 Customized learning plans
 RealTime Progress Reports track your child's progress
Kumon
 What Kumon offers:
 Incenter tutoring
 Individualized programs for your child
 Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
Sylvan Learning
 What Sylvan Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
 Regular assessment and progress reports
Tutor Doctor
 What Tutor Doctor offers:
 InHome tutoring
 One on one attention by the tutor
 Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
TutorVista
 What TutorVista offers:
 Online tutoring
 Student works oneonone with a professional tutor
 Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations