Fourth Grade Math: Curriculum Overview

Before you can adequately help your fourth grader with his or her math work, you must first do a little homework of your own. Each of the fourth grade math focus areas are discussed below. Familiarize yourself with what is expected in each of these areas and you will be better prepared to help your fourth grader!

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Curriculum Overview of Fourth Grade Math

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

This area of your child's math curriculum will require him or her to solve multi-step word problems that contain whole numbers and will yield whole number answers. These word problems may require your fourth grader to add, subtract, multiply or divide. Your child should also be able to find all factor pairs for a whole number up to 100. It will be important for your student to recognize that a whole number is a multiple of each of its factors. You will want to ensure that your child is capable of creating a pattern using either numbers or shapes that follow a given rule.

Number and Operations in Base Ten

Your student should be able to read and write multi-digit whole numbers using standard form, word form and expanded form. Standard form would require your child to write a number like '48'. The word form would be 'forty-eight' and expanded form would be '40 + 8'. Your child will also need to use his or her prior knowledge of place value to round a multi-digit whole number to any specified place. Fluently adding and subtracting multi-digit whole numbers is another important skill in fourth grade math.

Fourth graders should be able to multiply a 4-digit whole number by a 1-digit whole number (e.g., 4,529 x 2). Before the end of fourth grade, your child must also be able to multiply two 2-digit numbers together (e.g., 46 x 12). Lastly, be sure that your student is capable of determining the quotient and remainder of up to a 4-digit dividend and 1-digit divisor.

Number and Operations - Fractions

Your fourth grade student will need to be able to prove that two fractions are equivalent using manipulatives. He or she should also understand how to add and subtract fractional amounts. Fourth graders learn to compare fractions with different numerators and denominators and perform addition and subtraction with fractions having like denominators. Finally, it is important that your child is able to use decimal notation for fractions with a denominator of ten or 100.

Measurement and Data

Within the measurement and data focus area, your student should be comfortable comparing different units within one measurement system. For instance, make sure your child realizes that a centimeter is smaller than a meter. Your child must also be able to use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to solve word problems involving liquid volumes, intervals of time, money, object mass and distance. Determining area and perimeter of rectangles is another skill that is taught in this curriculum area. Finally, be sure your child understands how angles are formed and how to measure angles using a protractor.


In geometry, your fourth grader will need to draw points, rays and angles. Your child must also be comfortable drawing line segments, lines, perpendicular lines and parallel lines. Your child should be able to classify 2-dimensional figures based on the absence or presence of specific angles, parallel lines or perpendicular lines. Lastly, your student needs to identify right triangles and recognize a figure's line of symmetry.

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