In the first trimester of the school year, fourth grade students will work on the following skills:

• Reviewing place value with numbers written as digits (numerals), words, and expanded forms (ex. 124, one hundred twenty-four, 100 + 20 + 4) up to 1,000,000
• Adding and subtracting using the standard algorithm (this is the first grade level where this is part of the learning standard.  Up to this point students can use various other methods to add or subtract)
• Estimating in addition, subtraction, and multiplication
• Understanding the meaning of multiplication and division
• Begin work on basic multiplication facts up to 12 x 12
• Multiplying up to 4 digits by a 1-digit number (ex. 3,247 x 5) and two 2-digit numbers (ex. 34 x 92) using strategies based on place value.  Students should be using the area model and equations to show their thinking. The algorithm does not have to be mastered until 5th grade.

You can help your child at home by having them practice these skills.  Students should know their addition and subtraction facts from memory by now or have efficient strategies that do not make larger addition and subtraction a slow process.

Estimation is one topic that can easily be practiced outside of school.  Having children estimate by saying “about how much is…?” has students thinking about the reasonableness of their answers later.  Next time your child asks how long a car ride will be, give them an estimate and then track the exact time. Talk about how you estimated the time and if it was reasonable.  Talk about why the estimate could have been miscalculated, say heavy traffic, or all green lights and no traffic. These real world scenarios are amazing.

Students in 3rd grade spent plenty of time on basic multiplication and division facts.  Continue practicing these facts with your 4th grader as knowing the basic facts will make larger problems easier to solve.

For information on the area model used with multiplication, you can view this video from Khan Academy about multiplying a 4-digit number by a 1-digit number https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-fourth-grade-math/cc-4th-mult-div-topic/cc-4th-area-models/v/4-by-1-multiplication-with-grid  and for two 2-digit numbers view https://www.khanacademy.org/math/cc-fourth-grade-math/cc-4th-mult-div-topic/cc-4th-area-models/v/area-model-for-multiplication.  By extending this area model which carries over the use or arrays in 3rd grade, students have been successful at multiplying larger numbers with accuracy, and having an in depth understanding of what multiplication really means.

Here are some other resources:

• Make a set of flashcards for multiplication.

Up Next: Division of larger numbers (ex. 235 ÷ 3)