4th Grade

What Do Students Learn in 4th Grade Math?

4th Grade Math focuses on three key advancements from previous years: (1) developing understanding with multi-digit multiplication and division; (2) developing an understanding of fraction equivalence, and certain cases of fraction addition, subtraction, and multiplication; and (3) understanding that geometric figures can be analyzed and classified based on their properties, including their angle measure and symmetry. 

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Unit 1

19 Lessons

Place Value, Rounding, Addition, and Subtraction

Students learn to compare numbers, round to any place, work towards fluency with the standard algorithms for adding and subtracting, and solve multi-step word problems involving addition and subtraction.

Unit 2

18 Lessons

Multi-Digit Multiplication

Students are introduced to multi-digit multiplication and its applications, including multiplicative comparison.

Unit 3

16 Lessons

Multi-Digit Division

Students explore multi-digit division and its applications, which include interpreting a remainder in division word problems and using division to interpret a repeating pattern.

Unit 4

15 Lessons

Fraction Equivalence and Ordering

Students are exposed to factors and multiples, then develop general methods and strategies to recognize and generate equivalent fractions, as well as learn to compare fractions with different numerators and different denominators.

Unit 5

21 Lessons

Fraction Operations

Students start to operate on fractions, learning how to add fractions with like denominators and multiply a whole number by any fraction.

Unit 6

13 Lessons

Decimal Fractions

Students expand their concept of what a “number” is as they are introduced to an entirely new category of number, decimals, which they learn to convert, compare, and add in simple cases.

Unit 7

12 Lessons

Unit Conversions

Students build their competencies in measurement, relating multiplication to the conversion of measurement units and exploring strategies for solving measurement problems.

Unit 8

18 Lessons

Shapes and Angles

Students are introduced to the more abstract concepts of points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles, as they learn to measure angles and then analyze shapes by their angles and lines of symmetry.

How Do Students Build 4th Grade Math Skills Across Units?

Unit 1, Place Value, Rounding, Addition, and Subtraction, begins the year with the foundational content on which much of the remaining units are based – place value. Students start to see the structure of the place value system in the context of multiplicative comparison – e.g., 1 thousand is 10 times as much as 1 hundred. They then use that place value understanding to compare, round, add and subtract numbers up to 1,000,000. They also solve multi-step word problems involving addition and subtraction, using rounding to assess the reasonableness of their answers. 

In Unit 2, Multi-Digit Multiplication, students use this place value understanding to start to develop an understanding of multi-digit multiplication (including 2-digit, 3-digit, and 4-digit by 1-digit, as well as 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication). While students were introduced to the idea of multiplicative comparison in Unit 1 in the context of the structure of our place value system, they more deeply delve into these story problems types in this unit. Unit 3, Multi-Digit Division, similarly relies on place value understanding to introduce students to multi-digit division (including 4-digit, 3-digit, and 2-digit by 1-digit division). Students continue their work with multi-step word problems by working with remainders, interpreting them in the context of the problem.

In Unit 4, Fraction Equivalence and Ordering students work with fraction equivalence and comparison, developing a general method for generating equivalent fractions and exploring multiple strategies for fraction comparison. This prepares them for Unit 5, Fraction Operations, where they start to explore operations with fractions (namely addition, subtraction, and multiplication by a whole number). Students also start to solve word problems involving the addition, subtraction, and multiplication of fractions. This then extends to Unit 6, Decimal Fractions, in which students explore decimal fractions, which are particularly important since they are an extension of the place value system. They find equivalent decimal fractions, add and subtract decimal fractions (including tenths with hundredths, requiring a common denominator), and using decimal notation. 

In Unit 7, Unit Conversion, students apply much of their understanding of the four operations as well as fractions and decimals to solve word problems involving the conversion from a larger unit to a smaller unit within the same system. 

Finally, in Unit 8, Shapes and Angles, students get a formal introduction to angles after many years of informally categorizing shapes according to their angles. Students measure angles and find unknown angle measures, then use this deeper understanding to classify shapes and explore reflectional symmetry. 

The scope and sequence for 4th Grade Math was adjusted in August 2021. Learn more about this update.

4th Grade Math FAQs

What math skills do students learn in 4th grade?

Students in fourth grade math focus on 3 key math skills: Fluently multiplying and dividing multi digit numbers, understanding fraction equivalence and fraction operations, and classifying geometric figures.

What Common Core Math Standards do students focus on in 4th grade?

The major work of the course focuses on the following Common Core State Standards:

  • 4.OA.A Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems.
  • 4.NBT.A Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers. 
  • 4.NBT.B Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic. 
  • 4.NF.A Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering. 
  • 4.NF.B Build fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers. 
  • 4.NF.C Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.

What are the expectations for 4th grade math fluency?

4.NBT.4: Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

Learn how to develop students' procedural skill and fluency within Fishtank Math curriculum with our Procedural Skill and Fluency Teacher Tool.

What kind of word problems do students solve in 4th grade math?

In fourth grade, Students will extend their understanding of multiplication and division to include multiplicative comparison, solving one-step word problems of this type for the first time. They will also solve two- and multi-step problems involving all four operations with whole numbers. Lastly, 4th grade students will start to solve word problems involving fractions and decimal fractions with computations appropriate for the grade level, including word problems that involve addition, subtraction, and multiplication of fractions as well as word problems involving addition of decimals. Learn how to develop students' word problem solving skills in the Fishtank Math curriculum with our Word Problem Teacher Tool

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