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4th Grade Math

How Can I Help My Child At Home?

Learning does not end in the classroom. Students who have supportive families who practice skills at home do better in school. These students also feel that school is important.

Ways to help your child with fourth grade math

  • Help your child keep a math journal for writing down his work outside of class. Record multiplication and division problems using equations. Practice making up problems that use multiplication and division.
  • Play The Product Game and The Factor Game with your child to help develop fluency with multiplication and division facts, if needed. These are both fun and engaging games for children and adults.
  • Children in fourth grade learn the standard written method for multiplication. But check with the teacher before working at home on it. Most math programs start with mental strategies for multiplying and dividing, so your child should get a good grounding in that before moving into the written procedures. Ask your child's teacher to show you examples of classroom work with mental strategies and other written methods that come before the standard written procedure.
  • Get a sense of what your child knows about multiplication by trying simple problems and working your way up to harder ones. Here’s the range of multiplication problems, in increasing order of difficulty: 5 x 7, 10 bunches of flowers that have 6 flowers in each bunch, 15 x 4, 15 x 40, etc.)
  • If your child is having a hard time breaking apart three-digit numbers into hundreds, tens and ones, use any of the place value cards available on the web. See our collection of games and reproducible place value arrow cards.
  • Help your child find fractions in everyday activities, including meals, games, objects in the house, etc. Pose problems for your child that involve adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator, like 1/2 + 1/2 or 3/4 + 2/4.
  • Several nice virtual manipulatives for fractions are available on The PHET Website. Check out "Fractions Intro", "Build a Fraction" and "Fraction Matcher".
    Fraction Models - show models of fractions, mixed numbers, decimals and percents
    Equivalent Fractions - nice representations of circle and bar fractions showing equivalent fractions
    Fraction Game (also called Fraction Tracks) - moving along number lines using equivalent fractions
    Fractions – Equivalents – a little “virtual manipulative” that helps children learn “new names for the same fraction” – that is, 8/10 can be renamed as 4/5.
  • Help your child learn about decimal numbers by using money. A dime is written as $0.10. This is the decimal name for one tenth of a dollar because there are ten dimes in a dollar, so each is one tenth of the dollar. A penny is written as $0.01, or one hundredth of a dollar. You can ask your child to write decimal names for collections of dimes and pennies. For example, 5 dimes is $0.50 or 5/10 of a dollar, so 5/10 = 0.50. 9 pennies is $0.09, or 9/100 of a dollar. Have your child record this work with decimals in his math journal.
  • The ABCYA website is good site to visit if your child needs practice counting money.   
  • Measure large objects in feet, then convert to inches. For example, a 3 foot wide refrigerator is 36 inches (3x12). Tell time in minutes when the amount of time is more than one hour. For example, two hours and 30 minutes is 150 minutes. Have your child record these measurements in her math journal.
  • Look for shapes around your home that have parallel or perpendicular lines. Have your child draw those shapes and write the correct words in his math journal.

Overall strategies for school success

  • Meet your child's teacher as soon as the new school year starts.
  • Ask the teacher about the process for regular communication between home and school.
  • Read what comes home from school and keep in touch with your child's teacher, especially when you have concerns.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences.
  • Establish a consistent routine to make sure your child gets homework done. Show an interest in your child's work.
  • Always talk about school and the teacher in a positive way, even if you have concerns. It is important for children to see home and school as united.
  • Establish regular routines for morning, after school, homework and bedtime.
  • Make sure your child is getting enough sleep, so he can focus at school.
  • Talk to your child daily about school and how she feels it is going. This shows the value of education.
  • Monitor and limit your child's use of technology (TV, computer, internet, video-games, phone and social media).
  • Encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.
  • Celebrate your child's school success at home.

Sources

Everyday Mathematics
Michigan Department of Education Common Core State Standards