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Fourth grade: What your child should know

Keep tabs on your fourth-grader's development with this handy checklist.

By GreatSchools Staff

No two kids are alike, especially when it comes to hitting developmental benchmarks. But it helps to have a rough idea of which academic and social skills your child should acquire at his or her grade level. Learn more about the fourth-grade classroom in these subject areas: reading, writing, math, science, technology, social studies, the arts, and physical education and health. Or check your state's academic standards to find out what students are required to learn.

By the end of the year, you can expect your child to:

  • Begin to make more decisions and engage in group decision-making
  • Want to be part of a group
  • Think independently and critically
  • Have empathy
  • Show a strong sense of responsibility
  • Have a greater awareness of fairness
  • Be able to memorize and recite facts, although he may not have a deep understanding of them
  • Increase the amount of detail in drawings
  • Work on research projects
  • Write a structured paragraph with an introductory topic sentence, three supporting details, and a closing sentence that wraps up the main idea of the paragraph
  • Use quotations effectively in writing
  • Use a range of strategies when drawing meaning from text, such as prediction, connections, and inference
  • Correct frequently misused words (e.g. too, to, two; their, they’re, there)
  • Understand more complex cause-and-effect relationships
  • Add and subtract decimals, and compare decimals and fractions
  • Multiply multi-digit numbers by two-digit numbers, understanding the concept of place value
  • Divide larger multi-digit numbers by one-digit numbers, understanding the concept of place value
  • Identify points, lines, rays, and angles in two-dimensional figures

Comments from readers

"Thank you! This is very helpful to me because I will be teaching forth grade, and I needed to know what was needed to know... [ for a forth grader] :D Thanks again!!! "
"Im most likely going to be moving from 1st to 4th next year and I'm a little nervous. Excited, yes, but I want to do a great job. I wanted to know what kids are coming with and what they are expected to leave with. This is a great start! Send me more please! "