A quick overview of fourth grade Common Core Standards

Parents of fourth graders will see a fair number of changes, and new expectations, in classroom work under the new standards. For students to be successful, teachers and parents need to be strong partners and have a clear understanding of the learning goals. (Download our Common Core cheat sheet for parents of fourth graders.)

Examples of skills fourth graders should learn under Common Core

4th grade reading skills

1) Using increasingly sophisticated decoding and fluency abilities to tackle more challenging novels, nonfiction books, and online research.
2) Identifying and explaining elements of different kinds of text. Discussing the verse, rhythm, and meter in poetry; the cast of characters, settings, and dialogues in stories; and the timeline, diagrams, and cause and effect in a nonfiction text.
3) Inferring – a new, subtle skill – to answer questions. Your child needs to point to a few different examples to show how a text conveys a point or outcome that’s never expressly stated.

Want more? Read our complete article, Your fourth grader’s reading under the Common Core Standards.

4th grade writing skills

1) Conducting research projects — both independently and as part of group work – by taking notes in their own words on what they read in novels, nonfiction books, periodicals, and digital sources, then reviewing and categorizing the new knowledge.
2) Spending more time on the planning stage of writing. Fourth graders should brainstorm ideas, read and reread, take notes, find additional sources, discuss aloud how new knowledge fits in with what they knew before, and visually organize what they plan to write.
3) Using storytelling techniques, descriptive details, and clear sequences to write compelling tales; using facts, definitions, details, quotes, and examples to develop a report; presenting research-supported reasons to support any written opinion.

Want more? Read our complete article, Your fourth grader and writing under the Common Core Standards.

4th grade math skills

1) Solving multistep word problems using the four operations – including division problems where there is a remainder. Write equations for these problems where x is the unknown number, and use mental math to assess whether their answer is reasonable.
2) Generating number or shape patterns that follow a given rule – and identifying rules of the pattern that are not spelled out.
3) Comparing two fractions with different numerators and denominators by creating common denominators or by comparing new fractions to benchmark fractions such as 1/2.

Building skills at home

1) Do pizza math! Cut 3 pizzas into 4, 8, and 12 slices. How many slices are there in one half of each pizza? If you eat one fourth of the 12-slice pizza, how many slices would that be of the 4-slice pizza – or the 8-slice pizza?
2) Fourth graders need access to books that fuel their interests and enhance their own special view of the world. Check the library or a bookstore for recommendations that are subject (and age!) appropriate.
3) Model patience with homework. Especially at first, children (and parents) may feel confused by new homework. When parents set the example, children learn to work hard, persist, and stay positive.

See skills in action

Go to Milestones.GreatKids.org to watch videos of fourth graders demonstrating strong reading, writing, and math skills.

What’s next?

Wondering what’s in store in fifth grade? Check out Your fifth grader and Common Core: a cheat sheet.

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