Van BurenElementary School

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4th Grade

Skills Acquired During 4th Grade
There is definitely a faster pace for teaching in the 4th grade, which will be both exciting and challenging for your child. It's not unusual for lessons in social studies, math, reading, and science to be taught in 30- to 45-minute blocks. In addition, your child’s teacher will likely teach “across the curriculum,” using reading, writing, and math to enhance lessons in other academic subjects.
Preparing for 4th Grade Reading

Your child will:

  • Read a newspaper or grade-level book
  • Produce projects demonstrating reading comprehension (for example, a book report, poster, diorama, skit, mobile, or book jacket)
  • Differentiate between fiction and nonfiction
  • Ask and answer critical questions about characters and plot that explore similarities, contrasts, and hypothetical scenarios
  • Integrate reading skills with science, social studies, and math
  • Read aloud in order to improve vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency

Preparing for 4th Grade Writing and Verbal Communication

Your child will:

  • Refine cursive handwriting (longhand)
  • Take notes from reference materials and organize them
  • Complete longer research assignments, ranging from three to four pages, supplemented by illustrations (such as graphs or pictures) and at least three outside sources (for example, books, newspapers, and encyclopedias)
  • Use higher-level vocabulary words, including synonyms and antonyms
  • Write for a purpose: to explain, to describe, to persuade, to entertain, etc.
  • Polish written assignments through revision; correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes
  • Participate in group or team projects
  • Present oral reports

Preparing for 4th Grade Math

Your child will:

  • Practice long division with double-digit divisors
  • Practice multiplication with two- and three-digit numbers
  • Begin work with fractions and decimals
  • Calculate perimeter and averages
  • Use a calculator
  • Know when and how to incorporate various mathematical operations during problem solving
  • Understand that there is more than one way to solve a math problem
  • Become more proficient at “mental math” (doing calculations in her head)


Your child will:

  • Explore why something happens — for example, why do planets revolve around the sun, or why do plants grow when they are watered?
  • Analyze, predict, observe, and think scientifically
  • Explain how an answer to a scientific question is found

History and Social Studies

Your child will:

  • Know home-state history, from learning the state motto to understanding what life was like for the state’s founding settlers
  • Identify branches of the U.S. government
  • Know key events and dates studied in American history
  • Be proficient in United States geography
  • Read nonfiction books, such as biographies of historical figures, to enhance knowledge