Are you beginning to plan your year in 4th grade math? Or are you midway through the year and trying to figure out how you are going to fit it all in? Either way, I am here to help with a plan in the form of a pacing guide.
This pacing guide is roughly what I used while teaching 4th grade math to my students in central Texas. I determined how much time to spend on each topic based on the number of readiness TEKS (yes it is TEKS based) covered. I worked backward to create this plan in order to finish up every topic before the big test with time to review.
While each unit is laid out over a specified time span I did not feel the need to rigidly stick to the timeline. As a teacher, you know what is best for your students, and should follow your gut, as some classes may require more time to reach an understanding of a concept.
Place Value-10 Days
During this unit we represent, compare, order, and round numbers up to one billion and down to the hundredths place. This is quite the jump for students coming from 3rd grade, but they can do it! One of the trickier topics during this unit is expanded notation and differentiating it from expanded form. This is a great time to get hands-on with numbers and solidify our students’ number sense.
Decimals outside of money are new to 4th graders! During this unit take the time and break out the manipulatives to make sure students truly understand what a tenth and hundredth are. You will also be comparing and ordering decimals as well as relating them to fractions. The idea that fractions and decimals are related will blow your students’ minds!
May the fraction fun begin! In this unit, students are working to compose and decompose fractions using unit fractions and parts of fractions. They will also compare and order fractions with like and unlike numerators and denominators as well as find equivalent fractions. An important part of this unit is helping students to use benchmark fractions to make comparisons. The fraction fun isn’t over though, it carries on for another week with the next unit!
Addition and Subtraction of Fractions-7 Days
In this unit, students will be expected to add and subtraction fractions with like denominators. I hope you didn’t put away those fractions manipulatives, because they will come in handy here!
Addition and Subtraction-7 Days
In 4th grade math students are expected to add and subtract whole numbers and decimals to the hundredths place. Many students struggle with keeping decimals in place. One thing that helps almost universally is using graph paper to help students line up their place values before adding or subtracting. Make sure you don’t just practice with “naked numbers” because students need to be able to interpret a problem situation and solve.
Multiplication is a doozy. Every year I thought it would be our year, and every year it knocked me down, but we got through it. Multiplication is all about knowing your facts and having multiple strategies to solve. Students are expected to recall their facts as well as multiple two by two digit numbers and up to four by one digit numbers. With multiple strategies, this can be accomplished, but I am not going to tell you it is painless!
When you are celebrating getting through multiplication it is time for division! 4th grade math students are expected to solve division problems with up to a four digit dividend and a one digit divisor. Again, multiple strategies are the way to go. Students who have a firm grasp on their multiplication facts will catch on quickly, but without them, many will struggle. Remainders are important and students should know how to interpret them in a problem situation.
Models and Equations for Solving-8 Days
Models and equations can be a really fun unit for students because it allows them to be very hands-on and really dig into the problem-solving process. I wouldn’t recommend rushing through this unit, but instead taking the time to sure-up student knowledge of all four operations and proving to students the importance of modeling their work.
Multi-Step Problem Solving-7 Days
Multi-step problem solving should be weaved throughout your year, but I like to take some time to explicitly teach strategies that will keep students working in a positive direction. This again gives a little bit of a cushion to continue reviewing the four operations in addition to problem-solving.
Numerical Patterns and Input-Output Tables-8 Days
Students are expected to generate number patterns or input-output tables when given a rule or determine the rule themselves. I love to play games with this unit that ask students to “Stump The Teacher” with their rule. It really gets their creative juices flowing and I wind up with a great bank of questions for the review!
Perimeter and Area-6 Days
Time to break out those measurement charts from the big test and talk about what a formula is. Take some time to talk about why a formula works and real-life situations in which you would need to find perimeter or area. I love to complete sorts where students identify which they are solving for. Moving from the more concrete (square pattern tiles) to the formula helps students to understand exactly what they are looking for.
In 4th grade math geometry is all about a figure’s attributes. How many angles and lines do they have and what type of each? This is another unit to dive into manipulatives with, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
Measuring Angles-6 Days
Oh protractors, how I loathe thee. I still remember when the TEKS changed and 4th grade received this standard all the way from 7th grade. I laughed, but I really wanted to cry.
The truth though is that this standard isn’t that bad, it just requires a lot of practice.
Measurement packs a punch into 4th grade math and asks students to do everything from determining the proper unit to use, to conversions, to elapsed time, to money. Wowwee!
Data and Graphs-9 Days
Time to get knitty gritty and take some class polls! Use this data to build and interpret dot plots, stem and leaf plots, and frequency tables. In 4th grade students are expected to use whole numbers and fractions, so this is a great unit to review fractional parts as well as adding and subtracting fractions.
Financial Literacy-7 Days
Students naturally love to learn about money. These standards involve fixed and variable expenses, finding profit, and the roles financial institutions play. I have yet to meet a student who wasn’t pumped about this unit. It is also a great time to see their entrepreneurial spirit shine!
Wow! You made it! Time to wrap up the year with some review. I spend a day, or two, going back through each unit to answer any questions and fill in any gaps that might have developed along the way.
If you follow this pacing guide you have 163 days of instruction. Of course, we all know the classroom does not always go according to plan. 😉
Where Do You Find Your Units?
Honestly, I couldn’t, so I made my own! You can check out each unit here which is also part of the huge bundle for the whole year of 4th grade math. Each unit includes content vocabulary, a pre-assessment, daily warm-ups and exit tickets, lesson plans with student activities, and a post-assessment along with its own pacing guide and tips for success!
Want your own FREE copy of the pacing guide above? Check it out below!