A Parent's Guide to Fourth Grade Skills and Success

girl working in elementary school class
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In fourth grade, children's social lives begin to get more complicated and the academic demands they face grow as well, but parents can help them through this crucial year by identifying the reading, math, and science skills required to master the grade level.

This fourth-grade guide for parents offers tips on helping children deal with cliques, heavy backpacks, and more. 

Fourth Grade Basics

  • What You Can Expect in Fourth Grade: Here's a brief overview of what you can expect in your child's fourth-grade year.
  • What Do Kids Learn in Fourth Grade?: Kids learn a number of new things in fourth grade, both socially and academically. Just as the formation of cliques begins to increase and complicate your child's social life, the academic ante is upped as well, requiring a student to not only to be responsible for their own work but to effectively work in groups as well.
  • Signs of Learning Difficulties in Fourth Grade: Fourth grade is a year when children are expected to take on new challenges, and it's important to be on the lookout for signs of trouble. Such signs vary, but if your child is consistently showing trouble in any of the areas covered here, it's a good idea to check in with their teacher or pediatrician for a closer look.
  • Fourth Grade Science Topics: Your fourth grader will tackle physical science, Earth and space sciences, and biology this year.

Fourth Grade Reading, Writing, and Math

  • Books for Students Entering Fourth Grade: By the time your child is ready to enter fourth grade, they not only have a good grasp on the rudimentary skills required for reading and comprehension, but they've also been introduced to a number of different genres during third-grade reading. Add some poetry and folk legends to their library.
  • The Forgiving Method of Long Division: Some teachers are using a new technique known as the Forgiving Method of Long Division. Learn how to help your child with this math homework.
  • Order of Operations: Many parents last took algebra years ago, making it hard to give children the math help they need. The most important thing to remember is that your child does the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in the right order.
  • Math Games Online: These websites offer a variety of fun online math games that encourage the development of addition, subtraction, and other math skills.
  • Fourth Grade Math Course of Study: The Common Core State Standards Initiative details some basic concepts that should be mastered by the end of the fourth grade school year.

Helping Your Fourth Grader

  • Fourth Grade Science Fair Project Ideas: According to science writer Anne Helmenstine, PhD, "Great fourth-grade science fair projects involve answering a question, solving a problem or testing a hypothesis."
  • Questions to Ask Your School About High-Stakes Tests: Even if you know a lot about the mechanics of high-stakes tests, you should pose questions to school district officials about which ones schools use and why.
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  1. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. What are some signs of learning disabilities?