Math Empowers 4

Middletown Township Public Schools

Grade 4 - Third Trimester 2018-2019

Follow Dan Finkel on Twitter! @MathforLove

Have you seen Dan Finkel’s TEDx talk? If not, click here: Five Principles of Extraordinary Math will soon be hooked! After obtaining his Ph.D. in mathematics, Dan became dedicated to understanding and teaching the motivation, history, aesthetics, and deep structure of mathematics. Like many of us, Dan has made it his goal to “give everyone the chance to fall in love with mathematics.” Check out, where you can find a free lesson library and information about learning through play with two great games called Prime Climb & Tiny Polka Dot, both of which foster a love for mathematics.

Pi Day is March 14

When it comes to planning Pi Day activities, it may be a challenge. Here is a resource that won’t disappoint, or check out this list of ideas. Consider showing this awesome video from MashUp Math on the number Pi to celebrate Pi Day.

20 Days of Number Sense & Rich Math Talk (K-12)

Steve Wyborney (creator of many popular numbers sense routines for K-12), has just finished and released a project that took him 7 months to complete. It's called 20 Days of Number Sense & Rich Math Talk - 20 days of lessons that give students a really good opportunity to experience number sense - and to experience very rich math discourse. He leveled the lessons so that they are available and accessible to ALL elementary students.

Included in this project are 4 different activities (and 5 days of each activity). Here is the breakdown:

Days 1-5: Estimation Clipboard

Days 6-10: Splat Activities

Days 11-15: Esti-Mysteries

Days 16-20: Cube Conversations

Your students will LOVE these activities...ask your math specialist if you have any questions or need any assistance.

Represent and Interpret Data - 4.MD.B4

In the third trimester, student must be able to make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8) and solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions by using information presented in line plots. You may want to consider supplementing with this Engage NY lesson on solving word problems with line plots.

Geometric Measurement: Understand Concepts of Angle and Measure Angles. - 4.MD.C

Fourth graders are expected to be able to recognize angles, measure angles, and draw angles by the end of the year. They must also recognize angle measure as additive. Try an interactive site like Angle Types, Alien Angles, or Measure the Angle to engage students in measuring angles.

Draw and Identify Lines and Angles and Classify Shapes - 4.G.A

Students must also be able to draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. They are expected to classify two-dimensional figures based on their lines and angles. In addition, students will need to recognize and draw lines of symmetry. Try an interactive site like Symmetry Matching or Symmetry Sorting to help students with symmetry.

Understand Decimal Notation for Fractions - 4.NF.C5 and 4.NF.C6

Fourth graders will need to be able to express a fraction with denominator 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator 100 and use this technique to add two fractions with respective denominators 10 and 100. In addition, they will need to use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100. Try out Decimal Darts or Matching Decimal Hundredths Game for these two standards. Or try having students create a "Numbers Between Poster" where students have to find numbers between two consecutive tenths. An example picture is shown.

Order Decimals - 4.NF.C7

Consider using the Investigations Game "Smaller to Larger" to compare and order fractions with your students. In this game, students take turns to order fractions on a game mat. Use a combination of Decimal Card Set A and the supplemental Decimal Card Set C with your students.

Compare Two Decimals - 4.NF.C7

The Investigations game "Decimal Compare" is an engaging game in which students have to compare decimals. Teachers can use the resource, "Decimal Compare - How to Play" to model the game for students. Similar to the game "Smaller to Larger," students can use a combination of Decimal Card Set A and the supplemental Decimal Card Set C to play.

Procedural Understanding vs. Conceptual Understanding

Students often perform mathematical tasks without true understanding of what or why they are doing them. Performing procedures for tasks is very different than understanding the task itself. Take, for example, the problem 4 3/4 - 2 1/2; would students be able to obtain the correct difference presented in a real-world application, such as how far apart are these distances listed on a freeway sign? Consider this when launching a new concept - can this topic be presented in a real world-application first, to obtain the conceptual understanding prior to building procedural understanding? "Procedural skill is still an essential piece but it is just as important as developing their conceptual understanding and the ability to apply mathematics. Often times we teach students how to do mathematics with the belief that they will be able to apply it when the moment comes." This is not always the case. To read more about this idea, please read these eye-opening articles, here and here

New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA), Formerly Known as PARCC

Fourth grade students will soon be taking the NJSLA. Consider showing students these NJSLA practice tests to bolster confidence with the format and types of questions they will encounter. For more, click here.

Danielle Seibert

Elementary Math Specialist