Math Empowers 4

Middletown Township Public Schools

FOURTH GRADE - 4th QUARTER 2016-2017

Is the Way We Teach Math Holding Women Back?

Many Americans suffer from the math misconception that people are either born with a “math brain” or not. In Jo Boaler’s recent article, “The Way We Teach Math Is Holding Women Back,” she discusses how math is a prerequisite for STEM careers. However, due to feelings of inadequacy in math, women are turning away from careers in STEM fields. When mathematics classes become places where students explore ideas, we will start to free students from feelings of inadequacy. If classrooms would dispel the myths about math and teach differently, teachers would improve the lives of many students and enable the creation of a more diverse STEM workforce. It will take a generation of young, creative, adaptable and quantitative thinkers to tackle our society’s problems — thinkers that are currently turning away from mathematics classrooms. To read more click here.

Number Strings

A number string is a set of related math problems designed to foster student thinking and strategy building. A problem is presented, one at a time, and students mentally solve and share their strategies with the class. The teacher records and facilitates conversation about such. They can be used daily or weekly and be used whole class or even small-group. Click here to see some number strings.


Standard: 4.NF.C Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimal fractions.

  • Using hundreds grids, have students color to illustrate equivalent fractions and decimals. For example: 3/10 of 100 blue and then show 3/10 = 30/100 = .30—i.e., three tenths equals thirty hundredths.
  • Have students routinely use mathematical language that connects fractions and decimals equivalents—e.g., read .4 as “four tenths”, .04 as “four hundredths”, .40 as “forty hundredths”, etc.


Standard: 4.MD.A Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

  • Have students investigate measurement through the activities in two of the investigations in the Money, Miles, and Large Numbers unit of the Investigations program, including the “excursion” session entitled “How Far is 1/10 of a Mile?”

Geometric Measurement

Standard: 4.MD.C Geometric measurement: understand concepts of angle and measure angles.

  • Give students practice measuring angles—whole number measurements only—with a protractor by having them measure numerous angles that have been drawn for them— include angles opening to the left, to the right, up, down, and diagonally.
  • Then have students draw angles of given a whole number degree measurements.
  • Have students indicate whether the angles measured or drawn are acute, obtuse, or right angles.


Standard: 4.G.A Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.

  • Have students use geoboards to illustrate points, lines, line segments, rays, angles, perpendicular lines, and parallel lines. Then have then copy them onto dot paper with markers and label each appropriately.
  • Have students locate line segments in the classroom that are parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting but not perpendicular.
  • Have students locate actual streets that are parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting but not perpendicular.

Elementary Math Specialist Danielle Seibert

Please email me or your building Math Specialist with any questions or needs for support. "It takes a village"...let's stick together and share resources. Contact me or your building Math Specialist with any great ideas, tips, or creative classroom hacks that you would like to share with your fellow Grade 4 teachers.