Making Sense of Money

In fourth grade, your child will use the four operations to solve word problems involving money. In order to do this, she will first learn to decompose, or break apart, one dollar into smaller units. We call these units: quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. Ask your child: How many quarters make up one dollar? How many quarters make up two dollars?

Decomposing Fractions

To decompose means to break apart. Your child has already decomposed whole numbers with number bonds, tape diagrams, and place value charts. In fourth grade, he will decompose fractions. Three-eighths is a fraction. We can decompose three-eighths into parts using a tape diagram as the visual model.

Units of Measure

In fourth grade, your child will use the metric system to measure length, mass, and capacity. Length refers to the measurement of something from end to end. Long lengths are called distance. Mass refers to the measure of the amount of matter in an object. Capacity refers to the maximum amount that something can contain, commonly called volume.

Partial Products

When your child first learns to multiply two two-digit numbers, she will use the area model. This visual tool illustrates how to decompose numbers and find four different products. As her skills improve, she will move from this pictorial model into a concrete method called partial products. Using partial products to solve forty-three times fifty-six, looks like this. She will start by multiplying tens times tens.

Area Model

When first learning to multiply two two-digit numbers your child will use the area model. To start, your child will use her knowledge of place value to decompose into tens and ones. To decompose means to break apart. Let’s decompose these numbers by the value of each digit. The value of two tens is twenty.