Differentiated Math Fact Practice

Making Ten

4th Grade Resources



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Fourth Grade Math Review

Spring is here and most people think of flowers and sunshine and all sorts of happy things.  But if you are a teacher, there's a very good chance that spring makes you think some not so happy thoughts like end of the year testing.  Although that test always seems to loom in the back of our minds, there's something about spring that brings it to the forefront.  Today I'm here to share some resources to make your Fourth Grade Math Review a lot easier!



Whether you are looking specifically for a test prep review or just and end of the year review, these fourth grade math resources are perfect.  As you see each of these resources you will see that some look more "test prep" than others.  If you are using this as an end of year review that is not connected with testing, distance learning due to emergency school closures, or just an end of the year check for your students then you might like the resources that look less like test prep and more like fun math practice.  That's the great thing about these fourth grade math review resources, they are so versatile!

Let's Start With Planning

Sometimes just trying to figure out how to fit it all in is half the battle.  I've done the hard part for you!  I have put together a daily plan to help you review all of the fourth grade math standards.  There is a 5 week plan and a 3 week plan so that you can choose the one that will work best for you.  By following one of these plans you will be reviewing all of the standards that your students need to know.  Since I teach in Texas, this plan is based on the TEKS, however, there are many, many similarities between the TEKS, CCSS and other state standards.  I don't know about you, but once I have a plan things go much smoother.  Here's you plan!


Task Cards

I just love task cards, don't you.  By the time we get to test or review time, our students don't want to see another math problem.  {Feel free to read that with as much groaning as you can muster!} I can hand out a worksheet with 20 problems and my students groan, mumble and lose a little bit of engagement.  But if I take 20 math problems on task cards and post them around the room or the school and I tell them we are doing a scavenger hunt - well you'd of thought I just gave them a no homework pass!  It really is amazing how much the presentation can play into student engagement and excitement.  Look at these examples from the FREE Measuring Angles Task Card Set:





I totally get why students love them.  One question at a time to focus on and think about, add some movement to help those kinesthetic learners and task cards quickly become a class favorite.

In this set of fourth grade math task cards, I have put together standard specific task cards for all of the fourth grade math standards.  What does this mean?  Well, if you are using that handy dandy plan I mentioned earlier, you can pull the task cards that align to the standards for the day and your activity is ready to go!

Do you use technology for activities in your classroom?  I have these standards based task cards in printable or digital form (Google Classroom ready or Boom version).

Printable Version
Google Classroom Ready
Boom Cards Version
You can find all the Fourth Grade Standards Based Task Cards in my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.  If you'd like to save money, you can purchase the bundle that includes all printable and digital task cards!

Puzzles and Games

Another way to get your students reviewing and practicing these important math skills is with math puzzles.  These hands-on activities will bring a smile to your students faces because they are different and don't feel so much like math problems.  


These puzzles are also great for intervention or small group instruction.  As you guide through the steps of solving the problem you can add a piece to the puzzle.  Then let the students put the puzzle together while talking through the steps and thinking for the problem.  Seeing, hearing, touching, moving - that's what I call a multi-sensory approach to math!

You can find all of the fourth grade math puzzles here!

Short Daily Quizzes

Whether you call these a quiz, morning work a bell ringer or exit ticket, these short daily quizzes are a wealth of information for you as you prepare your students.  Each of these quiz sets focuses one math standard.  Each quiz is 5 standardized testing style questions. 


I like to use them in a couple different ways.  Some years I use them before we review the standard to see where the class is so I know what to focus on during out review time.  Other years I have used them after our review time to check mastery of the skill.  You could even use them both.  Give the quiz as a pre-review gauge but DO NOT give the students the answers.  Instead use the information to determine where you need to focus, set-up small groups based on need, etc.  Then complete the other review activities for this standard.  After reviewing the math standard with some different activities like task cards and puzzles, give the students the same daily quiz again. When the students say "we already did this" just answer them with something like "well then it should be easy!" 

Once you have the pre and post quiz you have some valuable information in your hands.  You can clearly see who has mastered this topic and who is still struggling.  This makes great data for planning future instruction.

You can find all of the standards based Daily Quizzes on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Resources for Intervention

After getting that great data from the quizzes you might find the need for some intervention for some students.  I have put together some additional guided practice sheets that are perfect for intervention.  You can also use these with the entire class if you feel the class needs a little more intensive review of a specific skill or concept.

These skill based intervention packets include a mini-lesson and three practice pages.  There is a set for Tier I intervention (students struggling on grade level) and another set for Tier II and Tier III interventions (students working below grade level).


Your Comprehensive Plan

If you want everything in one place so that you can download, print and use today - then you will love this Fourth Grade Math Review Bundle.  This bundles includes everything!  You get the 5 week and 3 week plan, the task cards, the puzzles and the daily quizzes.  This bundle also includes extra guided practice sheets that are perfect for intervention.  Everything you need to do a great review before test time or for the end of the year.


My hope is that now you are little less stressed about the upcoming weeks and months.  Instead fill your mind with those happy thoughts of spring.  Thoughts of students happily practicing math, mastering concepts and loving the process of learning.

Creating Effective Math Lessons

What exactly are effective math lessons?  If your answer has to do with students getting the correct answer, passing a test or even liking math, then I will have to disagree with you.  Sometimes as teachers I think we get too wrapped up in answers and we don't focus enough on the process.  
 How to Create Effect Math Lessons

A Different Way of Teaching

So often our math methodology involves telling the student what steps to follow and then having them practice, practice, practice.  It's kind of like serving a grilled cheese sandwich to them every day for lunch.  Eventually, they get bored and frustrated.  However, if instead of serving a grilled cheese sandwich we just provided the ingredients and the opportunity to learn to make it, we give them so much more.  

Math is the same way.  It's easy for us to tell because that is what teachers are supposed to do, right?  Well, not exactly.  We actually rob our students of opportunities to learn to DO math themselves.  Math is thinking, it's problem-solving.  Not just a 'look for the keywords' kind of problem-solving but the 'think it through' kind of problem-solving. 
 How to Create an Effectice Math Lesson

One of the wisest things I was ever told about math is this, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."  {Please don't email about this being an animal cruelty statement.  No cats were harmed - just wisdom shared which I wanted to pass on to you too!}  For most kinds of math problems, there is more than one way to get to the correct answer.  Our students need to know this and they need to know how to think through it.  Let's give them the ingredients and the opportunities and see what they can do.

This, my friends, teaching our students to think through math, is what I call an effective math lesson.  Answers don't have to be right for learning to happen.  In fact, I dare say that more learning happens with incorrect answers when we challenge our students to find their mistakes.

So what does this look like in the classroom?

Well, it has to start with us, the teachers.  We have to be willing to take the first step - the hardest one.  We have to be willing to do things differently.  Instead of thinking of yourself as a math teacher, think of yourself as a problem-solving facilitator.  Give your students the ingredients, offer guidance when needed, and then let them loose to see what they figure out on their own.
For example, you might give them the sum and one of the addends and ask them to figure out the other addend: 5 + ? = 9. You will see that students will approach this differently.  Some will use a counting up method while others use subtraction.  Some will draw a picture and others will grab manipulatives.  Are any of these wrong?  Absolutely not.  Are any of these the right way?  Yes, all of them!   Regardless of how the students get there, they will work it out while being focused and engaged in the learning.  In their own ways, they will remember what they did and be able to do it again in the future.  They might even learn a new method from a classmate.
 How to Create and Effective Math Lesson

Do it again and again.  Give your students lots of opportunities to figure it out themselves.  Model math talk and problem-solving thinking.  Talk about math and make math a normal part of everyday life.  We can change the environment of the math classroom by changing the methodology.  It won't be easy, because we have to change ourselves first.  But we can do it! We can create effective math lessons.
Before your next math lesson say this to yourself: "Don't tell them what to do, give them the ingredients."

Where Do I Start?

Do you need a little help figuring out where to start?  I have put together several problem-solving pages that will give you the start you need.  Did you know that there are 11 different types of addition and subtraction problems?  Here's an amazing bundle that gives your students practice in all of the problem types.
 First Grade Problem Solving

Create a Classroom of Problem Solvers

Have you ever heard the statement "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime?"  It's this exact concept that we can put into practice in our classrooms.  We can tell them what to do or we can teach them to think like problem solvers.  I don't know about you but I want the latter for my students. 

Save this for Later . . .

Just pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you come back when you are ready to teach your students important problem-solving skills.

Texas Test Prep: Are You Ready for the Fourth Grade Math Test?

Texas Test Prep Fourth Grade Math Review

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What are you doing for your fourth-grade math test review? I have created this detailed review plan to make that seemingly overwhelming task a bit easier this spring.  I have used this review with success in my fourth-grade classroom and you can too!
Fourth Grade Math STAAR Texas Text Prep Plan

There is both a five-week version and a three-week version.  It is not meant to take the place of teaching the standards but as a comprehensive review covering what has been taught throughout the year.  It covers all of the tested standards and puts an emphasis on the Readiness Standards.  You may purchase it here.
 Fourth Grade Math STAAR Texas Test Prep Plan Fourth Grade Math STAAR Texas Test Prep Plan
 Fourth Grade Math STAAR Texas Test Prep Plan

This Test Prep outline gives you a template to review all the fourth-grade TEKS for the STAAR test in May.  Both are one-page outlines that cover all the important concepts contained on the STAAR test.
This outline was put together based on my research of all information that has been published by the Texas Education Agency, including the “Introduction to the REVISED MATHEMATICS TEKS” and the Fourth Grade “Release Test Questions” in math.
I have also begun publishing resources to supplement the outline.  
Daily Quizzes
There is a complete set of daily Quizzes for all 13 Readiness Standards Fourth Grade Math TEKS that you may get here.
Fourth Grade Math Test Prep Readiness Standards Quizzes
   Fourth Grade Math Texas Test Prep Readiness Standards Quizzes
The daily quizzes are part of my Texas Math Test Prep materials for fourth grade. Included are one-page Daily Quizzes for all thirteen Fourth Grade Math Readiness TEKS. Each quiz includes five rigorous questions as STAAR test practice. The quizzes may be used for a quick check of mastery of the standard as well as for practice.  Answers keys are also included for all quizzes. They are aligned with the TEKS, but may also be used to review the testing related to the Common Core State Standards.
 Fourth Grade Math Texas Test Prep Readiness Standards Quizzes Fourth Grade Math Texas Test Prep Readiness Standards Quizzes
Crunch Time Quiz 4.2bCrunch Time 4.2G
Quizzes covering all 41 standards are in the works.  You may purchase this growing bundle here.
 Fourth Grade Texas Test Prep Math Quizzes

Task Cards
Task cards are part of my Texas Math Test Prep materials for fourth grade. When finished it will include over 18 sets of 32 task cards aligned to the TEKS.  They include rigorous questions as STAAR test practice. They may be used for a quick check of mastery of the standard as well as for practice.  Answers keys are also included for all task cards.  It is aligned with the Texas TEKS, but may also be used to review the testing related to the Common Core State Standards.
 Fourth Grade Test Prep Task Card Bundle

Puzzles and Games:

Puzzles and games are also part of my Texas Math Test Prep materials for fourth grade. It will include many types of puzzles and games to review the standards.  Again, all will be aligned with the Texas TEKS, but may also be used to review the testing related to the Common Core State Standards.  Here are some puzzles to get you started.
 Fourth Grade Math Puzzles and Games

Tier I Guided Practice:

Tier 1 Guided Practice may be used for your students who have demonstrated to be on level as a comprehensive review of each standard.  It may also be used as an assessment to determine the need for further intervention.
 Fourth Grade Texas Math Test Prep Guided Practice 

RTI Tier 2 and 3

Tier II students perform below grade level and can benefit from small group instruction.  Tier III students test more than two years below grade level and need more intense and possibly one-on-one or pull-out intervention.  Students who need further intervention at Tier 2 or 3 level will benefit from the Crunch Time Intervention resources for each standard.
 Fourth Grade  Math Texas Test Prep RTI 2 and 3

More Review Resources:

I will be publishing more resources to support the five-week outline including, intervention materials, daily guided practice, and enrichment.  All are aligned with the Texas TEKS, but may also be used to review the testing related to the Common Core State Standards.  This is a growing bundle that you may get here.
 Crunch Time Texas Test Prep Bundle

Test prep season is here!  I hope that these resources will make things a little easier for you this spring.  You will be happy with what they can do for your test scores and kids will love them too.


To Have Homework...Or Not To Have Homework?

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Assigning homework has been a hotly debated topic in recent years, and for good reason. The traditional theory argues that homework offers students additional time to practice and reinforce the skills presented in class.  However, theory and reality are two different worlds, particularly with math homework at the elementary level.

Assigning homework has been a hotly debated topic in recent years, and for good reason. The traditional theory argues that homework offers students additional time to practice and reinforce the skills presented in class.  However, theory and reality are two different worlds, particularly with math homework at the elementary level.


The Downside to Assigning Homework

The most significant drawback to assigning homework is that you, as a teacher, may have to undo what a student has done and practiced.  Then, you will need to re-teach the lesson so the students comprehend and master the material.   

Do you assign homework?  Should we even be giving homeworkanymore?  Is homework effective?  What are some alternatives to homework?

What if you have a student who ...

  • doesn’t really understand the concepts?
  • has poor number sense?
  • has a parent at home “helping” to simply get the schoolwork done?
  • has a parent who CAN'T help them because of language or some other barrier?
  • rushes through assignments to just get it done?
  • uses math aids to finish the work (computer, calculator, etc)?
  • is fabulous with rote memorization, but still doesn’t quite understand number sense?
  • can’t quite figure out the assignment out of context or out of the classroom?
Researchers are learning that assigning homework can backfire for the child who doesn’t understand the concepts. While it seems perfectly logical that homework will strengthen the required math skills, the opposite can happen.

Alternatives to Homework 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should adopt a “one and done” policy, either, where you don’t practice and reinforce new skills. To work toward true mastery, the application of skills IS important. And of course, many schools REQUIRE the assignment of homework.

Daily cumulative review

Based on my experience along with recent research in the field, I think that daily cumulative review is a better solution for mastery and retention.  Math concepts and skills will spiral, scaffold, and layer as students age. By providing a daily cumulative review in your classroom (instead of homework), you will notice the disparity in your students’ knowledge base much sooner than you would by correcting homework assignments during non-school hours. 
  • This allows the children to ask you questions directly when they are confused.
  • You can address and misconceptions much sooner.
My cumulative review of choice: Number of the Day More about Number of the Day here.

Projects & Assessment: A better way to practice!

The true test in math isn’t rote memorization, but rather, applying new skills to problems or a solo or group project.

For instance, if you have been working on area and perimeter, you could assign a project to determine the length of fencing needed around a yard or playground near their home (there are so many great variations on this theme!). 

While doing an individual or group project, incorporate informal questions as a form of assessment to check for mastery. The process:
  1. Students work on a real-world problem related to what students are learning in class, either independently or in groups.
  2. Students explain their thinking to another student or in small groups, sharing different ways that were used to solve the problem.
  3. Further, check for understanding by having students write about how they solved the problem.
How we review projects and tasks becomes as important as the work itself. We must move beyond just getting answers to allowing students to justify how the problem was solved. How do we accomplish this with such limited, precious time?
This is a little cheat-sheet that I use when I review the problem-solving process with my students and follow-up on student work:
Math Talk Freebie
Click to get it free here.

Benefits to In-Class Work
Transitions to higher levels of math will be much easier when students have strong number sense.  By observing the review process firsthand, you can see the progress students are making in developing number sense.
  • First, it is easy to "check for understanding".
  • Second, you can spot common misconceptions early on and very quickly determine who needs more intensive small group work.  Then, you can individually guide and coach students as they further practice skills.
  • Third, you can easily see how students have created meaning for themselves by observing the problem-solving process.
I use anecdotal notes on a regular basis to assess students as they work.  More on my system here. 
What if I am REQUIRED to assign homework?
Try assigning only one problem that requires deeper thinking rather than a bunch of problems that are void of any real-work context. Here is an example of a one problem homework assignment:
Should I assign homework?
Click here to get this free template.

Bottom Line

Research indicates that students with no homework are NOT at a disadvantage.   Why not try these ideas and see what you think? You may simplify things and have less preparation for your classes, while your students will LOVE having NO homework!

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