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Things Your Child Should Know Before Entering Fourth Grade

Posted by Sarah Rutzler on September 11, 2017

By the end of third grade, children are exposed to different types of writings. Getting ready for fourth grade involves using language and writing in different subjects, meaning they will not only know how to write stories in reading, but will know how to use these skills in math, social studies, and science. Children will start taking their basic math skills to the next level. They have learned an important step in math: multiplication. Children who are ready for fourth grade will know and understand how to use multiplication.

Here is an example checklist of what a child needs to know before starting fourth grade (checklist can vary based on your state’s academic standards).


Reading and Reading Comprehension Skills

  • Understand different genres of fiction 
  • Determine the main idea and details in a story
  • Use other forms of print (newspapers, magazines, websites)
  • Compare and contrast information in multiple texts and learn how to use organizational methods (Venn diagrams, maps, webs)
  • Recall and retell events from a story in order
  • Tell how the author uses details to support their story or text
  • Discuss a story or topic with their classmates (ask and respond to questions)
  • Read grade level assigned books


Writing Skills

  • Use linking words (because, since, therefore, for example)
  • Know how to write a story with a beginning, middle, and an end.  
  • Know how to revise, edit, and proofread their work
  • Know how to write expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative essays
  • Use prefixes, suffixes, homophones, and root words
  • Write in cursive (depending on your district)
  • Use reference books (dictionary, thesaurus)
  • Know proper punctuation
  • Understand the parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives)


Mathematic Skills

  • Work with larger whole numbers
  • Solve two-three step word problems 
  • Know times tables up to twelve and how to multiply numbers by ten
  • Know how to solve and explain addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems
  • Read and write up to six-digit numbers
  • Understand and identify fractions
  • Know how to compare two fractions (ex: 1/2 is bigger than 1/4)
  • Understand and know the value of money
  • Solve problems using money
  • Understand weight and volume
  • Begin to master multiplication
  • Read charts and graphs (bar graphs, pie graphs)

Social Studies Skills 

  • Basic understanding of a map
  • Know major rivers and why they are important 
  • Know the importance of Ancient Rome
  • Research and explore the thirteen colonies
  • Master Native American culture
  • Know how methods of travel changed throughout time 

Science Skills

  • Know about the stars
  • Know about natural system relationships (sun, Earth, moon)
  • Recognize and know that the same materials can exist in different areas (solid, gas, liquid)
  • Observe behaviors of sound and light
  • Make smart predictions about an experiment 
  • Master classifying animals (vertebrates vs. invertebrates, warm-blooded vs. cold-blooded) 

Social Skills and Abilities 

  • Work independently 
  • Interact with peers and explore concepts
  • Work cooperatively in a group
  • Follow directions and participate in group activities
  • Share and communicate appropriately with other students
  • Respect their peers
  • Sit for a longer period of time than in third grade (90 minutes)


Click the links below to see an outlined model curriculum for fourth grade (note this outline is for the state of New Jersey. State model curriculums will vary)





"Grade-by-Grade Learning: Third Grade." PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, 20 Sept. 2012. Web. 30 Aug. 2017. 

GreatSchools Staff | February 24, 2016 Print Article. "Third Grade: What Your Child Should Know." Parenting. Great!Schools, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 30 Aug. 2017.

Morin, Amanda. "Academic Skills Your Child Needs for Fourth Grade." Understood.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2017. 

Taylor, Melissa. "What Your Third Grader Should Know." Sylvan Learning Blog. 21 Nov. 2014. Web. 30 Aug. 2017. 

Tornio, Stacy. "25 Things Every 3rd Grader Needs to Know." WeAreTeachers. 19 Oct. 2016. Web. 30 Aug. 2017.

Topics: Math, Education, Reading Comprehension, Writing Skills, Enhanced Learning, Fourth Grader, Academic Standards

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