Guide to 4th grade standards


Welcome to Grade 4!

A Family’s Guide to the Kentucky Academic Standards

This guide was made to help families understand the Kentucky Academic Standards and to show what children will learn by the end of 4th grade. This tool provides information about the key ideas and skills teachers will introduce in mathematics, reading and writing, science and social studies. It includes possible examples of what students will be asked to do in class, how to help your child at home, questions you can ask your 4th-grader and questions families can ask their child’s teacher.

This guide also was designed to help parents understand how they can work with teachers to support the learning of their 4th-grader. When teachers and families work together to help students master Kentucky’s Academic Standards, students can succeed by developing the skills they will need for life after graduation.

If you have questions about this information or if your child needs extra help, please contact your child’s teacher.

How are the standards organized?

The Kentucky Academic Standards are organized differently based on the content area. Some of
the Kentucky Academic Standards are arranged grade-by-grade, while others are grouped into several grade levels, such as “high school” for grades 9-12. In all subjects, the standards show what students should learn and be able to do,
but not how those learning experiences are to
be designed or what resources should be used. For more information on the Kentucky Academic Standards, visit to readthe complete standards and nd standards-relatedresources.


Why are the Kentucky Academic

Standards important?

Kentucky Academic Standards are important because they help make sure that all students, no matter where they live or what school they attend, have the skills they need to go after a successful future. Standards represent a goal or outcome
of a subject area (such as mathematics, reading and writing, science and social studies). They help set clear and consistent expectations for what students should know and be able to do from kindergarten through high school. The standards are not a curriculum and do not determine the design of a lesson plan or how units should be organized. Decisions on how best to help students meet the goals in the standards are left to local school districts and teachers.





During 4th grade, students will develop the ability to add and subtract whole numbers greater than nine using an algorithm (a set of rules). Your child will:

  • Use all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) with whole numbers;

  • Recognize the relationship between fractions and decimals and generate factors and multiples for

    numbers; and

  • Strengthen previous understanding of properties of 2D objects and the use of them to solve problems

    involving symmetry.


Grade 4 Mathematics

Examples of Your Child’s Work at School:

  • Knowing multiplication facts up to 12 x 12 and their related division facts;

  • Adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers with the same denominator;

  • Multiplying fractions by a whole number;

  • Converting larger units of measurement to smaller units;

  • Using formulas to nd area and perimeter of rectangles;

  • Using tools (e.g. protractor) to measure and draw angles; and

  • Finding unknown angles in a diagram to solve real-world problems.

    How to Help Your Child at Home:

  • Compare numbers using “times as much.” For example, “If the family cat weighs eight pounds and the family dogs weighs 56 pounds, how many times as much does the dog weigh?”

  • Compare fractional amounts in recipes.

  • Do activities that use fractions (for example, baking, measuring and driving). Ask your child, “How many 1/4

    cups would we need to make 1/2 cup? How far have we walked today, if we walked 6/4 of a mile in the morning

    and 3/4 of a mile in the afternoon?”

  • Encourage your 4th-grader to persevere in solving a problem, even when it becomes dif cult.

    Questions You Can Ask Your Child:

  • We need 1/2 cup of milk. How many times do we need to ll the 1/4 measuring cup to make 1/2 cup of milk?

  • How many times older am I than you?

  • What is the perimeter and area of the rectangular garden, basketball court, playground area, etc., in our


    Questions You Can Ask Your Child’s Teacher:

  • What are some of the strategies my child is using to multiply or divide larger numbers?

  • In what ways does my child show how to add and subtract fractions?

  • What do you think is giving my child the most trouble? How can I help her or him improve?

  • How can I support my child?



During 4th grade, students will develop the stamina and skills to support more complex reading and thinking about text, as well as writing about what they have read. Your child will:

  • Use different strategies to read unknown words and words that have many syllables;

  • Listen to, read, talk and write about 4th-grade ction and non ction using clues from the text to help make

    sense of and analyze what they have read;

  • Practice writing various types of products, including opinion pieces, informational products and stories

    using evidence to support points and ideas;

  • Speak and write appropriately using parts of speech, capitalization and punctuation, as well as language

    that shows a growing vocabulary; and

  • Use print and digital resources to clarify pronunciation, spelling and meaning.


Grade 4 Reading and Writing

Examples of Your Child’s Work at School:

  • Reading uently on grade-level;

  • Analyzing the overall structure in a text or part of the text the author uses to organize the events, ideas,

    concepts or information;

  • Composing opinions on topics or texts with supporting reasons and information from print or digital

    resources; and

  • Choosing a strategy to determine the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases.

    How to Help Your Child at Home:

  • Select a poem or story on your child’s reading level and practice reading it aloud repeatedly with accuracy and expression.

  • Select two or three objects around your home. Ask your child to explain how the objects are similar to and different from each other.

  • Talk about events that happened throughout the day. Ask your child to explain why the events happened.

  • Express an opinion about a subject or issue and provide reasons to support that opinion.

    Questions You Can Ask Your Child:

  • What are you reading in class? What can you tell me about the text?

  • Can you connect with what is happening in the text? Why or why not?

  • What have you learned from the text? (Remember, text can be anything that communicates a message, so

    the learning could come from listening to a presenter, watching a video or reading a billboard, for example.)

  • Can you show me a sample of some writing you have done recently? Tell me about how you decided what you would write. Show me a section of your writing you are proud of/still working on/would like to make better.

    Questions You Can Ask Your Child’s Teacher:

  • What is my child reading and writing about at school, and what topics are being explored?

  • What vocabulary words does my child need to learn?

  • How can I encourage learning at home and what resources do I need to support my child?



During 4th grade, your child will learn skills that promote analysis and interpretation of data, critical thinking,problem solving and connections across different scienti c elds, such as geology, biology and engineering.Your child will:

  • Describe patterns in models of waves, such as their height and wavelength;

  • Develop an understanding of the speci c functions of plant and animal anatomy.

  • Learn about energy and how it connects to speed; and

  • Apply engineering design principles to test different bridge designs in order to pick the best one.


Grade 4 Science

Examples of Your Child’s Work at School:

  • Using patterns of rock formations and fossils to construct an explanation of how environments change over time;

  • Making observations or taking measurements to determine the effects of weather and erosion on shaping the land;

  • Planning and conducting investigations to explore how light and sight are related; and

  • Comparing multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria

    and constraints of the problem.

    How to Help Your Child at Home:

  • Have your child collect items such as rocks, leaves, insects, plants or seeds. Encourage your child todevelop questions about those items and help him or her nd answers either through investigations, byreading about them or by asking experts.

  • Take a nature walk through your neighborhood, visit parks and hiking, biking and cross-country trails. Observe how animals respond to their environment.

  • Look for examples of how water, ice, wind and plants have changed or can change the area around you (cracks in the highway, the driveway being washed away during a heavy rain, a weed growing through a crack in the sidewalk, etc.). Ask your child to consider what things humans have done to lessen the impact of those changes.

    Questions You Can Ask Your Child:

  • What do you notice or remember about waves?

  • What causes the different layers in rock?

  • Why do plants have roots?

  • What structure does a snake use to smell?

  • Where does the energy come from that helps us heat our home? (water, sun, coal, etc.)

    Questions You Can Ask Your Child’s Teacher:

  • What are resources I could use to help my child at home?

  • Are there topics and experiments that we can do at home?

  • What are the steps engineers (and others) use to test a design and then revise their plan to make it better?



In 4th grade, students will discover how and why people move from one place to another in their study of the migration and settlement of Colonial America. Your child will:

  • Describe forms of self-government used by various groups in Colonial America while assessing the ability of various forms of government to foster civic virtues and uphold democratic principles;

  • Compare and contrast different ways that the government interacts with the economy;

  • Compare the distinctive cultural characteristics of groups that immigrated or were brought forcibly to the

    United States from other nations or regions; and

  • Explain examples of con ict and collaboration among diverse groups of people as they encountered one



Grade 4 Social Studies

Examples of Your Child’s Work at School:

  • Examining why and how people move from one place to another;

  • Describing life in early Colonial America;

  • Analyzing how cultures of diverse groups interacted, blended and had con ict from European exploration

    to the Thirteen Colonies;

  • Analyzing the geographic features, such as mountains or rivers, that affected human settlement during

    colonial times; and

  • Explaining the hardships early settlers faced when they rst settled in America

    How to Help Your Child at Home:

  • Encourage your child to ask questions. When your child asks questions, rather than give answers immediately, suggest thinking about where the answer might be found.

  • Discuss how different forms of technology affect how people and resources move around Kentucky, the nation and the world. How has technology advanced? Allow them to use maps and photos to investigate.

  • Ask your child to explain the cause and effect of certain events, actions or behaviors.

  • Talk to your child about the importance of civic participation, such as voting, and locate examples in past

    and current events.

    Questions You Can Ask Your Child:

  • How do people change rules and laws?

  • How are the prices of goods, services and resources affected by supply and demand?

  • Why do people move and live where they live?

  • Why is being involved in your community important?

    Questions You Can Ask Your Child’s Teacher:

  • What books and other resources would support my child’s understanding of Colonial America?

  • Are there places in the local community or in Kentucky we can visit related to early settlements?

  • Are there topics my child enjoys studying or researching?

  • What resources are available to support her or his learning about social studies?