In fourth grade, kids learn to use a lot of math visuals and models to help them understand math. Kids typically see some of this “new math,” like bar models, in earlier grades. But it’s everywhere in fourth grade.
For example, for two- and three-digit multiplication problems, kids have to model the answer. They may be asked to use techniques like area models, box multiplication, equal sized groups, and arrays.
The purpose of these visual models is to help kids see how a problem can be solved in multiple ways. And that’s great for many students.
But some kids have a harder time with visual information. They may struggle to connect math symbols like + and × to a visual. And they may not see how these models can help them organize their work.
See more examples of the models
kids learn in fourth grade.
Educators: Learn more about visual representation and other elements of