Ten maths skills your child will learn in Year 4

Ten maths skills your child will learn in Year 4

In Year 4 maths, children begin to explore more complex maths concepts. Don’t get overwhelmed! The best way to support your child is to keep your attitude about maths positive as you tackle year 4 maths together. Get started by learning more about what your child will be working on.  

1. Count backwards through 0 to include negative numbers

By now your little one should be confident with counting and this will be extending to counting backwards with an introduction to negative numbers. This will mostly be taught using a number line where children will have to place different numbers in the correct position.

Practice counting backwards and use temperatures to show kids real life examples of negative numbers. 

2. Know all the tables to 12 x 12

In Year 4 students will be expected to know all of their times tables and should be able to recall them quickly.

Try the Komodo times tables challenge, our free and fun times tables practice activity - and kids can earn a certificate if they complete it! 

3. Short multiplication

In Key Stage 2 one of the new multiplication methods taught is known as the grid method. Children will also be using the standard short multiplication method. In Year 4 they need to multiply two-digit and three-digit numbers by a one-digit number.

Use word problems to help practice short multiplication - eg; A hat costs £4 and a scarf costs £2. If Josie buys four hats and six scarves, how much money does she spend altogether?

4. Dividing by 10 and 100

It is important that children understand that on the right of each whole number is an invisible decimal point, and that when you divide by 10 a number slides one place to the right, so 34 becomes 3.4 and 570 becomes 57. When a number is divided by 100, it has to slide two places to the right, so 5910 becomes 59.1, 300 becomes 3, 6 becomes 0.06.

Use a calculator and try some sums and ask if the number was divided by 10 or 100. Use place value diagrams to illustrate how numbers slide to the right. 

5. Know Roman numerals to 100

Children will learn to read Roman numerals from 1 to 100 (I to C) and know that, over time, the numeral system changed to include the concept of 0 and place value. 

Show how Roman numerals are still used in the real world such as on some clock faces and on buildings to show the year of construction.

6. Area and perimeter

In Year 4, kids learn about the concepts of area and perimeter. They use their knowledge of multiplication to solve area problems by calculating length x width. Kids will also use addition to figure out the perimeter of different shapes.

Give your child a measuring tape and the challenge of working out the perimeter of household objects. Encourage your child to measure and calculate the area of squares or rectangles, like the surface of a book or a piece of paper. 

7. Symmetry

In Year 4, children are asked to identify lines of symmetry in 2D shapes presented in different orientations. They will need to become aware that shapes have more than one line of symmetry. They may be asked to look at these regular shapes and think about how many lines of symmetry they can find.

Cut out and fold different shapes to find out how many lines of symmetry it has.

8. Acute and obtuse angles

In Year 4, children will learn about acute and obtuse angles and their properties. They will also need to compare angles.

Look at different shapes and angles in your home and identify acute, right and obtuse angles. 

9. Plot coordinates

In primary school children are taught Cartesian coordinates, which they are introduced to in Year 4. Points are marked by how far along they are on the x axis (the horizontal axis) and how far up they are on the y axis (the vertical axis).

Battleships is a great game to help reinforce kids knowledge of coordinates - you will enjoy it too! If you don't have the board game, here's how you can play Battleship using just pen and paper!

10. Converting between metric units

Children will be familiar with different types of metric units including km, m, cm, mm, kg and grams. They will now need to know how to convert between them, eg; how many grams are in 1 kg?

Help your child understand measure in real life by walking or driving 100m, 500m (½ km) and 1000m (1km) and discuss the conversions. This method can also be applied to weights in the house with simple household items and a set of scales.

Found this useful? Check out our year by year maths guides from Reception to Year 4.

About Komodo – Komodo is a fun and effective way to boost primary maths skills. Designed for 5 to 11-year-olds to use at home, Komodo uses a little and often approach to learning maths (15 minutes, three to five times per week) that fits into the busy family routine. Komodo helps users develop fluency and confidence in maths – without keeping them at the screen for long.

Find out more about Komodo and how it helps thousands of children each year do better at maths – you can even try Komodo for free. 

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