Fourth Grade

Mathematical Practice Standards

Essential Understanding

Successful mathematical thinkers engage in specific practices that facilitate their problem solving.


1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

  • What information do we need to begin this problem?
  • What will we need to do first?
  • How do you know if your answer is reasonable?
  • What would be another way to do this?
  • What connections can you make?


2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

  • Can you create a picture to show that?
  • Can you write that using symbols?
  • Explain your picture/symbols. What do they mean in context?


3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

  • Why does this work?
  • How do you know?
  • Can you explain what he/she did?
  • These approaches are different; why did they both work?


4. Model with mathematics.

  • How does this picture/graph/table help us solve the problem?
  • Is there a different model that we could have used?


5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

  • What tool might be helpful in this problem?
  • What would be the most efficient tool to use?
  • Is your estimate too high or too low?
  • Whose estimate do you think is closest to the actual answer? Why?


6. Attend to precision.

  • Can you state that in a different way?
  • Who can summarize what he/she said?
  • How do you know your answer is accurate?
  • Does the problem require an exact answer?


7. Look for and make use of structure.

  • What patterns do you see? How are these helpful in this problem?
  • What predictions can we make based on this pattern?
  • What would come next?


8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

  • What rule can I use that will always work in this type of problem?
  • Is there a more efficient way to do this?
  • What algorithm did you develop?
  • What algorithm did you use?
  • How can patterns help you solve problems and explain rules?
  • How can mathematical rules and shortcuts help you become a stronger mathematical thinker?