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the CCSS & Fourth Grade

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a group of national learning goals outlining what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. They were adopted for English/language arts and math by the state of Wisconsin in 2010. (Previously, Wisconsin only had standards outlining what students should know for grades 4, 8 and 12.)

These standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills needed to be successful, while helping families understand what is expected of their students. It’s also important to remember that the CCSS are not a curriculum; they are standards that establish what students need to learn, but don’t dictate how teachers should teach. 

In Shorewood, we are aligning to the Common Core Standards, but are not formally adopting them. This gives our staff more flexibility when designing curriculum, while ensuring our students to be better prepared for the content they’ll see on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (which will begin replacing the WKCE during the 14-15 school year), without drastically changing our curriculum.

Our District and teachers will work together to decide how to best help students reach the standards. Differentiation will still be available for students, meaning students that need extra challenges will receive them, while students that need extra assistance will receive help.

Fourth Grade Math

One of the main areas studied in fourth grade is arithmetic and applying it to solve problems. Your student will also build knowledge/skills with fractions to prepare for mastering this topic in 5th and 6th grades.

Fourth Grade Math Skills:

  • Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems
  • Gain familiarity with factors and multiples
  • Adding and subtracting quickly and accurately, with numbers up to 1 million
  • Multiplying and dividing multi-digit numbers in simple cases (ie 1638x7 or 24x47 and dividing 6893÷7)
  • Understanding and applying equivalent fractions (ie recognizing that 1/4 is less than 3/8)
  • Measuring angles and finding unknown angles in a diagram
  • Draw and identify lines and angles; classify shapes by properties of their lines/angles
  • Understand decimal notation for fractions, and compare decimals and fractions
  • Generalize and analyze patterns
  • Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements

Fourth Grade Math Practices:

  • Make sense of problems and perceive in solving them
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • Model with mathematics
  • Use appropriate tools strategically
  • Attend to precision
  • Look for and make use of structure
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Fourth Grade English/Language Arts 

Your child will continue to learn about the world as well as build vocabulary skills by reading more complicated stories and poems from different cultures and a range of books on history, science, art and music. Fourth graders also make strides in their ability to explain plainly and in detail what a book says. By fourth grade, your student will write effective summaries, book reports and descriptions of characters/events using correct grammar and punctuation.

Specific Skills:

  • Describe the basic elements of stories by drawing on specific details in the text
  • Pay close attention to key features of informational books/articles
  • Compare ideas, characters, events, etc in stories/myths from different cultures
  • Write summaries or opinions about topics supported with a set of well-organized facts, details, and examples
  • Determine the meaning of words/phrases, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (ie- Herculean)
  • Independently conduct short research projects on different aspects of a topic using evidence from books and the Internet
  • Compare/contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, and the difference between first and third person
  • Paraphrasing and responding to information presented in discussions, like comparing and contrasting ideas and analyzing evidence
  • Report orally on a topic or telling a story with enough facts and details
  • Write complete sentences with correct capitalization and spelling
  • Relate words to other words with similar meanings and their opposites
  • Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (ie verse, meter) and drama (ie casts of characters, setting) when writing/speaking about a text


As part of the shift, students will take part in a new system of assessments. As fourth graders, students will take one or two tests: Access 2.0 or the Smarter Balanced Assessment. (The Smarter Balanced Assessment will replace the WKCE beginning with the 14-15 school year.) Specific information about the tests can be found below:

ExamGradeExam Info

Access 2.0
(one hour
to administer starting
15-16 school year)

(ELL students only)

• Elements of CCSS embedded
• Screens & provides an annual summary
• Computer adaptive

Smarter Balance 
(7-8.5 hours to 
administer; exact times
(Administered during 
the last 12 weeks of 
the school year) 

• Assesses English/ language arts and math
• Computer adaptive
• Measures achievement & growth
• Includes variety of question types
• Aligned to CCSS

 * The Smarter Balance exam will take the same amount of time to administer as the WKCE. 

District Calendar

    • TueJan23 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM
    • TueFeb13 School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

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