Math Review Grade 4
updated April 18, 2021
Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your fourth grade year. Enjoy!
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Can It Be True?
Mysteries, Monsters, and Curses
for Class 4
I'm tutoring via Zoom because of COVID right now, doing some
Waldorf main lesson blocks online with families, and one little girl asked
if she could please do a block on what she's interested in the most: Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle, and the Mummy's Curse. Hmmm....
Well, I had been planning on doing a Math block with her next, but I suppose we can still talk about these legends
and then craft some math problems around them. That way we can review place value and all four operations in a fun way,
like when I did a block on the Ocean Zones and
what animals live in each for a girl who needed to review reading big numbers and putting them in order (here are the
photos of my MLB pages for that block).
So, this inquisitive "Can It Be True?" block can function as a math skills review, as well
as a look at scientific inquiry and what evidence is reliable evidence.
It combines the third grade practical math, like measurement, and the third
grade overall theme of "I want to know about things that are real," but also bridges us into the fourth grade mapmaking. And maybe we can even introduce fractions.
And, if you
live in a region that has one of these monsters in it -- as I do -- it's local folklore as well.
What an unusual idea for an MLB!
Here are my planning notes as I put this block together. Maybe if you're looking to review math skills from third grade
in a fun way, it can be useful to you as well!
Sample Lessons and Free Curriculum
Titanic Math - FREE on TpT
four pages of interesting word problems, mixed dynamic +, -, x, ÷ (no fractions)
The Ship, The Supplies, The People, The Sinking
Other Helpful Links
Books to Buy
I'm using as my main text a vintage book from the 1970's, Land & Sea
Monsters by Daniel Quinn, which I'm supplementing with more modern resources.
This is what we ended up doing:
Introduction - The Earth is Round
Week One - Amelia Earhart, The Titanic
Week Two - Griffin (I would also recommend spending time on the kraken / giant squid)
Week Three - Great Sea Serpent, Loch Ness Monster, Big Muddy Monster
Week Four - Abominable Snowman & Sasquatch, Bermuda Triangle, Hope Diamond, Martians
Planning & Teaching Notes:
THE EARTH IS ROUND - Fri, Feb 12
thinking scientifically; evaluating
the quality of evidence; finding multiple pieces of evidence; realizing that what you see
with your own eyes isn't always what is true
recall making a sundial in Third Grade and observations about shadows (The Story of Clocks and Calendars by Betsy
do apple / pins / flashlight demonstration from The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up by Alice Goudey
read How We Learned the Earth Is Round by Patricia Lauber
it is interesting
while doing this to have the children respond after each argument with a thumbs up (convincing), thumbs
down (unconvincing), or thumb to the side (unsure)
do demonstration with boat and ball (large ball, eraser, toothpick, piece of paper, scissors)
or just have a child walk away from another child
down a long hallway (they get smaller all over) and then have a child walk away from another child down
a long flight of stairs (their feet disappear first and then their torso and finally their head) and then walk back up
do demonstration with yardstick, paper or plastic plate, empty can, small lightweight ball, tape, and string
adult background information:
Flat Earthers: What They Believe and Why
podcast from Scientific American
AMELIA EARHART - Tue, Feb 16
math problems (dynamic subtraction, measurement and scale)
subtract 1937 from the current year... how long ago did this happen?
create a timeline across the bottom of the last two page spread of the MLB, placing the ruler's end on the center fold
a horizontal line to the right and then placing the ruler's end on the center fold and drawing a horizontal line
to the left
write in the years with the 2020 on the far right and
the years decreasing as you move to the left; mark when Amelia Earhart's plane disappeared
doing this at the back of the book gives you space to add more pages to your timeline
(going to the left) as needed, depending on what
topics you end up with in the block
the scale we used was 1 inch = 5 years
and two feet takes you perfectly from 1900 to 2020
THE TITANIC - Wed, Feb 17 and Mon, Mar 1
the Time article on Amelia Earhart gives lots of interesting information about navigation equipment which was recommended
to her but which she did not take on her trip
this reminded me of the Titanic not having enough lifeboats, and since
my student didn't know about the Titanic
we decided to spend a bit of time on that topic as well
math problems (reading word problems and identifying the operation; dynamic +, -, x, ÷)
Titanic Math - FREE on TpT
add both the year the ship sank and the year it was found to the timeline
GRIFFIN - Fri, Mar 5
read from Land & Sea Monsters by Daniel Quinn
chapter 1 - "The Question: Animal or Monster?"
basilisk, griffin, kraken (aka giant squid)
tarantula, duck-billed platypus, praying mantis, kangaroo, Komodo dragon
note: the Giant Squid is another good one for reviewing measurement; we once
made a life-size construction
paper collage giant squid with 8 9-foot arms and 2 40-foot tentacles that stretched down several walls of my house!
"Creep into the Deep" Expo / Museum Walk
chapter 2 - "The Track of the Beast"
Draco volans, Asian pangolin, Andean wolf, Chirotherium
do not read portion about Ameranthropoides loysi, now debunked
chapter 3 - "Beasts of the Land" to p.21
sphinx, camelopard, chimera, centaur, manticore
discuss how the griffin legend may have come from the finding of Protoceratops fossils
add griffin to MLB
The Pinkish, Purplish, Bluish Egg
by Bill Peet would be a great book to do here too!
note: we didn't read the rest of this chapter, but unicorn is a fun word
to do for SWI ("corn" being related to an ancient word for "horn" and thus
"corner" is a relative... think pointy)
GREAT SEA SERPENT - Mon, Mar 8
LOCH NESS MONSTER - Tue, Mar 9
BIG MUDDY MONSTER - Wed, Mar 10
this is a local legend where I live, in Southern Illinois
ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN & SASQUATCH (BIGFOOT) - Mon, Mar 15
read from Land & Sea Monsters by Daniel Quinn
chapter 6 - "The Abominable Snowman"
chapter 7 - "The Sasquatch of North America"
it is also fascinating to consider whether the Basket Woman / Timber Giant
legends from the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest Coast may be founded
on the long-ago finding of mysterious giant footprints
look at Human Evolution Card Set from Clocca Concepts
consider doing a math exercise similar to
the "How Big Was the Cat?" problem
Sakshaug, Lynae E; Wohluter, Kay A.
Teaching Children Mathematics; Reston Vol. 8, Iss. 6, (Feb 2002): 351-353.
BERMUDA TRIANGLE - Tue, Mar 16
HOPE DIAMOND - Wed, Mar 17
my grandfather was the one who picked up the Hope Diamond from the post office and transported
it to the Smithsonian Institution (he was curator of Gems & Minerals), and my grandmother
was worried that something would happen to him while he was carrying it!
MARTIANS - Thu, Mar 18