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Operations and Algebraic Thinking

 Narrative for the (OA) Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Algebraic thinking is about generalizing arithmetic operations and operating on unknown quantities.  It involves recognizing and analyzing patterns and developing generalizations about these patterns.  In algebra, symbols can be used to represent generalizations. Operations and Algebraic Thinking deals with the basic operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division - the relationships they model, the kinds of problems they can be used to solve, as well as, their mathematical properties and relationships.

Fourth graders extend problem solving to multi-step word problems using the four operations posed with whole numbers.  Some problems might easily be represented with a single equation, and others will be more sensibly represented by more than one equation or a diagram and one or more equations. Consider two diving boards, one 40 feet high, the other 8 feet high. Students in earlier grades learned to compare these heights in an additive sense—“This one is 32 feet higher than that one”—using addition and subtraction to solve word problems. Students in Grade 4 learn to compare these quantities multiplicatively as well: “This one is 5 times as high as that one.”

Students reason about number or shape patterns, connecting a rule for a given pattern with its sequence of numbers or shapes. In examining numerical sequences and patterns, fourth graders can explore rules of repeatedly adding the same whole number or repeatedly multiplying by the same whole number.

Fourth graders also build upon earlier understandings about multiplication and division. Students examine various patterns in factor pairs by finding factor pairs for all numbers 1 to 100, and extend the idea of decomposition to multiplication and learn to use the terms multiple, prime number, composite number.

Calculation Method for Domains

Domains are larger groups of related standards. The Domain Grade is a calculation of all the related standards. Click on the standard name below each Domain to access the learning targets and rubrics/ proficiency scales for individual standards within the domain.

» Fourth Grade Math