The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Multi-Digit Arithmetic

One of the core math standards that fourth graders are expected to demonstrate mastery of is performing multi-digit arithmetic using the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). While we have been working on multi-digit arithmetic all year, we are getting down to the wire and that means it is time to kick the end-of-year assessments into high gear.

I am a very strong believer in the counsel that education guru Harry K. Wong offers: teachers should eagerly beg, borrow, and steal from one another, especially when it comes to assessment materials! Unfortunately, I was not able to find any good assessments that use all four operations.

So I did what any good teacher does: I made my own. I am going to be saving it as a pdf and posting it online later so that other teachers can find it. In the meantime, if you are interested, shoot me an email and I’ll send you what I made!

My multi-digit arithmetic assessment was simple but complete: five problems for each of the four basic operations, for a total of twenty problems. I gave the students 45 minutes to work, which was plenty of time for the vast majority of the class. (A few still needed more time, and I took advantage of our America Reads/America Counts tutors to let them finish after lunch.

As students turned in their assessments, I began checking the work. I was very happy to see that nearly everyone has mastery of addition and subtraction, most have mastery of multiplication, and many have mastery of division. I was able to group the quizzes in such a way that I can work with my students in targeted small group settings over the next few days. While there is much that needs to be taught to the entire class in order to help them all reach the same standards, differentiation is so key to successful education! I’m glad that I was able to put this simple assessment together. It gave me a great snapshot of my students’ progress so I have a better idea of what I need to teach over the last six full weeks of school!


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