Last summer I started using the Wild Math Curriculum First Grade edition. My kids spent the summer working on addition and subtraction facts and having great fun measuring everything in sight. They loved it so much that we decided to make Wild Math a part of our year round learning adventure.
Fast forward to summer 2020. Lots of changes in the world, but one constant in our lives – learning. My kids are now 7 and 10. As a homeschooling parent, I love finding curriculum that I can use for both kids simultaneously which is why I chose to use and review the Wild Math Fourth Grade curriculum. (If you want to hear about the Second Grade edition, Team Member Jackie has been using it with her kids.) I chose a level that would allow us to learn together.
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What is Wild Math Fourth Grade all about?
Wild Math Fourth Grade is all about mastering multiple digit multiplication and division, and graphing. It also includes geometry, fractions, decimals. And it’s FUN. Yes, fun.
Didn’t know fractions could be fun? Then you need Wild Math in your school day. I challenge you to find another math curriculum that encourages making paper airplanes, designing treasure hunts, and playing with play dough.
Outdoor learning is encouraged, but many of the lessons included in this level can be done indoors. We’ve been using Wild Math fourth grade both outdoors and indoors this summer as our air quality is being negatively affected by Wildfires. In fact, my daughter used a Wild Math fourth grade lesson to graph 24 hours of air quality. It was a great project for her. Something we never would have though to do without Wild Math for inspiration.
I can see by the way that my kids respond to the lessons, that even indoor wild math is still inspiring my little learners. We are looking forward to when the air clears and we can go outside! Repeating these learning opportunities outdoors will be great review, and great fun. And – repetition is key to math success.
Topics and Standards of Wild Math Fourth Grade
Rachel Tidd, the author of Wild Math designed the program to align with (and even exceed) most State Standards. If you are new to homeschooling, you may be wondering where you can find out more about math standards.
Education.com has an easy to read chart that lists the general common core standards for fourth grade. With a little searching, you should be able to track down the exact state standards for your particular state.
A summary of what the fourth grade curriculum covers:
- place value
- multi digit addition and subtraction with estimation and word problems
- multi digit multiplication using models, manipulatives, algorithms, and the lattice method
- identification of prime and composite numbers
- division including long division, division with a remainder, and estimation
- fractions including adding and subtracting fractions, multiplying fractions and mixed numbers
- word problems
- number line work
- decimals including converting decimals to fractions, adding and subtracting, and estimation
- measurement using metrics and us standard measurements
- data and probability
- patterns and algebra
- geometry including points, lines and angles and classification
If your children learn best when their lessons are infused with creativity and hands on projects, then Wild Math is going to be a great curriculum for you. We’ve dabbled in fractions and decimals in our math journey, but it’s never been….enjoyable. One of the first lessons we tried had us in the kitchen making play dough.
Ex 1: By making a model of a fern & fungi pizza, and slicing it precisely to share it evenly between the woodland creatures, we explored how a whole can be divided into fractions. It’s easy to share a forest pizza between two animals, but it becomes much more difficult to divide it evenly between three.
When you invite seven dogs in for dinner party, how can you feed them all with one single kibble pie? If you just let them at it, there is bound to be some resource guarding…possibly even a dog fight! Divide the pie evenly. Give each dog an equal fraction of the pie. Parts of a whole.
This was such a great lesson for my kids to actually see and experience what the word fraction represents. Parts of a whole. They get it now!
Ex 2: Now that the eager learners had a good grasp on the concept of fractions, they were ready to explore the number line. By comparing fractions, and placing them on the number line, they showed their understanding of fractions. We later explored mixed numbers and improper fractions.
For Wild Math the list of materials is very flexible. It includes items that can be purchased like sidewalk chalk, a protractor and compass, index cards, and an outdoor thermometer. And items to be gathered like sticks, twigs and rocks to use as place value sticks and manipulatives.
Each math unit also includes a list of book recommendations like the Sir Cumference book series, The Story of Money, Spaghetti and Meatballs For All, and books from the Let’s Investigate series by Marion Smoothey.
Wild Math Fourth Grade: Bottom Line
This is a very flexible curriculum that can you can use as a guide to lead your child towards a solid foundation of math knowledge. It is easy to individualize. The projects are creative and easily tailored to your learners level.
You can use it with students at different grade levels with a little modification. Wild Math is designed to be used as a complete curriculum, or a supplement if your child is using a remote learning program and needs more hands-on activities.
It can be used indoors or out. In your backyard, or at the park down the road. It can be used in your hometown or on the road for your spring break camping trip. Don’t wait for the perfect weather to use Wild Math! Grab your slickers and boots and go out and play! (of course I mean go outside and learn, but to your kids, this will feel like a playful new game).
Wild Math is great for kids who love to be outdoors and for their parents who want to incorporate lessons during their day.
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