Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Lynn Kuske develop this program?

Mrs. Kuske has spent her career as a parent educator and a teacher. When she started working with children who were struggling with math, she was alarmed to learn that these struggles were identified at a very early age and began with an inability to develop sound number sense. From this experience she came to believe that something was missing in the way math is taught to young children. She started experimenting with visual and spatial ideas that developed from her own experience playing numerous math games with dice, cards, and dominoes. Finding success with students, she wanted to learn more, so she secured her K-8 teaching certificate and Masters of Education Degree in June 2001. Mrs. Kuske’s Masters thesis’ literature review supported her ideas about visual patterns in teaching math and led to an action research project to evaluate the effects of the incorporation of 4-group Number Patterns™ into a standard first-grade mathematics curriculum. The results of her research project led to the development of 4-group Math™.

What curriculum does the 4-group Math method recommend?

4-group Math is not a curriculum. It is a number sense method that aligns with any and all math curriculum designed for children ages 4-8. 4-group Math is a brain based method of visual patterns that helps make any curriculum easier to comprehend and thus more powerful.

Help us understand visual learners vs. auditory learners and which method works best?

Visual learning is a style in which information is best learned when associated with images, i.e. your child does well with a chart to keep track of chores. By representing information spatially and with images, children are able to focus on meaning and make better use of their visual memory. Visual learners make up approximately 65% of the population. 4-group Math is a powerful model for visual learners.

Auditory learning is a style in which a person learns most effectively by listening to information delivered orally, i.e. you tell your child to feed the dog and he does it! We all know this rarely happens. Auditory learners make up about 30% of the population. The auditory input in a 4-group Math™ classroom is comparable to a traditional math classroom.

Is 4-group Math taught in schools?

Although 4-group Math is not a curriculum it can be incorporated into a school’s existing math curriculum by simply replacing existing visual models with the 4-group model. Training is available. Email for information. Over the past decade, 4-group Math has been taught in select public and private schools in the Seattle area making those school’s math curriculums more effective and more powerful for children.

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What does it mean to say that 4-group Math is a brain based program?

4-group Math is unique because it relies on brain research to teach math to children. This research tells us that children have the innate ability to look at four objects in a square pattern and be certain that there are four. This ability is called subitizing. Math programs today ask children to arrange objects either in a line or randomly–and then count them. When objects are presented this way children are not able to confidently and accurately know how many without actually counting them over and over. As the number of objects increases it becomes even more difficult and children make counting mistakes. Research tells us that the brain searches for and relates to patterns. The 4-group Number Patterns, developed exclusively by Lynn Kuske, are the cornerstone to the 4-group Math program. They are based on the four objects in a square pattern making this program not only unique but extremely effective.

How do I introduce my school to 4-group Math?

4-group Math has a program that helps teachers of children ages 4-8 understand the 4-group Math Method™, brain based subitizing, and best practices in mathematics instruction for young children. Please ask your administrator to email for information on how to implement the 4-group Math Method in your school.

More Information for Educators

How do multiplication, division, fractions and integers work with 4-group Math?

4-group Math™ is a method that helps children develop number sense — a critical foundation for all higher math learning. Higher math concepts are built on the foundation of number sense. New knowledge based on prior knowledge is the most effective form of learning. Children who have learned the 4-group Number Patterns use them for the conceptualization and understanding of more advanced math concepts. Click here to see some of the 4-group Math Strategies for multiplication, division, fractions and integers.

4-group Math has also developed a program that makes learning multiplication easy and fun. Learn more about Multiplication Made Easy™