Grade 3 Math Topics

Third Grade

In the first trimester of the school year, third grade students will work on the following skills:

  • Reviewing place value with numbers written as digits (numerals), words, and expanded forms (ex. 124, one hundred twenty-four, 100 + 20 + 4)
  • Using place value to add and subtract within 1,000.  Students may use various strategies such as breaking apart the number, using a number line or algorithms based on place value
  • Estimating in addition and subtraction
  • Understanding the meaning of multiplication
  • Begin work on basic multiplication facts up to 10 x 10

You can help your child at home by having them practice these skills.  Knowing their basic addition and subtraction facts will help them become efficient in doing larger addition and subtraction. Having children experience various situations where they would add or subtract is important for life.  Another helpful tool is breaking apart numbers. Next time you see a 2 or 3-digit number, ask your child to break it apart into ones, tens and hundreds.

Estimation is one topic that can easily be practiced outside of school.  Having children estimate by saying “about how much is…?” has students thinking about the reasonableness of their answers later.  Next time your child asks how long a car ride will be, give them an estimate and then track the exact time. Talk about how you estimated the time and if it was reasonable.  Talk about why the estimate could have been miscalculated, say heavy traffic, or all green lights and no traffic. These real world scenarios are amazing.

As your child begins learning the meaning of multiplication, they are learning strategies for finding the product, or answer, in addition to committing the products to memory.  For example if a child knows that 5 x 4 = 20, then 6 x 4 would be one more group of 4, resulting in 6 x 4 = 24. To show the meaning of multiplication, students also create arrays to show the repeated addition.  This practice will carry over to finding area later in the year, as well as the following year.

Here are some other resources:

  • Make a set of flashcards for addition or subtraction.

Up Next: Telling time and finding elapsed time and basic division