Math Skills Every 3rd Grader Needs to Know
In third grade, math starts to get serious. In previous school years, your child learned the basics about numbers, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Starting in third grade, your child will be introduced to more difficult concepts and larger numbers.
Your third grader will be expected to solve math problems that have multiple numbers and operations. In one math problem, your child could be asked to both add and subtract or add and multiply numbers up to 1,000. In order to do this, your child will need to have a strong foundation in both place value and the properties of multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.
Your child most likely knows how to read a clock by now. In second grade, your child was taught to read the clock to the nearest 5 minutes. This school year, your third grader will need to know how to tell and write time to the nearest minute. Your child will also be expected to perform basic addition or subtraction problems using time. For example, you might see the math problem, “What is one hour later than 3:56 PM?” Use a practice clock to show how to move time backwards and forwards.
Perimeter & Area
Beginning perimeter and area skills will be introduced to your child in third grade. This is a very difficult concept for children to understand, so this concept will continue to be taught for the next few years. Expect to see math problems that ask your third grader to identify the perimeter and area of squares and rectangles.
So far, your child has probably worked with whole numbers in math. This year, your third grader will begin to learn about fractions. This concept will be introduced using charts and number lines to help your child understand that a fraction is a part of a whole. Your third grader will also learn how to write fractions such as ½ or ¼ and will need to compare them using a picture. Do your best to work on basic fraction skills with your child since fraction work will get more and more difficult as your child progresses through school.
Data & Graphs
Your third grader should already know how to read and understand data represented on a graph. In third grade, this knowledge will be extended so that your child will be expected to draw a graph for different math problems. Your child will be given a set of data, such as favorite foods of the class. Your child will then need to create either a picture graph or a scaled bar graph to show how many classmates like pizza, how many like ice-cream, and so on.
Third grade will be a big year for your child and math. The best way to ensure your child’s success is to work on these basic skills. Mastery of these basic skills will help your child be successful in third grade, as well as all further grade levels.