Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by user

Do you have a bright third grader on your hands? How can you keep his or her mind challenged? These 3rd grade math problems will keep even the brightest mind engaged and entertained.

### 1. How Many School Lunches?

If you want to challenge your third grader, look for 3rd grade math problems that require multiple steps. These challenge the brain to work through multiple processes in order to find the answer. Here’s one of these problems:

This week, 500 students purchased lunch from school. The first day, 80 people bought hot lunch. On Tuesday, 60 people bought hot lunch. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the same number of people bought hot lunch. How many bought lunch on Thursday?

For this problem, the student needs to first determine that 360 people bought lunch on Wednesday through Friday by subtracting 80 and 60 from 500. Then, the student needs to divide that 360 by 3 to determine how many bought on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The answer is 120.

### 2. Dividing the Pizza

Every child can picture a school pizza party. Use this to challenge their thinking a bit. Find out how many students are in the class, then tell your child that the teacher is going to surprise the class with a pizza party. Determine how many pizzas she needs to order if each pizza has eight slices and every child gets three slices. Then, find out how many leftover pieces there will be, if there are any. Using real-world examples makes this problem engaging, and the multi-step process keeps it challenging.

### 3. Subtracting Fractions with Borrowing

Many 3rd grade math problems focus on fractions. This is the year when your child will begin adding and subtracting fractions. One of the most challenging types of problems your child will face are those problems that require children to subtract with borrowing.

For instance, if your child needs to subtract 3 1/2 – 1 3/4, the problem becomes complicated. You cannot subtract halves from fourths, so the student must first convert the fractions so they ache a common denominator. So, the problem becomes:

3 2/4 – 1 3/4

Now, the student cannot subtract 3/4 from 2/4. So, the student must borrow from the 3. They can take a one from the three and turn it into 4/4, adding those to the 2/4. So, the problem becomes:

2 6/4 – 1 3/4

Now, you can subtract. The answer is 1 3/4.

Does this seem confusing? If it’s been a while since you worked with fractions, you may find them confusing. Yet, your child needs to be able to work with fractions in order to succeed with many 3rd grade math problems. This is where iPad or laptop tutoring can come into play. With a program like Thinkster Math, you can challenge your child to push through fractions, even if you are struggling to remember these operations. Because the program is individualized and teaches at the point of learning, you can be confident that it will keep your bright youngster engaged.

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