Last Updated on August 31, 2021 by Thinkster
Third grade is a pivotal year in math. Most 3rd grade math problems begin to take the student away from the basic facts and figures into more complex calculations. Children who are not well prepared are at a disadvantage since the first day of school. If you have a child entering third grade, here’s what he should know before this school year.
First and second grade math should have drilled into your child the basics of addition and subtraction. Third grade is when children take those basic facts and begin applying them into more complex problems, and they really need to understand the basics.
Knowing how to add is not sufficient. By third grade, children should be able to do single-digit addition and subtraction problems mentally, without the need to use aids such as counters, fingers or calculators. If your child is weak in these basic math facts, use these last few days before school starts to reinforce them, or get help at the beginning of the school year. Don’t be surprised to find that 3rd grade math problems assume your child can do addition and subtraction mentally.
Regrouping, which you might have called “borrowing” or “carrying” when you were in school, is one of the fundamental concepts taught in second grade math. If your child can’t add or subtract multi-digit numbers with regrouping, multiplication and division are going to be difficult.
Place value should be well established by third grade. Many 3rd grade math problems assume that children know what place value is. In addition, children should be able to find the right location for the decimal point in money and the comma in number in the thousands.
Time is another important concept that should have been fairly mastered in second grade. Because digital clocks are so common, some students struggle with this one. Before tackling 3rd grade math problems, your child should be confident in telling time to the nearest five minutes and using the terms AM and PM.
Second graders are not yet to the point of memorizing the full multiplication tables, but they should be familiar with the concept of multiplication. In many schools, they should also have learned or worked with the facts up through the fives. If your child has no clue about multiplication or what it means and has not done any basic multiplication facts, then she may struggle with 3rd grade math problems.
What can you do if you find that your third grader isn’t quite as prepared as she should be for the coming school year? There’s still time to get some help. Thinkster Math has a program that is easy to use and exciting for kids. Plug your kids into Thinkster’s tutoring program, and watch as their math understanding and confidence skyrockets in preparation for the coming school year.