Back to School Basics: What Parents Need to Know about 3rd Grade Math

Last Updated on August 31, 2021 by Thinkster

Do you have new 3rd grader this back to school season? 3rd grade is a year filled with new discoveries. Now that most students are competent readers, they are able to start adventuring into more complex ideas in all subjects, including math. Here’s what your child can expect to experience in 3rd grade math class this year.

Measuring and Data

By third grade, kids should be great at using rulers and other measurement tools to measure items. Now they are going to transition into using those measurements as data. They will find area and perimeter from measurements they take and will also use tables and other tools to represent and interpret data.

Numbers and Operations

Before 3rd grade math, students were working with base ten numbers. Now they are going to expand their place values even further and start performing multi-digit math. By the end of the year they should be able to multiply and divide within 100 and solve problems using all four of the operations. Because division and multiplication are relatively new concepts in 3rd grade, this particular part of the math curriculum can be a challenge for students.

Third grade is also the year that fractions are explored more deeply. In second grade they were introduced and students learned to identify common fractions, like halves, fourths and thirds, but in third grade math they will start to understand that fractions are numbers. They may even begin doing some basic operations with them.


Since third graders are well-versed in their basic shapes and figures, they are going to learn to work with those figures in geometry class this year. They will be required to find perimeters and areas and to distinguish between area and linear measures, such as feet versus square feet. This brings many opportunities for hands-on practice in the math classroom.

Deeper Understanding of Word Problems

Third graders should be competent readers. This gives teachers more opportunities to introduce word problems. Students should be able to read a problem, derive a mathematical expression and then solve it.

Now that school is in session, you may have noticed that some of these concepts are challenging your third grader. Before you sign up for the math learning center, one option you might want to consider for after school math would be a math tutoring app for your tablet. Thinkster Math has proven time and time again to be as effective, if not more effective, than the math tutoring center, and you can do it at home with your child at your side. Let your child benefit from the instruction of certified teachers to help with his math performance, and watch as 3rd grade math becomes easy and your child’s confidence soars.

Back to School Basics: What Parents Need to Know about 3rd Grade Math
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Back to School Basics: What Parents Need to Know about 3rd Grade Math
Is your 2nd grader moving to 3rd grade this academic year? Don't let their 3rd grade math catch you off guard. Here's what you can expect.
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Thinkster Math
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