We say with a smile that math and reading get married in third grade. Together, they produce word problems! Your third grader will move beyond simple equations and consider how questions of computation, geometry, measurement, and algebra crop up in real life. (How soon do I have to leave my house to get to school on time? How much wrapping paper does it take to cover this Christmas present?)
Third graders tackle topics such as elapsed time, area and perimeter, computation strategies, graphs, polygons and quadrilaterals, ways to represent fractions, and mental math. Your child will use games like Baseball Multiplication, Salute, and Trifecta to keep the learning lively. Clever lessons using different students’ shoes as a unit of measure demonstrate, unforgettably, the need for standards of measurement. Cheers and laughter erupt in math, especially on March 14—Pi Day—when third graders compete to memorize pi to as many decimal places as possible, in addition to practicing various uses of pi. A fun-loving teacher also winds up with pie on her face. Whatever the topic, your child will learn and benefit from “interleaving”—a study strategy based on research showing people retain information more effectively by practicing it intermittently, mixed with practicing other skills. Working like this is harder than repeating the same skill over and over. While students may make more errors at first, they eventually gain the valuable understanding of which strategy to choose for each problem. Your child is learning to learn.