3rd grade is when students start learning more advanced math concepts and when it can really get challenging. Kids start learning some of the most important math concepts for life like multiplication, division, and fractions. They also start doing more complex and precise math. 3rd grade students learn equations with bigger numbers, telling time to the minute, and learning to measure size. These skills are taught in third grade but are important throughout a school career and everyday life. Here are the top 3 math concepts third grade kids should know.
1. Multiplication & Division
If 3rd grade were a movie, multiplication and division would be the stars. Learning these two skills is important for kids to be prepared for the more complex math coming in the future. They aren’t just learning these skills to get by in 4th or 5th grade, multiplication and division will be used throughout school and life.
There are several ways that multiplication can be taught in 3rd grade. The old school way to learn multiplication is by memorizing the multiplication tables. This is a great way to learn specific answers for common multiplication questions, but there are tons of ways to get deeper into how multiplication connects to other skills like addition.
Creating groups to connect numbers is a great way to show how addition connects to multiplication. Adding 4 groups of 3 (3+3+3+3) is the same as multiplying the numbers (4×3 or 3×4) helps bridge the two concepts together and shows a physical connection between the two skills. Visual representation, like area models, is also a great method to show how multiplication works. Understanding multiplication is a major skill in understanding 3rd grade math and beyond.
Multiplication creates groups and adds them together to form a bigger number. Division does the opposite, taking larger numbers and breaking them down into smaller groups. Many similar visuals and worksheets used in learning multiplication can be used in division. When we break down whole numbers to create smaller parts, kids understand another important 3rd grade skill, fractions.
Once 3rd graders learn how to break up a larger number into smaller groups, it is easier for them to understand fractions. Fractions help students understand how numbers can be broken down. 3rd graders learn the importance of the numerator and denominator.
Kids learn about what the numerators and denominators mean, and how to add and subtract similar fractions. Creating a greater understanding of how numbers work and how they can be broken down. Baking is an everyday skill that uses fractions. A recipe might call for 1/2 of a cup or 1/4 of a teaspoon. Fractions are a major part of baking and help make dinner taste delicious.
Kids have a better understanding of how to break down numbers into smaller parts in 3rd grade, this gives them greater understanding to how things are being measured. Understanding concepts like volume, mass and telling time to the minute is about taking a whole measurement and breaking it down into smaller parts. 3rd grade is about understanding parts of a whole. Creating more accurate measurements of time, space, and size is only possible with an understanding of multiplication, division, and fractions.
Master 3rd Grade Math with Spark!
For 3rd graders, the math starts to get a little more complex. Spark Math by Spark Education knows creating a strong foundation from kindergarten to 2nd grade prepares these kids for the challenges ahead. You can support students by taking the time to make sure they have a good understanding of what they understand and need help with. With time and practice, the math knowledge they gain in 3rd grade is the skills they will carry through life. Don’t be afraid to share how you use math, when you use it, and when it can be tough in your life.
Looking for more math concepts kid should know? Check out our whole series below
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