As children continue their studies into term 3, Spark Math by Spark Education wants to make sure children are ready! After the June holidays, students may struggle when returning back to school. Some of them may experience learning loss, which refers to students’ loss of some of their educational concepts due to lack of practice during a long vacation. In this new blog series, Spark Math goes over some of the most important math concepts children should know as school and revision picks up. Here are the “Math Children Should Know Before Primary 3.”
Primary 3 and Math
Primary 3 math is the next important step in math learning. This year marks the shift from simple addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. With these new skills, students are ready to take on more complex equations and word problems. By the end of P3, students should have mastered several critical math concepts that serve as the foundation for future learning and the basis to branch out and handle more complex material. Be prepared with these skills your kids should know before entering P3.
1. Numbers, Addition, and Subtraction
P3 is when students begin learning multiplication and division skills. To be prepared for these new concepts, students should have a strong grasp of addition and subtraction up to the number 100. This includes understanding the ones, tens, and hundreds places in 3-digit numbers. Multiplication and division are skills built upon early concepts like addition and subtraction. Multiplication equations start having larger answers, so it’s important students going into P3 are able to count to 1000.
Word problems are a practical way for kids to take the math skills they have and put them in real world situations. In P3, word problems become more complex and multi-layered. Students should be able to solve word problems with at least 2 steps at this grade level.
These multi-step problems are a great way to use more than one skill to solve a larger problem. These skills help kids adjust to using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and are a great intro to the order of operations (PEMDAS). This acronym, which stands for “Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication & Division, Addition & Subtraction,” helps kids to easily remember the order to solve complex equations.
Ways to use numbers, addition, and subtraction:
- Add and subtract using larger numbers outside the classroom.
Examples: Add up the days before a vacation or holiday, then count down to that date. Add up the ages of family members and use subtraction to find out how much older/younger family members are.
- Create word problems out of real situations that require at least 2 steps to solve as P3 students move to multi-step word problems.
Examples: Create two different dishes for dinner that use some of the same ingredients. Add up the total ingredients needed for dinner, based on the recipes.
2. Time, Size, and Geometry
As kids get older, they are taught to describe the world around them in more accurate and specific ways that are universally understood. Upon beginning P3, students should know more precise ways to measure. In regard to time, students should be able to tell time to the closest 5 minutes, and read both digital and analogue clocks accurately. Telling time will play a critical role as kids get older and have schedules to follow.
P3 students are learning how to measure objects in different ways, using measuring tools to calculate volume, area, length, and height. They also start to work with simple fractions and decimals. In P2, they learnt the concept of how “whole” objects can be separated into “parts”. This is critical in P3, where students will proceed to learn more about concepts like “half” or a “quarter” of an object. This builds on the foundation for other concepts like division, fractions, decimals, and percentages.
Ways to use time, size, and geometry:
- Keep track of your day with time.
Examples: Create a schedule based on time to the nearest 5 minutes, trying to stay away from the top of the hour or half hour.
- Measure objects in different systems
Examples: When using rulers or thermometers, pay attention to all the measurement systems you can measure in. Take note of both ways. Measure your height in both units.
- Break items into different parts
Examples: Create paper shapes and cut them into halves, thirds, and quarters. Measure the shapes and divide the size equally to get the proper proportions. Show how food can be broken down into parts by how you cut a sandwich, pizza, or cake.
Understanding money, and how it breaks down, is a skill people use every day. In P3, students go in-depth with how to use money in real and educational ways. To be prepared, kids should know the value of paper and coin money, money equivalences (2 50-cent coins = 1 dollar), and be able to solve math problems that involve money. These P2 skills will help students ace the more complex money-based math that comes with the new school year.
Ways to use Money:
- Add and Subtract using money every day.
Examples: Make a budget for snacks and stick to it. Take a final price from dinner at a restaurant and subtract how much each person’s meal was.
- Use coins and bills to create equivalencies
Examples: Start a piggy bank and at the end of the month replace the coins with bills. Go through coins to see how much money it is in bills.
Be ready for the new school year with Spark Math
Starting P3 at a full run rather than a crawl will help your child set the tone for the entire year. Your child will master all the critical skills they need to know for the year in our P3 Advanced programme. For children who are aiming to take part in math olympiads, learn the essential techniques to score with speed and accuracy in our Competition programme. All of our programmes are MOE aligned and cover everything you’ve read here and much more.
Spark Math is an education programme perfect for helping children use the skills they learnt all year in effective and engaging ways. Available for students from K2 to P5, Spark Math’s online programme features online classes, gamified lessons, and real-time feedback from experienced teachers. Try it for yourself by signing up to try a free demo class today!
Check out the rest of our Math Children Should Know series below: