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Elementary Mathematics

3rd Grade Math

In Seattle Public Schools, we believe all students have mathematical brilliance. Your child’s teacher seeks to cultivate that brilliance to develop your child into a mathematical thinker and problem solver.  Your child will see who sees the value of math in their life.

Your child will learn and develop mathematical ways of thinking through (mathematical practices). Some examples of math practices are using math to model authentic situations, persevering in solving problems, constructing and critiquing mathematical justifications, and representing mathematical ideas visually. Read more about the Standards for Mathematical Practices.

Effective math instruction begins by building a strong conceptual understanding of how numbers work (number sense).  This is the foundation that leads students towards procedural fluency (using flexible, efficient, and accurate strategies). Effective math instruction includes opportunities for students to apply their understanding and fluency to real-world mathematical problems.

In third grade math , students will build on their 2nd grade understanding of the Base-10 number system and operations to:

  • Use understanding of our number system to develop strategies for addition and subtraction strategies to solve problems within 1000
  • Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division within 100
  • Determine the area of a given shape and relate it to addition and multiplication
  • Understand the relationship between multiplication and division
  • Solve two-step word problems involving the four operations
  • Understand and represent fractions as part of a whole
  • Compare fractions and recognize equivalent fractions using models
  • Solve problems involving measurement of time, liquid volume, and mass
  • Draw a picture graph and bar graph to scale
  • Represent a data set with several categories

When your child goes to 4th grade, this knowledge will be the foundation for the concepts of multi-digit multiplication and division, problem-solving using the four operations in multi-steps problems, and further their understanding of fractions. 

At home, utilize math games to make math fun (with dice and cards), notice math in the world (such as travel, distances, nature, and cooking), and ask questions to prompt deeper thinking (“Tell me more about how you solved this? Is there another way to solve this problem?”).

At home, you can support your child by:

  • Playing games that make math fun and engaging using materials such as dice and cards
  • Noticing math in the world, such as in nature and while cooking
  • Asking questions about their thinking such as, “What were you thinking when you solved this?”
  • For more ideas about supporting your child at home see the SPS Supporting Your Student-Math webpage.

Learning Standards are for all of us: students, principals, community partners, teachers, families, and the public.  They provide an equitable benchmark of what is important for students to learn as they progress through school. Introduction to the Common Core Math Standards: Achieve the Cor