Third Grade Math Curriculum (Examples, Songs, And Games)

This is a resource page designed to help parents educate their kids. We cover everything related to 3rd-grade math.  Read through the sections and don’t miss the printable 3rd grade math worksheets. Remember to keep practice fun and challenging, and your third grader will thrive!

Miss the grade 2 fun? Feel free to check out our Grade 2 Math Games, Songs, and Problems page.  We also love to write fun and resourceful blogs about learning, check out our blog on how to teach kids the fundamentals of math

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    Introduction To Math Education

    The way the education system works is that every year the math builds on the back of the year before. What that means is that a strong foundation is essential for success in later years. A poor grasp of grade 3 math will affect the student’s ability to understand grade 3 math. This domino effect can continue from elementary math all the way to pHD math! The best way to look at a math education is like the way you look at your house foundation. Would you build a house on top of a foundation that is only 80% complete? Of course not, but that is what happens when our child only gets 80% in grade 3 math before continuing to grade 4. Fill knowledge gaps by practicing exactly the stuff that is not well understood. Have patience and add an element of fun.

    A diagram showing a pyramid of educational learning with the foundation being Elementary School Math and the Pinnacle being a pHD. A knowledge gap at he base cuts through to the top.
    A diagram showing 2 pyramids. They represent educational learning with the foundation being Elementary School Math. The Pinnacle being a pHD. A knowledge gap at the base cuts through to the top.

    Grade 3 Math Curriculum

    Math standards (also called curriculum) vary from region to region. It’s important that parents get familiar with their specific curriculum. The content of this resource page is an approximation of your specific curriculum. That means your district’s curriculum is different.

    • Introduction To Multiplication
    • Skip Counting
    • Equal Groups
    • 1-Digit Multiplication
    • Addition, Subtraction, And Estimation
    • Intro To Division
    • Understand Fractions
    • Equivalent Fractions And Comparing Fractions
    • More With Multiplication And Division
    • Arithmetic Patterns And Problem Solving
    • Quadrilaterals
    • Area
    • Perimeter
    • Time
    • Measurement
    • Represent And Interpret Data

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    Grade 3 Math Curriculum Examples

    Introduction To Multiplication

    Multiplication is a short cut to adding numbers. Repeated addition works, but it takes too long. That’s why someone came up with multiplication! When you learn your multiplication table, you will have the super power of doing addition really quickly. 

    A photo showing the definition of multiplication symbol for grade 3
    By definition the multiplication symbol “x” means to add multiple times. For example, a x b = a + a + … + a (b-times)

    It’s a skill to be able to do multiplication in your head. I you get really good at it you can go to the Mental Calculation World Cup!

    While you do not need to get to that level, everyone needs to achieve a ‘good enough’ level to progress in mathematics. There are many valuable tricks that one should learn to make calculations easier. You can check out the “Mastering The Times Tables” worksheet to get a 10 day program that will teach you the bag of tricks you need to ace your math tests.

    Multiplication On The Number Line

    One other way to do multiplication is to add on a line. A line can get longer by adding length to it. It works the same way that skip counting works. When you multiply two numbers you do repeating addition, or jumps along a line.

    how multiplication works in third grade math
    This picture shows how multiplication works by adding length to a line. Each time addition happens, there is a jump. The 2×2 example shows a numbered line with two jumps from 0 to 2 and from 2 to 4. The 3 x 7 example shows 3 jumps along a number line. From 0 to 7, from 7 to 14, and from 14 to 21.
    One amazing and important fact in multiplication is that the order does not matter. 3 x 7 is the same as 7 x 3.
    A number line from 0 to 25 shows how multiplication works by adding multiples in 3rd grade
    A number line from 0 to 25 shows how multiplication works by adding multiples. Also since multiplication is commutative, order does not matter.
    What this means is that you’ve only got to memorize half of the times table, because the other half is its mirror image!
    This picture shows an example of how commutativity works. For any multiplication, the order does not matter.
    This picture shows an example of how commutativity works. For any multiplication, the order does not matter.

    Multiplication Word Problems

    • If a squirrel collects 3 acorns a day for 5 days, how many acorns does he collect in total?

    Solution: Recognize that 3 acorns a day for 5 days is the same as 5 groups of 3. You can add five 3’s (3+3+3+3+3 = 15) or skip count by 3 (3, 6, 9, 12, 15). The best way to solve this is to memorize the 5’s  column of the times table. You can learn this from the downloadable file “Master the Times Table”.  Another trick is, if you know how to read a clock, the minutes hand multiplies the hour numbers by 5 to get the minutes. When the minutes hand points to 3, that means 15 minutes because 3 x 5 = 15.

    • Skip counting by 3 with a picture of a squirrel and 15 acorns
      In this image there is a picture of a squirrel and 15 acorns in 5 rows of 3. This represents skip counting by 3.

    Rounding To The Nearest Number On The Number Line

    There are two ways you can “round”  a number. You can round up or you can round down. For example to round 17 to the nearest 10s place, you will “round up” to 20 because the distance from 17 to 20 is 3 which is less than the distance from 17 to 10 which is 7. You can round to any number, but you will always either round up or round down.

    • Rounding to the nearest 10
    • Rounding to the nearest 100
    • Rounding to the nearest 1000
    • Rounding to the nearest X
    This image shows how rounding to the nearest 10 works. The example is 17. The least distance to the nearest ten is the way to round either up or down.

    Introduction To Division

    So far you have learned 3 of the basic arithematics: Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication. Now we will learn the 4th and final basic arithemetic operation: Division. Just like subtraction is the opposite (inverse) of addition, division is the opposite (inverse) of multiplication. If we know how multiplication works, then division works the same way but backwards.

    When we multiply, we are adding a factor of equal groups to get a total number. When we divide, we are subtracting equal groups to get a factor. The factor is just one of the numbers that you multiply. A factor the number of times a number is contained in another number. Let’s look at an example.

    A pie of 8 apples is divided into four equal parts. The result is that each part contains 2 apples. This represents the equation 8/4 = 2.

    Third Grade Math Problem Worksheets

    Are you looking for something you can hand to your third grader to start learning? Check out our free 3rd grade math worksheets which you can download or try out our math problem generator to learn online.  You can make a copy, download, and print these problems. Make it an exciting game and start learning Grade 3 math today! If you don’t have a printer, open it with the iPad and play online.

    Did you master Grade 3 Math? Continue to our Grade 4 Math Curriculum resource page!

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