In Grade 3, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1) developing understanding of multiplication and division and strategies for multiplication and division within 100; (2) developing understanding of fractions, especially unit fractions (fractions with numerator 1); (3) developing understanding of the structure of rectangular arrays and of area; and (4) describing and analyzing two-dimensional shapes.

From The Common Core State Standards











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How can we support our children’s mathematical understanding at home?

In third grade, students begin to apply what they have learned about composing and decomposing numbers with addition and subtraction to learn two new operations of multiplication and division.  Understanding the relationship between the four operations is crucial for developing algebraic reasoning that they will use in the later grades.  They also learn the relationship between area and multiplication and division.  The area models help them to make sense of these new operations and to visualize the values they are calculating. Ask your child to explain relationships that they see to help them build their justification and critique skills.  Playing games that build and reinforce fluency can give students the confidence and number sense to calculate effectively.


National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) & Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). (2010). The common core state standards for mathematics.  Washington, D. C.: NGA & CCSSO.