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What You Can Expect in: 3rd Grade

Having mastered reading and writing, 3rd graders are exploring their world


Boy (8-9) helping friend (6-7) to tie shoestrings
Superstudio/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Children who are entering the 3rd grade have generally mastered basic reading and math, and are primed to expand upon what they’ve learned. Third graders will make more use of reference books and materials, and will use 3rd grade math and science to continue to explore and discover the world around them. They will begin to think more globally as they learn more about the world beyond home and school, and will become very interested in learning new things.

Here is a general guideline of what you can expect to see in your 3rd grader as he tackles 3rd grade math, reading, and other subjects this school year.

Third Grade Social Skills

Your 3rd grader will:

  • Focus on friends. Friendships become more important, and many 3rd graders look forward to socializing and seeing close friends at school.
  • Become more adept at understanding and sharing jokes and riddles with friends.
  • Take on more responsibility for themselves (such as making sure they write down homework assignments, packing up their own belongings for dismissal, etc.).
  • Work cooperatively on group projects such as science experiments.

Third Grade Reading and Writing

Your 3rd grader will:

  • Continue to expand vocabulary.
  • Use reference books such as dictionaries and thesauruses to get information.
  • Read longer chapter books and be able to articulate the main points of the stories. (Third grade reading is often all about series such as the Lemony Snicket books or The Magic Treehouse series.)
  • Write detailed stories and essays with logical sequence of events and discernible plot points and endings.
  • Write in paragraphs and learn how to use transtitions.
  • Learn and practice cursive writing.

Third Grade Math

Your 3rd grader will:

  • Learn multiplication, fractions and decimals.
  • Become increasingly more adept at applying math to real-life situations such as making change or adding up allowance money.
  • Multiply and divide double- or triple-digit numbers by single-digit numbers.
  • Learn how to measure weight, height, volume.

Third Grade Science, Social Studies and Tech

Your 3rd grader will:

  • Review the names of states and learn the state capitols.
  • Learn about space (the solar system, planets, moon, stars, etc.).
  • Learn how to prove or disprove a hypothesis using experiments.
  • Become skilled at using maps and globes to find places.
  • Learn how to analyze and create graphs and charts.
  • Use numbers to apply to real-life situations, such as using a budget.
  • Become more skilled at using the computer to do research with supervision.
  • Learn keyboarding to type on the computer more efficiently.

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