# Getting the most out of 3rd grade

Based on Common Core Standards
Written by Brian Galvin, MEd Chief Academic Officer

#### Key Takeaways

These are the most critical skills a 3rd grader should master before entering 4th grade:

Math:
1. Multiplication & Division
2. Fraction Values
3. Perimeter & Area

English Language Arts:
1. Reading to Determine Main Idea
2. Understanding Non-Literal Vocabulary and Using Context and Root Words to Determine Meaning
3. Use Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions to Produce Compound Sentences

Find out which 3rd grade skills your student needs to work on by taking our learning assessments:

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## Critical Skills for Math

Multiplication & Division
Before leaving 3rd grade, a student should be comfortable both multiplying and dividing integers within 100 and with determining the unknown integer or digit in a multiplication or division equation. Students should also conceptually understand when and how to multiply and divide. Multiplication and division form the foundation for most skills taught in 4th and 5th grade when students will perform calculations with fractions and decimals and begin thinking and calculating algebraically.

Fraction Values
3rd grade marks an important milestone for learners as the concept of division lends itself to the concept of fractions: integers that are broken down into smaller parts. 4th grade is a year in which students will begin performing calculations with fractions and decimals, meaning that by the end of 3rd grade it is important for students to understand the concept of fractions, to recognize equivalent fractions, to be able to express whole numbers as fractions, and to be able to partition shapes and the number line to see fractional values.

Perimeter & Area
Another big leap in 3rd grade involves geometry, as students go from recognizing and drawing shapes to understanding the measurement of shapes. By the end of 3rd-grade students should feel comfortable conceptually understanding area and perimeter; be able to calculate basic areas using multiplication and unit squares; be able to find the perimeter of various polygons with or without all side lengths presented.

Our smart learning system can assess your student, identify their strengths and weaknesses in a subject, and recommend learning tools to help them improve their mastery.

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## Critical Skills for English Language Arts

By the end of 3rd grade, it is important for students to be able to synthesize entire texts to determine an author’s main idea or theme in writing a story or narrative. This ability is, of course, important in its own right, and also builds to important 4th-grade skills including reading to draw inferences and reading to compare and contrast texts with different main ideas. A graduating 3rd grader should, therefore, feel comfortable summarizing main ideas at the conclusion of books, chapters, and articles, and should be able to support their response with explicit details from the text.

Understanding Non-Literal Vocabulary and Using Context and Root Words to Determine Meaning
A critical component of reading as a learner graduates to chapter books and more challenging texts is the ability to understand non-literal and unfamiliar words and references without getting stuck. 3rd grade is an important transition point in a reader’s ability to be self-sufficient when reading longer material independently, and this family of skills - using root words to break down meanings of larger words; using context clues to determine meaning; and understanding non-literal vocabulary - allows students to conquer the next level of reading material they will see in 4th grade.

Use Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions to Produce Compound Sentences
By the end of 3rd grade, a writer should be able to vary their sentence structure to link ideas with more complicated sentences. This requires students to be able to use conjunctions to form compound sentences - a skill that prepares students not only to write more effectively as they enter 4th grade but to comfortably read advanced material featuring compound sentences, too.