Third Grade

In third grade, students learn to analyze texts using more sophisticated skills and engage in more writing to improve their communication skills. Students also learn more complex concepts in mathematics to improve their problem-solving skills.


This is also the first year that your child will take the state-mandated Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments. These assessments measure mastery of state standards and are administered in the areas of reading and mathematics.

Third-grade students may also apply for the gifted dance or visual arts program. At the elementary level, these special �pull-out� programs, housed at the Brickell Academy at Old Donation School, serve students in grades three through five but the application process occurs in the spring of each school year.

English Language Arts

Your child will continue to be introduced to a wide variety of reading materials that will help develop her reading, writing, and oral communication skills. She will receive instruction in phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and writing.



By the end of third grade, your child should be able to do the following (but is not limited to):

  • Use context to clarify the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Give oral presentations
  • Read grade-level text with fluency (easily, almost automatically) and accuracy
  • Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text
  • Use a variety of strategies to read words (e.g., apply meaning clues, language structure and phonetic strategies)
  • Write paragraphs that have a beginning (introduction), middle (supporting information) and end (conclusion)
  • Make, confirm or revise predictions about a text
  • Draw conclusions and make inferences about a text
  • Identify the theme and the major events and details that support the theme
  • Describe character development and compare and contrast settings, characters and events
  • Summarize fiction and nonfiction texts
  • Preview and use text features (e.g., title, captions, bold words, etc.)
  • Provide clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to the task, purpose and audience
  • Use Information resources to create a research project


  • Read Every Day - Continue to read aloud with your child regularly. As you read, stop to discuss what was read and ask questions about what�s happening in the story (fiction) or what has been learned (nonfiction) about a topic. Your child should discuss the important details from the beginning, middle and end of a story, and also be able to discuss the main idea and details of a nonfiction text.
  • Encourage and Explore Different Uses for Writing - Make sure that you and your child write in different ways for different tasks, purposes and audiences. Examples of writing may include grocery lists, recipes, notes, thank you cards, letters and stories. Authentic writing experiences will motivate your child to write and foster a love of reading and writing.
  • Make the Most of Your Library - Please be sure your child has a library card and is familiar with your local library. Encourage your child to choose books that are of interest. Make sure that your child has time at home, away from computers and television, to focus on reading independently.

Tips provided courtesy of NBC News Parent Toolkit


Your child will continue to build upon the math skills he learned in second grade. He will explore the relationships among fractions and operations with rational numbers. He will begin developing strategies for basic multiplication and division facts. Comprehension strategies will be used to help solve multistep word problems. He will continue to build his measurement skills and learn more about the basic building blocks of geometry (e.g., points, lines, and angles).



By the end of third-grade, your child should be able to do the following (but is not limited to):

  • Begin to develop efficient multiplication and division strategies
  • Create and solve single and multistep addition, subtraction, multiplication and division story (word) problems
  • Add and subtract fractions that have the same denominators
  • Solve problems involving measurement (length, volume, mass/weight) and estimate intervals of elapsed time
  • Represent and interpret data
  • Count money and make change up to $5.00
  • Identify and describe polygons with 10 or fewer sides


  • Discuss Math Class at Home - Encourage your child to talk about the math concepts that she is learning at school. Don�t just ask, �How was math today?� Instead, ask her to tell you about something she learned in math class today and why it is important to everyday life.
  • Model Good Math Behavior - Speak positively about math and reward effort, rather than grades or ability. Think about how important reading is and how we are told to model this behavior for our children. We need to place math in the same category. Don�t discount the importance of math by saying, �I�m not a math person, I was never good at math.� Help your child read books that incorporate math, such as Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag, or On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey, by David Schwartz.
  • Highlight Real-Life Examples of Fractions - Encourage your child to spot real-life uses of fractions, such as menus that describe burgers as quarter pounders or sports games that are divided into halves. Have her practice fractions by drawing a shape, such as a circle or a square, and asking her to color in 1/2 or 3/4 of it.
  • Play Math Games - Time spent commuting or waiting is a great opportunity to play math games with your child. Multiplication is one of the key math concepts she is working on in school and you can help her practice by asking her simple multiplication problems that relate to real life. Ask her to figure out the number of days until an event three weeks from today. Or have her calculate how many weeks she would have to save her allowance to buy a toy or game she wants. Or have her look at a box of donuts and see if she can figure out how many donuts are in the box based on the rows and columns.

Tips provided courtesy of NBC News Parent Toolkit


Your child will continue to develop and apply scientific practices introduced in second grade as he investigates and seeks to understand a variety of topics including matter, life systems and processes, simple machines, Earth patterns and cycles in nature. He will ask science-related questions, form hypotheses, make careful observations, collect and represent data accurately, explain findings and make reasoned conclusions.

Social Studies

Your child will learn about past and present civilizations in the world. She will continue to learn about the civilization we are a part of in the United States, including more about economics and the importance of the basic principles that form the foundation of our government. She will develop an understanding of ancient civilizations by studying ancient Egypt, China, Greece, Rome and the early West African empire of Mali. She will learn to interpret geographic information using maps, charts, tables and graphs.