Tips for Third Grade Success
During third grade, students will be challenged by higher-level reading assignments, hands-on science projects and increasingly complex math problems. Teachers at this stage begin to emphasize independent learning, but this doesn’t mean that your child has to go it alone. Nor do you.
Here are 6 quick tips to help jumpstart a successful school year.
1. Reading: Your child’s relationship with books will change this year, as the focus shifts toward reading to learn. Third grade teachers are charged with helping students become more confident, independent readers, and with confidence comes the skill to read for information. Inspire your growing reader; find a nonfiction book about an activity, sport or subject of particular interest and suggest you read it together.
2. Writing: When students put pen to paper their lessons will include cursive writing and writing short essays. You might want to buy your child a special pen or pencil to generate excitement around longer writing assignments and learning cursive. Suggest that he or she holds your hand lightly as you write your name in cursive; feeling the seamless transition between letters may be helpful.
3. ’Rithmetic: As any third grade teacher can tell you, students will spend much of the year tackling their times tables. Extend learning in the kitchen around the classroom curriculum, which includes multiplication and division, and fractions and decimals. For multiplication, consider rows of chocolate chip cookie dough on a cookie sheet—five rows of four equals 20; it can’t hurt for your child to see more clearly what 5x4 looks like. And fractions? Pizza slices illustrate the concept very well.
4. Even More Math: Another third-grade mathematics topic—geometry—will challenge your child’s growing mind. Make a game of searching for shapes in your environment. The more unusual the shape, the more fun you can have with it. Check out our 3rd grade homework help section for more topics and worksheets.
5. Memorization: Whether puzzling over various shapes and angles or pondering number families in division and multiplication, your child’s mind will be filing away facts faster than you can say “rote.” Use rhymes, acronyms or various other tricks to help your child master what can seem like a mind-boggling mishmash of facts and details.
6. Testing, Testing, Testing: With the start of third grade comes Nationwide Standardized Testing, and with testing comes stress and anxiety. Assure your child that the teacher will work to prepare him or her for test time. Practice the art of multiple choice by coming up with curriculum-related questions for your child; throw in a few silly choices to lighten up the activity. When test time rolls around, your child might be able to recapture enough of this lighthearted memory to alleviate some of the stress.