3rd Grade - Fill In The Blank With The Right Symbol

Fill in the Blank with the Right Symbol
Select appropriate operational and relational symbols to make an expression true (e.g., if 4 __ 3 = 12, what operational symbol goes in the blank?).
Algebra and Functions: when to use operational symbols The ability to find a number pattern and place the appropriate symbol in a given space to make the number problem true.

Sample Problems


Know the multiplication, division, addition and subtraction symbol


Know the names of all four of these operations.


Be able to identify a number sentence pattern no matter what order it is written. For example, 4 + 3 = 7 or 7 = 3 + 4.


Understand how to read a story problem and create a number sentence to solve the problem.


Understand when to use each of the four operations in every day circumstances. For example, + and x are used when numbers get bigger and – and ÷ are used when numbers get smaller.

Learning Tips


Retell the Gnome stories from the previous lessons (#6, 7, 9, 10). This time ask your child to draw simplified pictures of the gnomes. For example, draw Gnome Plus with great big pockets, draw Gnome Multiply as a stick figure with arms up and legs out making an “X”, draw Gnome Minus with a sack over his shoulder and gems falling out, draw Gnome Share with another gnome bending in front of him and Share handing over gems (this makes the division sign). Draw nothing much more than stick figures with the characteristics described above.


Using graphics, songs or rhyming language is an excellent way to help children remember the meanings of symbols that to them, don’t really have any meaningful connection to the meaning of the symbol. For example, see if your child can make up simple rhymes or chants to go along with each figure. For example, Gnome Share—This plump little gnome is a one of a kind. He wants to give and, share away all that others find. With each he wants to give and share. And this he does with the greatest care. Another approach could be to ask your child what the symbol reminds him/her of as children will often come up with their own memory devices.


Attach arm actions to the written symbols. Children can cross their arms like an “X” for multiplication, like a + for addition, a single arm across their bodies for subtraction and two fists on top of each other with a space in the middle for division. As you give the child problems to solve aloud, encourage them to use the arm movements as they solve the problem.


Use manipulatives to act out problems from all four processes. Children can use symbol index cards (each with one of the four symbols written on them) to create a number sentence on the table using counters or other manipulatives. These are easy symbols to draw and your child will need to make them frequently. For this reason you want to encourage your child to draw their own symbols on the card rather than providing ones that you made or that were made commercially.


Have the child stand up frequently and do some problems aloud with you. Children can draw the problem in the air or use the arm movements or march and count around the room. Children learn in different ways, so mix it up and make it fun.

Extra Help Problems


6 ? 5 = 11 (+)


5 ? 8 = (13) (+)


14 ? 12 = 2 (-)


80 x 10 ? 800 (=)


10 ? 4 = 6 (-)


25 ? 8 = 200 (x)


200 ? 4 = 50 (÷)


110 ? 9 = 101 (-)


If you want to buy two ice cream cones for you and your little brother what symbol would you use to figure out how much they both will cost. (x or +) What are the operations called that you could use? (multiplication and addition)


If you give the ice cream man a $5 bill, what symbol would you use to find out your change? (-) What is the operation called? (subtraction)


8 ? 0 = 0 (x)


0 ? 5 = 0 (x or ÷)


24 = 8 ? 3 (x)


You have a pile of 34 Skittles and your friend wants to share the pile with you. What symbol would you use to figure out how many she gets? (÷What is the operation called? (division)


630 = 70 ? 9 (x)


13 ? 7 = 6 (-)


20 ? 40 = 60 (+) or for more advanced 20 ? ___= 60


8 ? 1 = 8 (x)


100 = 10 ? 10 (x)


72 ? 8 = 9 (÷)


401 ? 101 = 502 (+)


36 ? 4 = 9


You walk your dog each morning and you see many dogs as you go along your way. If you want to know how many dogs you saw altogether on any given day, what symbol would you use to figure it out? (+ or maybe x)


10,000 ? 3,792 = 13, 792 (+)


You want to see how much money you have in your piggy bank. What operation would you use to find out? (addition) What does the symbol look like? (+)


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