3rd Grade Learning: How to Teach 3rd Graders

Although students in 3rd grade are still learning foundational skills, such as multiplication, they are entering late elementary school. Students in the latter years of elementary school face challenging tasks, like identifying a story's meaning. Keep reading for strategies you can use at home to teach your 3rd grader.

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Tips for Teaching 3rd Graders


Most 3rd graders are taught the multiplication facts for 0-12. Many times, students are required to memorize these facts and take timed tests. Although effective, the traditional way to review using flash cards may be boring for some students. Turn review into a game by having players earn points for every right answer.

Begin by placing a flash card on the table, with the equation side facing up. The first person to answer correctly earns a point. This game will help your child increase his speed in preparation for the timed tests. An alternative way to play would be to place the flash card face down, so the players see the answer. Then, whoever comes up with a correct equation wins the point. If the card reads 20, possible answers could include 2 x 10 or 4 x 5.

Point of View

In 3rd grade, students begin to study point of view in literature, which is the perspective from which a story is told. Read a short story or a passage that is told with a 1st-person narrator. Then, help your child make a chart that compares herself to the narrator, noting any differences or similarities.

Discuss how these differences and similarities could affect the narrator's point of view. For example, if the narrator is an adult, then he or she will likely have a very different point of view than your child. However, if the narrator is young and has many of the same interests as your child, then your child and the narrator probably have a very similar point of view.

This activity can also be done with stories that are told in third person. In many stories with 3rd-person narrators, the readers know everything that the characters are thinking. Discuss how a 3rd-person point of view is different from your child's perspective by explaining the limitations that 1st-person points of view have (e.g., you can't hear other peoples' thoughts).


Writing at this age focuses on structure and providing support. Students will write opinion pieces, informative essays and narratives that include introductions, body paragraphs and conclusions. Help your child develop writing skills by requiring him to write a persuasive essay on why he wants something. For instance, if your child wants to stay up late one night, he would have to write an essay that contains a strong thesis, with detailed support and a concluding paragraph.

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