Fractions for 3rd Grade Students: Introduction and Practice Questions

Fractions for the 3rd-grade level usually involve modeling and basic arithmetic. Third grade is typically when your child is first introduced to fractions, so the concept may be confusing. You can help your child practice at home with hands-on manipulatives that model fractions.

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What Do 3rd Graders Learn About Fractions?

In 3rd grade, students begin to learn that fractions are parts of a whole. A common method of teaching fractions in elementary school is through visual aids, like a drawing of a pie. This image helps students to solidify their understanding that 1/4 of a pie is one slice of a pie that is cut into four slices.

At this level, 3rd graders also compare fractions. They determine whether a fraction, such as 3/4, is less than, equal to or greater than one. In addition, they compare fractions to one another.

Help your child become familiar with these concepts by reviewing every day, using drills and opportunities that are present in daily life. Hands-on practice is one of the most effective ways for 3rd graders to understand how fractions work, and kids often like activities that involve food.

Fraction Practice

Drills

1. Which is larger: 4/5 or 2/3?

If your child struggles with this question, suggest that he or she draw a picture. This sketch can be as simple as drawing two circles, one of which is divided into five slices and the other is divided into three slices. Then, your child can color in four of the five slices and two of the three slices. Whichever circle has more colored in is larger.

2. Which is smaller: 1/4 or 1/3?

3. 2/11 + 4/11

4. 4/7 - 3/7

Remember that 3rd graders add and subtract fractions using common denominators (the bottom numbers). Although you want to challenge your child, you should avoid topics that he or she hasn't learned yet in school.

Real-Life Application

1. The next time you bake a pizza, you and your child can practice modeling fractions by cutting it into equal pieces. Then you can take pieces out and ask your child what fraction of the pieces is missing. For example, a pizza cut into eighths that's missing three pieces would be 5/8 of a full pizza.

2. Your child can also use his or her arts-and-crafts supplies to model fractions. Ask your 3rd grader to fold construction paper into equal parts and identify the fractions.

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