Help with Solving 3rd GradeLevel Equations
In 3rd grade, you'll be introduced to prealgebra skills like identifying the missing number in an equation. You'll also practice writing equations to represent word problems. To learn more, read on!
Equations for 3rd Graders
An equation uses the '=' sign to tell you that two expressions have the same value. Equations can take many different forms. Here are some examples:
 3 = 3
 5  2 = 3
 3 ÷ 1 = 3
 5  2 = 3 ÷ 1
Solving Equations
In the 3rd grade, you'll practice solving equations. This means that you'll be given equations that have a number missing, and you'll have to figure out what that number is. The missing number is called a variable, and you can represent it with any symbol. We often use letters like x or n for this purpose, but you can use any symbol you'd like. Here are a few equations with variables:
 4 + x = 7
 n ÷ 2 = 4
 4 x 5 = ?
The first two examples might be new to you, but the last one should be more familiar. That's because, even though you might not realize it, you 'solve' an equation every time you complete a math problem. When you answer the problem 4 x 5 by writing 4 x 5 = 20, you've just found a missing variable!
Now, let's practice solving equations that have the variable on the other side. To identify x in the problem 4 + x = 7, ask yourself, 'Four plus what number equals seven?' You'll recall that 4 + 3 = 7, so you can say that x = 3.
It works the same way for multiplication and division. To solve for n in the problem n ÷ 2 = 4, you'll have to figure out what number divided by two equals four. Since 8 ÷ 2 = 4, n = 8. Now, let's try the problem 5 x ? = 20. You already know from earlier that 5 x 4 = 20, so four is the missing variable.
Equations for Word Problems
Another prealgebra skill you'll learn in 3rd grade is writing equations to represent word problems. Here's an example:
Danika, Caleb and Tammy went out for ice cream. Danika ordered two scoops of ice cream, Caleb ordered three scoops and Tammy also ordered some ice cream. If they ordered six scoops of ice cream altogether, how much ice cream did Tammy order?
Since the total number of scoops ordered was six, that number goes on one side of the '=' sign. We want to know how many scoops of ice cream Tammy ordered, so we'll represent that with the letter T. We know that the number of scoops ordered by Danika and Caleb plus the number ordered by Tammy equals six, so we can write the equation 2 + 3 + T = 6. Since 2 + 3 + 1 = 6, we can say that Tammy ordered one scoop of ice cream.
Other Articles You May Be Interested In

The ability to plan effective lessons essential for quality teaching. This article discusses some of the most common mistakes educators make when developing lesson plans, and how to avoid them.

Can inexperienced yet enthusiastic teachers find success where their seasoned counterparts have struggled? In Miami, Florida, the lowestperforming schools are seeing an influx of instructors from Teach for America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving education for lessprivileged students. This year, these...
We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In
Huntington Learning
 What Huntington Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 One on one tutoring
 Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
K12
 What K12 offers:
 Online tutoring
 Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
 AdvancEDaccredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Kaplan Kids
 What Kaplan Kids offers:
 Online tutoring
 Customized learning plans
 RealTime Progress Reports track your child's progress
Kumon
 What Kumon offers:
 Incenter tutoring
 Individualized programs for your child
 Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
Sylvan Learning
 What Sylvan Learning offers:
 Online and incenter tutoring
 Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
 Regular assessment and progress reports
Tutor Doctor
 What Tutor Doctor offers:
 InHome tutoring
 One on one attention by the tutor
 Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
TutorVista
 What TutorVista offers:
 Online tutoring
 Student works oneonone with a professional tutor
 Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations