3rd Grade Math: Teaching Third Graders How to Count Money

Kids are taught how to count money in 2nd grade, and by 3rd grade, they may be prepared to solve more complex word problems involving monetary amounts. If your child could use a little extra review or if he or she is up for an additional challenge, use the following activities at home.

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How to Teach Your 3rd Grader about Money


If your child is struggling to remember what each coin is worth, a hands-on activity can make review fun. Write monetary amounts, such as five cents, ten cents and 25¢, on index cards. Then, using real coins, have your child match the coin with the correct amount. For a challenge, write amounts like 63¢ on the index cards and have your child count the correct amount using real coins.

Real-world Context

Students may not realize how important these math skills are until they have money of their own. The next time you're at the toy store, give your child $10.00 and say that he or she may buy anything as long as it is worth $10.00 or less. This activity will require your child to add the prices of the items he or she wants and subtract that amount from $10.00.

Word Problems


Help your child review money and multiplication at the same time by incorporating this operation into word problems. Remember that most 3rd graders will not be prepared to multiply with decimals yet, so limit the monetary amounts to whole numbers. Here's an example:

Bananas are on sale for $1.00 each. If Tim wants to buy five bananas, how much money will he spend?

To solve this problem, your child will have to multiply the cost of the banana ($1.00) by five (5 x 1 = 5). So, Tim will spend $5.00.

To increase your child's motivation to learn this skill, make it apply to his or her life. If you give your child an allowance, have him or her calculate how much money he or she will have if the allowance is saved for ten weeks. For example, if the allowance is $2.00 per week, your child would have $20 after ten weeks (2 x 10 = 20).


Your child will also be learning division in 3rd grade. Although these problems may be trickier, you can provide simple division problems that involve money, like this:

Sammy found $15 on her way home from school. She wants to divide the money evenly with two of her friends. How much money will each friend receive?

Your child should begin by identifying the division problem: 15 ÷ 3 = ? If your child struggles to solve this equation, tell him or her to think of it in terms of multiplication. Because 3 x 5 = 15, 15 ÷ 3 = 5. Each friend would receive $5.00.

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