Third Grade Standards
RF.3.3 – Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes. Decode words with common Latin suffixes. Decode multisyllable words. Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child will build upon what they learned in 2nd grade. The ability to identify the base word, prefixes and suffixes help your child break down words and figure out the meanings of those words. Word recognition and reading grade level sight words will also increase fluency.
RF.3.4 – Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding. Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child is on their way to becoming a true independent reader! There are a few key skills you will want to see from them. First, they will need to master automatic recognition of grade level sight words. Then, they will have to be able to analyze unfamiliar words. Lastly, they will need to comprehend what they are reading. As you can imagine, these are vital in order for your child to become a fluent reader.
RL.3.1 – Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child will begin to pay more attention to what they are reading for deeper understanding. As adults, we do this – we are constantly thinking about what we’re reading. Now is when we want children to start practicing this on their own. Reading closely will help them find the exact words within the text to answer questions.
RL.3.2 – Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
Parent Translation of This Standard: You may remember a similar standard in 2nd grade, but this is different. Instead of just retelling a story, your child will be expected to “recount” the story in order and with details. In addition, your child will be reading myths from different cultures and determine the central message, lesson or moral.
RL.3.3 – Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
Parent Translation of These Standards: Now your child will begin analyzing and describing the details that influence major events in a story instead of just reading for facts. Your child will begin to focus on character analysis; classifying characters in a story as major or minor, understanding a character’s strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. All of this will expand your child’s comprehension skills.
RL.3.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from non-literal language.
Parent Translation of These Standards: So first off, lets clear up “literal and non-literal” language! Non-literal language is idioms, metaphors, similes and hyperboles (any of these words ringing a bell?). We are including some examples for each below to jog your memory. As your child reads more complex texts, they will begin to encounter these. The goal is that eventually children will be able to use these in their own writing.
RL.3.5 – Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
Parent Translation of These Standards: Now your child is learning about the parts of texts: such as chapter, scene, and stanza in order to understand that different parts of a text build on one another to make a meaningful whole. For instance, when your child reads a chapter book they are able to write/tell the main idea of each chapter and use the main idea to predict what might happen in the following chapter.
RL.3.6 – Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
Parent Translation of These Standards: At this level, your child is focusing on point of view, both that of the narrator or character, as well as their own. A point of view is how we see things and is shown through our opinions and beliefs. Your child can determine the point of view by analyzing a character’s reaction and deciding if they would react in the same way.
RL.3.7 – Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).
Parent Translation of These Standards: They will be expected to look at pictures carefully to gain information. Your child will learn how illustrations add to what the author tells us about the characters, setting, as well as helps create the mood.
RL.3.9 – Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).
Parent Translation of These Standards: Pull out your child’s favorite book series. This standard is about making connections between books, which is an important concept within comprehension. Your child will begin to find similarities and differences in books with the same characters by the same author. Being able to identify similarities and differences is a skill that is used across all content areas.
RL.3.10 – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child will be expected to read and comprehend literature considered to be within their grade level. It’s best to use a variety of books that interest your child, so they develop reading independently.
RI.3.1 – Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Parent Translation of These Standards: The big goal here is for your child to be able to interpret information and/or explanations that include key details in order to answers questions. You can imagine that especially when reading nonfiction, your child will need to look for critical information to answer specific questions.
RI.3.2 – Determine the main idea of the text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Parent Translation of These Standards: Your child will be expected to know how to find the main idea and key details in nonfiction text. The texts we’re referring to include biographies and autobiographies; books about history, social studies, science, and the arts; technical texts, including directions, forms, as well as information displayed in graphs, charts, or maps. They are building upon other standards with this skill and they will go even more in-depth in fourth and fifth grades.
RI.3.3 – Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Parent Translation of These Standards: Your child will need to understand the relationships between events, ideas, and concepts in order to become an active reader. They will start to take notes, ask questions, make predictions, connections, and inferences – all which will help them as they grow and evolve both at school and in life.
RI.3.4 – Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
Parent Translation of These Standards: Now that your child is in third grade they will begin reading a lot of nonfiction texts! Along with that comes a variety of interesting and new vocabulary words. Your child will need to know the meaning of those words. How will they do that? Well, one way is to use the other sentences around the word to determine the meaning (that’s using context clues). They might use a dictionary or glossary to figure out what the word means.
RI.3.5 – Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
Parent Translation of These Standards: So, text features are all the parts of a nonfiction text that give information, such as glossaries, graphics, labels, table of contents, and captions. These work in unison with comprehension. It is important that your child reads and understands the information in these features. For instance, if your child is reading about a country and a map is included in the text, it will help your child visualize where it is located in the world. Another example is something as simple as the table of contents or the index within a book. They’ll need to know how to use those features so they don’t waste time flipping through every page in a book to find information. Your child will also be starting to do research on the computer, so knowing the efficient ways to locate information will be even more essential.
RI.3.6 – Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.
Parent Translation of These Standards: Your child will be expected to differentiate their point of view from the author’s point of view. They will need to know what to look for to find an author’s point of view. So…they will learn that opinion words are different from facts. Pretty cool, right? Once they have this understanding, they can then decide if it matches their own point of view.
RI.3.7 – Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
Parent Translation of These Standards: Your child is now getting the “full picture” as they read nonfiction texts. They will be learning to focus on finding information from all parts of nonfiction texts. So they need to understand that information can be in illustrations, captions, headings and supported in the text.
RI.3.8 – Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
Parent Translation of These Standards: Your child has most likely been practicing finding details and main ideas in fiction texts. Now they are learning how to find key points and make a connection between sentences and paragraphs in nonfiction texts. All of this will help them down the road as they do research within school and life.
RI.3.9 – Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
Parent Translation of These Standards: Your child is now starting to build upon their reading and comprehension skills! They will need to compare and contrast information on the same topic from two different books (articles, paragraphs). They’ll make connections between them, and pick out the key details from each book. The standard allows them to see that different authors may present the same information, but in different ways. One author may use more illustrations, captions, graphs, while another author may use straight text.
RI.3.10 – By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Most of what your child will read from third grade and above will be nonfiction texts. They will need to understand the purpose for their reading – no matter what that reading may be. The more comfortable they are when reading nonfiction texts, the better they will be able handle jumping from a science book to a biography.
Multiplication and Division
3.OA.A.1 – Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.
Parent Translation of This Standard: The big goal here is for your child to understand the meaning of multiplication, plus how and when to apply it. Notice the word interpret in the standard. Your child will be expected to explain and illustrate how they get to their answer, NOT memorize. Memorizing also referred to, as fluency will come later in third grade. Turning a math problem into a picture will help your child “see” the problem. They will be able to show a multiplication problem in a variety of ways: as repeated addition, equal groups, a number equation, on an array, and on an open number line (don’t worry we have examples for you in The Guide!). Having exposure to all of these strategies will help your child decide which strategy is easiest for them.
3.OA.A.2 – Interpret whole-number quotients of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 56 ÷ 8 as the number of objects in each share when 56 objects are partitioned equally into 8 shares, or as a number of shares when 56 objects are partitioned into equal shares of 8 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a number of shares or a number of groups can be expressed as 56 ÷ 8.
Parent Translation of This Standard: The big goal here is for your child to understand the meaning of division. Plus, how and when to apply it. Notice the word interpret in the standard. Your child will be expected to explain and illustrate how they get to their answer, NOT memorize. Memorizing also referred to as fluency will come later in third grade. Turning a math problem into a picture will help your child “see” the problem. They will be able to show a division problem in a variety of ways: as repeated subtraction, a grouping model, a number equation, on an array, and on an open number line (Don’t worry we have examples for you in The Guide!). Having exposure to all of these strategies will help your child decide which strategy is easiest for them.
3.OA.A.3 – Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
Parent Translation of This Standard: The purpose here is to take what your child already knows about multiplication and division and apply it to word problems using drawings and equations. The goal is to have your child know when to multiply or divide to solve the equation. Your child can use a variety of symbols for the unknown number: boxes, triangles, and circles. Letters are also introduced for the unknown number in 3rd grade. You’ll want to check with your child’s teacher to see what they are teaching.
3.OA.A.4 – Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 × ? = 48, 5 = _ ÷ 3, 6 × 6 = ?
Parent Translation of This Standard: When your child encounters an equation with an unknown number they need to understand the relationship between the numbers. So, that last part is you’re your child has to really understand the relationship between the numbers. Here’s where knowing fact families becomes really important! (Example: 5 x 4 = 20, 4 x 5 = 20, 20 ÷ 5 = 4, 20 ÷ 4 = 5). Knowing the fact families will allow your child to “see” the unknown number and will help them know whether to multiply or divide to solve the equation.
3.OA.B.5 – Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide. Examples: If 6 × 4 = 24 is known, then 4 × 6 = 24 is also known. (Commutative property of multiplication.) 3 × 5 × 2 can be found by 3 × 5 = 15, then 15 × 2 = 30, or by 5 × 2 = 10, then 3 × 10 = 30. (Associative property of multiplication.) Knowing that 8 × 5 = 40 and 8 × 2 = 16, one can find 8 × 7 as 8 × (5 + 2) = (8 × 5) + (8 × 2) = 40 + 16 = 56. (Distributive property.)
Parent Translation of This Standard: Ok, so in 1st grade your child learned about the Commutative and Associative properties as they relate to addition. Now they are applying these methods to help solve multiplication problems. These properties do not apply directly to division, so a division problem needs to be thought of in terms of multiplication. Your child doesn’t need to know the formal terms for these properties; rather they use the understandings of those terms to solve problems.
3.OA.B.6 – Understand division as an unknown-factor problem. For example, find 32 ÷ 8 by finding the number that makes 32 when multiplied by 8.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Ok, so this standard stresses the importance of knowing that multiplication and division are opposite or inverse operations. The thought is that with this knowledge your child will be able to solve number a division sentences with a missing whole number. Multiplication fluency will help your child use division to solve an unknown number in a multiplication problem.
3.OA.C.7 – Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.
Parent Translation of This Standard: You’ve probably been wondering, “When will my child need to memorize their multiplication facts?” Well, here’s the standard that works on fluency. The word fluently means with accuracy and efficiency. Your child should have plenty of experiences working with drawings and arrays before memorizing the basic facts.
3.OA.D.8 – Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Now your child takes everything they have learned for multiplication and division and they will apply it to two-step word problems. Your child will use this skill throughout their life. For example, going to the grocery store! They will be able to figure out how much items will cost when added to another set of items. By 5th grade your child will be solving multi-step word problems that involve all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), along with fractions and decimals.
3.OA.D.9 – Identify arithmetic patterns (including patterns in the addition table or multiplication table), and explain them using properties of operations. For example, observe that 4 times a number is always even, and explain why 4 times a number can be decomposed into two equal addends.
Parent Translation of This Standard: The world is comprised of patterns. As your child learns to recognize patterns in math, they will recognize the relationships between numbers. These experiences with patterns allow your child to make educated predictions. Patterns provide a sense of order and transfer to science as well.
3.NBT.A.1 – Use place value understanding to round whole numbers to the nearest 10 or 100.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Now this is a skill that your child will use throughout their life! Whether they are at a restaurant, grocery store, or making any purchase – this standard will come in handy! Your child has not had this skill in prior grades, however, they have had experiences with writing numbers in expanded form so therefore it will be easier for them to recognize the place value of 10’s and 100’s.
3.NBT.A.2 – Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Parent Translation of This Standard: This skill is building upon what was already taught in 2nd grade. Becoming fluent in addition and subtraction within 1000 will help them with accuracy and efficiency in solving a problem using a variety of strategies since in 4th grade they will need to add and subtract within 1,000,000. This skill provides more practice with the relationships and properties between numbers.
3.NBT.A.3 – Multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (e.g., 9 x 80, 5 x 60) using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
Parent Translation of This Standard: This builds on your child’s ability to multiply one-digit to one-digit facts (5 x 8) by now asking your child to multiply a one-digit number by multiples of 10. As your child progresses in school they will be asked to apply this concept to division and also to decimals.
3.NF.A.1 – Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child will learn the concept of “whole” and that it needs to be divided into equal parts called a fraction.
3.NF.A.2 – Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.
Represent a fraction 1/b on a number line diagram by defining the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole and partitioning it into b equal parts. Recognize that each part has size 1/b and that the endpoint of the part based at 0 locates the number 1/b on the number line.
Represent a fraction a/b on a number line diagram by marking off a lengths 1/b from 0. Recognize that the resulting interval has size a/b and that its endpoint locates the number a/b on the number line.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Fractions are numbers. Now your child will see that a fraction isn’t just a fractional part of a shape. Using a number line, your child will learn that a fraction is a number with a distance from zero. The number line becomes a familiar tool for your child and is an easy way for your child to understand fractions – and what all the lines are on a ruler.
3.NF.A.3 – Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size.
Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line.
Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3. Explain why the fractions are equivalent, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Express whole numbers as fractions, and recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers. Examples: Express 3 in the form 3 = 3/1; recognize that 6/1 = 6; locate 4/4 and 1 at the same point of a number line diagram.
Compare two fractions with the same numerator or the same denominator by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child is learning more about fractions using different models. They have been practicing showing fractions on a number line and now they will use another visual model. What is a visual model? It is a concrete way for your child to visualize a concept. With fractions, it can be shapes or fraction strips cut into fractional parts. It is important when working with equivalent fractions that they represent the same whole number. We are including these in our Guide for you.
Measurement and Data
3.MD.A.1 – Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes, e.g., by representing the problem on a number line diagram.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Telling time is a lifetime skill that your child needs to grasp. The standard builds upon what was taught in 2nd grade. Now they will learn to tell and write time to the nearest minute, as well as measure elapsed time. Once they understand this standard, your child will know how much time they have to complete something. For example, “It’s 8:15 and we need to leave for soccer by 8:30. How much more time do you have to get ready?”
3.MD.A.2 – Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters. Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child will have their first experience with measuring and estimating liquid volumes, as well as masses of objects using standard units of grams, kilograms, and liters. They are not expected to make conversions, but they will need to understand that different tools are used to measure different objects. Your child will then build on this knowledge to answer one-step word problems. The standard ties in with Science.
3.MD.B.3 – Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. For example, draw a bar graph in which each square in the bar graph might represent 5 pets.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Now your child is moving beyond just reading and interpreting a graph to create a scaled picture graph or bar graph. No longer do the graphs just have a scale of 1. This means each picture in a graph will represent more than one object. Your child will make a scaled graph to represent their data. In addition, your child will create one and two-step questions using the data presented on the graph.
3.MD.B.4 – Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units— whole numbers, halves, or quarters.
Parent Translation of This Standard: In 2nd grade, your child had a lot of exposure measuring lengths to the inch. Now they are expected to measure to 1/4, 1/2, and 1 inch. In addition, they will then need to show the information on a line plot. Remember a line plot is a diagram showing data along a number line.
3.MD.C.5 – Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement.
A square with side length 1 unit, called “a unit square,” is said to have “one square unit” of area, and can be used to measure area.
A plane figure which can be covered without gaps or overlaps by n unit squares is said to have an area of n square units.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child is building on what they learned in 2nd grade. They understand the concept of one “square unit”. In 2nd grade, they figured out the area by counting each square unit in the rows and columns. Your child will now count each square unit inside a figure by 1s, skip counting, repeated addition or multiplication in order to figure out the area.
3.MD.C.6 – Measure areas by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in, square ft, and improvised units).
Parent Translation of This Standard: Your child knows that area is measured using square units. Now they will learn to figure out which is the appropriate square unit to measure different shapes. For instance, which “unit square” would be used to measure a playground? A rug? A tv screen? A cell phone? Your child will understand that “square cm” and “square in” are smaller than “square ft” or “square m”.
3.MD.C.7 – Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.
Find the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths by tiling it, and show that the area is the same as would be found by multiplying the side lengths.
Multiply side lengths to find areas of rectangles with whole-number side lengths in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems, and represent whole-number products as rectangular areas in mathematical reasoning.
Use tiling to show in a concrete case that the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths a and b + c is the sum of a × b and a × c. Use area models to represent the distributive property in mathematical reasoning.
Recognize area as additive. Find areas of rectilinear figures by decomposing them into non-overlapping rectangles and adding the areas of the non-overlapping parts, applying this technique to solve real world problems.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Here your child is making the connection between an array and unit squares. So they’ll learn to understand that each square represents a dot on an array. Your child is taking what they know about the area and learning to multiply the side lengths to find the area. They will also use 2 steps to solve a problem. For instance, using an “L” shape, your child will need to first find the 2 smaller rectangles. Then they will multiply the sides to determine the area for that space. Finally, they will add the 2 areas together to get the total square units. We can all recognize this as a real world experience of looking at shapes like an architect might to find the area of a space.
3.MD.D.8 – Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with the same perimeter.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Most likely, this is your child’s first experience with understanding perimeter. They learn that the perimeter is the distance around any polygon, while the area is the space inside a closed shape. They will use addition to find perimeter as well as to find the unknown length of a side. Using real world experiences will help your child understand this concept better. For instance, asking them what would be the perimeter of a room or a picture frame? Or how much fencing would be needed for a particular yard?
3.G.A.1 – Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.
Parent Translation of This Standard: In third grade, your child will be taking what they learned in regards to shapes and categories in 1st and 2nd grade and going a step further. Ok, so right now your child knows four-sided shapes of all types and their attributes. Your child will learn the shapes in this category are interrelated by their properties and/or attributes.
3.G.A.2 – Partition shapes into parts with equal areas. Express the area of each part as a unit fraction of the whole. For example, partition a shape into 4 parts with equal area, and describe the area of each part as 1/4 of the area of the shape.
Parent Translation of This Standard: Ok, so this skill is a building on what your child learned in 2nd grade when they partitioned only circles and rectangles. Now they are partitioning all types of shapes! Plus, enter fractions! They will learn to describe the partition using a fractional unit.