How Is My Third Grader Doing In School?

Excerpted from "How Is My Third Grader Doing in School?" by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

From "Math Exercises"

  • The next time you are waiting for an appointment, write a sequence of numbers that follow a particular pattern. Ask your child to guess which number would come next in the sequence. Here are some examples:
    3,6,9,12,15,_ (18. This pattern is multiple of threes)
    2,5,4,7,6,9,_ (8. This pattern is add three, subtract 1)
    1,4,5,10,20,_ (40. Each new number is the sum of the numbers in the list.)
  • Waiting in line at the grocers? Give your child coin challenges: "I'm thinking of five coins that equal 17¢. What are they? I'm thinking of five coins that equal 51¢. What are they?" Then have your third grader challenge you in the same way. If your child has difficulty coming up with solutions, give her pencil and paper when you get home. Show her how to make a chart or a list to keep track of the combinations she has already tried.
  • Provide your third grader with an answer and have her come up with as many problems as she can. Here is one way to record those problems:
  • Calculator Fun Remember a time when you didn't go anywhere without crayons in your pocket or your purse? You knew that in a pinch, you had an instant activity. Well, now that your child is an eager third grader, you might want to consider carrying a pocket calculator to create impromptu moments for learning. Here is one place value game for your calculator.
    • Type in a four-digit number such as 3,456
    • Have your child erase the number in four sequential steps (thousands place to ones place): 3,000, 400, 50, 6
    • If he makes a mistake, have him start over.
    • When your child becomes adept at erasing four-digit numbers, go to five- and six-digit numbers.
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