What Do Students Learn in the 3rd Grade?

For many students, third grade is when everything starts to come together - where the light bulbs begin to shine. While they are still building on the skills they learned previously, they are also learning to work on their own and analyze how things work.

Third graders have a stronger understanding of the concepts of time and how things change, and thus, many of their subjects will focus on these concepts. For example, applicable worksheets review the phases of the moon or more complex cause and effect sequencing.

Welcome to the world of reading!

The language and literacy skills of third graders are more developed, and they are able to figure out words that they do not understand using context clues or pictures. Homeschool worksheets may start to include discussions on what they have read or questions about topics covered.

Third grade teachers start to introduce different book genres, as well as different places where they can find information, such as newspapers, magazines, or printable worksheets from websites. Students will also be required to complete more writing assignments, such as reports and personal narratives, which now include proofreading and editing. They may also start using charts and diagrams to compare concepts and data.

Bigger numbers - not a problem

In third grade, math assignments become more complex. Larger numbers are used, as well as fractions and decimals. Teacher worksheets may include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Third graders are also expected to start solving problems in their heads or on paper, instead of using counting tools.

Everything in the world is related

Science also becomes more detailed, introducing the intricate workings of biology and earth science. Third graders will start to evaluate the relationship between physical science, such as how the Earth interacts with the moon and the sun, or how plants and animals interact on the food chain. Third grade students learn about different land and water masses on a map, and they have a firmer understanding of identifying states, countries, and oceans.

They will start conducting more experimentation and observations, as well as make educated guesses on what reactions will happen next in science. Students also learn the difference between gases, liquids, and solids, and how sound and light behave in different situations

Changes in time and communication

This year, third graders will start to expand how they see world. Students can learn how people have adapted to different environments, and how travel or communication has changed throughout the different ages.

In the classroom, students can understand consequences for their actions. Friendships (and enemies) are more lasting, and thus, teaching conflict resolution is important. Students may be required to do group work in their classes. This will both help their needs for social interaction as well as get them to work through conflict resolution.

Most third graders are eager to explore the world and see how things work around them. They may be developing preferences for one subject or another. Many third graders also strive for independence, and they may not be as open to talk to their parents about their life at school. When they do talk, third graders are rapidly developing complex language skills, and thus, they can debate, protest, or explain concepts quite eloquently.

As independence and a sense of self begin to develop in third grade, some students may create unrealistic expectations for themselves. This may lead to anxiety and a fear of failure, which previously did not appear in the lower grade levels. Classes are starting to become more competitive, causing children that have learning struggles to feel insecure about their ability.

During third grade, it is important to nurture healthy social and personal perceptions, monitoring attitude changes to ensure that no child falls through the cracks of developing critical learning skills.