Third Grade Math Investigations


We are moving right along!

We are currently in the middle of Unit 8, our fractions unit. We are spending a lot of time getting our hands on fractions through the use of counters, fraction strips, as well and fraction cards. The more we can do to make fractions concrete, the better!

I would love to have our Unit 8 assessment by the end of next week, but if we need an extra day for fractions, we are going to take it. We missed two days of math this week due to the field trip as well as an assembly. Monday we are also off school which can cause us to be a bit rusty. We will take it each day as it comes.

Please help your child find some time over the next week to work on the study guide that went home at the start of Unit 8. While the students are being tested on fractions, there are quite a few other types of questions that are included as well. The study guide mirrors the assessment, so it allows the students to prepare themselves for the test as well as ask questions in advance if they need to.

Multiplication - Where should my child be?

At this time of year, I would expect the students in my class to be completely fluent with their multiplication facts. I would like to see all of the students recite their facts without having to think about them.

What if my child is not there yet?

If your child is not a multiplication machine yet, please find five to ten minutes a day to practice. I cannot stress how important this is. One of my favorite ways is to use good old-fashioned flash cards. Begin to go through the deck and when your child does not know a fact or even pauses, provide the answer and then have your child repeat the problem and answer three to five times in a row. By doing this, you are helping to train his/her brain! After doing this, back up a few cards and try again. Hopefully your child will have the fact memorized the second time around. If he/she does not, repeat the process.

If your child loves to use your Kindle, iPad or computer to practice multiplication facts, that is a great option as well.

Multi-digit Multiplication

I have introduced multi-digit multiplication and I have learned that a lot of the students are finding solving these problems to be quite challenging! Many seem to struggle with the carrying that happens and many simply do not know their facts well enough. We will back off from multi-digit multiplication for a little while until it comes up in Unit 10 where I introduce the partial-products algorithm. This strategy often turns out to be the "aha" moment for many students that do not catch on to the traditional algorithm. Third graders do not need to be secure in multi-digit multiplication, so if I do observe that it continues to be a struggle, we will take a break if we need to.

What's next?

Our plan is to stay with Everyday Math for a while before we begin our next Math Investigations unit. In the meantime, we will be returning to logic puzzles as well as our Zaccaro problem-solving packets. We have taken quite a long break from them!

Please keep in touch!

Do not hesitate to call or email with any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing how math is going from your end. Have a great Valentine's Day!

Jaime Connors