Math Empowers Grade 3

Middletown Township Public Schools

Third Grade: Second Trimester: 2018-2019

The second trimester has begun and for third graders this means deepening conceptual understanding of multiplication, discovering connections between multiplication and division, exploring perimeter and area and investigating fractions. The articles and activities in this newsletter will prove to empower teachers and excite learning. Enjoy!

"Nix the Tricks" by Tina Cardone and MTBoS

Just add a zero when multiplying by 10...

Five or More, Go Up a Floor...

Turtle Multiplication...

PEMDAS...

Does McDonalds Sell Cheeseburgers?...


Recognize these? Although most math teachers can recall learning math through tricks rhymes, and mnemonics, research continually suggests this is not best practice and it is time to "Nix the Tricks." Organized by concepts, "Nix the Tricks," evaluates the misconceptions catchy-sounding tricks teach our students. Tricks strip learners of making sense of math and leave most lacking comprehension of mathematical concepts. Rich experiences that foster critical thinking will develop students' mathematical understanding, not a trick. Not sure what to do without the trick? The selection also follows up each trick with a "fix".


Click here for the "Nix the Tricks." Chapters 2 and 4 are most appropriate for third grade however, if time permits, the whole selection is worthy of a read.

Graham Fletcher... Master of Fractions

On December 12th, Graham Fletcher spent the day engaging third grade teachers with hands on fraction activities. Two favorites were the tangram congruent squares and the orange slice 3 Act Lesson. Remember to incorporate these activities as students investigate fractions in chapter 8 this trimester. These activities will support students' conceptual understanding of fractions. Resources from the day can be found here. Looking for more great ideas from Graham Fletcher? Check out his website, his library of 3-Act Tasks, his progression videos or follow him on Twitter @gletchy.

Follow Steve Wyborney on Twitter! @stevewyborney

Steve Wyborney is a K-12 District Math Coach. He has authored 14 books, including The Writing on the Classroom Wall. Steve frequently presents at conferences, connects with fellow educators through Twitter, and shares math instructional strategies and resources through his blog. Throughout his 23 years in education, Steve has earned numerous teaching awards. In 2005, he was named the Oregon Teacher of the Year. Among some of the rich, engaging math tasks that Steve creates are Esti-Mysteries, Splat!, The Estimation Clipboard, and Cube Conversations. Explore his website for more great activities by clicking here. All of his creations are super motivating for students...see your building math specialist for help implementing any of these great activities!

"Happy New Year!" means time to make a resolution.... to love math!

Let's make a New Year's resolution to love math! We will kick off 2019 with a DreamBox Challenge, where the school who demonstrates the most growth will win the district challenge banner. The contest will start January 14th and end February 14th, which is Valentine's Day and the 100th day of school! Check with the building Math Specialist for any building based details and incentives.


Third graders should be able to log on independently. If issues arise, make sure the correct link is used. This link will direct teachers and students to the Middletown homepage for DreamBox and from there, each school can be found.

Math Instruction Resource Document

Be sure to explore the Math Instruction Resource Document while planning lessons.


Some favorite activities for the second trimester include Cyber Chase: Groups of 10 for Chapter 5, Lesson 5, Quotient Cafe for Chapter 6, Lesson 3 as well as many engaging 3 Act Lessons paired with Chapter 11. Also, be sure to utilize the interactive fraction games listed with Chapter 8, students always love them! All of these activities are sure to excite third graders!

Questions, concerns, resources to share? Contact:

Melanie Tindall

Elementary Mathematics Specialist

Lincroft Elementary School

River Plaza Elementary School