What Does My Child Need To Know For Third Grade?

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If you aren’t a teacher, it might be hard for you to truly understand where your child is at educationally.

Or, at least, where they need to be.

If your child has just completed second grade, this post is definitely for you–I will let you know what your child needs to master and what they will be learning in third grade.

That way you can get your child a head start by preparing for third grade over the summer!

Now, at the beginning of each school year, students review material taught in second grade.

Before you start working on third-grade material, your child must master everything from second grade. Imagine that the second-grade material is the foundation for the house that is about to be built. This applies when preparing your child for any grade. (Side note: this mostly applies to Texas students. Common Core is very similar, but with a few tweaks).

Math Third Grade Summer Prep

The first thing your child will work on is place value.

The students will work up to the hundred thousands place. With this being said, place value encompasses quite a bit. By understanding place value, your child will need to understand how to:

  • determine the value of a number
  • write a number in standard form, expanded form, word form, and expanded notation
  • compare numbers
  • place numbers on a number line
  • round to the nearest ten or hundred

As I have mentioned in previous posts, once students have learned the concept, they then need to understand how to apply it. Work on concept first, application second.

After your child has successfully mastered place value, they will then move on to operations.

Students in third grade need to know how to add and subtraction within 1,000 and multiply and divide within 100. Now, automaticity is an important part of operations. By learning the operations quickly, your child will have less trouble in the future. Once again, once your child has learned all of their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts, you can then work on incorporating it into word problems.

This is the majority of the first semester of third grade. These are easy topics to learn and practice over the summer. Your child will have a running start if they have acquired these skills before entering third grade.

If you would like to see a complete list of topics learned in Math, you can find them online. For Texas, find the TEKS here.

Reading and Writing Summer Preparation


This is pretty basic. You start the year by learning the Writing Process. Your child needs to learn how to get their ideas on paper and in an organized manner. The first type of paper the students write is a narrative. Practice makes perfect. The more they write at home, the better their writing will be.


The first thing we do is practice Reading and Vocabulary Strategies.

This includes:

  • Context Clues
  • Synonyms, antonyms, and dictionary skills
  • Playful Language

Our second focus is on fiction and drama.

Throughout fiction and drama, the students will work on:

  • Plot and Story Sequence- Author’s Purpose
  • Fantasy
  • Fables, Folktales, and Myths
  • Tall Tales and Real People

Reading is a little more difficult to teach. One of the best ways to increase fluency is to just read books with your child. Ask them questions as you move throughout the book. The more you read, the more comfortable they will feel.

In Conclusion

If you work on these specific topics and preparing your child for third grade over the summer, they will have the opportunity to strengthen these already known skills once the school year starts.

If you would like to check out some of my other teaching tips.