Common Core 3rd Grade Math Standards

The Common Core Mathematical Standards are a set of academic standards for K-12 students in the US. The initiative outlines what students in each grade level should learn and understand by the end of the school year.

headshot of author, Katie Wickliff

Author
Katie Wickliff

Published
August 18, 2023

Common Core 3rd Grade Math Standards

The Common Core Mathematical Standards are a set of academic standards for K-12 students in the US. The initiative outlines what students in each grade level should learn and understand by the end of the school year.

headshot of author, Katie Wickliff

Author
Katie Wickliff

Published
Aug 18, 2023

Common Core 3rd Grade Math Standards

The Common Core Mathematical Standards are a set of academic standards for K-12 students in the US. The initiative outlines what students in each grade level should learn and understand by the end of the school year.

headshot of author, Katie Wickliff

Author
Katie Wickliff

Published
Aug 18, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • The Common Core was designed to provide uniform expectations for students throughout the US.
  • Common Core 3rd grade math standards cover five main topics.
  • Not all states and schools follow the Common Core 3rd grade math standards.

If you have a school-aged child, you’ve almost certainly heard of Common Core, but if you’re confused about how the program impacts your child’s education—or whether it does—you aren’t alone. 

In this article, we’ll clarify what Common Core is and break down the Common Core 3rd grade math standards for 3rd graders throughout the US. We’ll also discuss ways to help your student practice these math topics. 

In 2010, the government introduced the Common Core State Standards Initiative to streamline education standards in the US. The program outlines mathematics and English/language arts standards that define what K-12 students should learn by the end of each school year. 

It’s important to note that while Common Core has attempted to standardize education, 3rd grade math standards still vary by state and by school. While most of the country has adopted Common Core, a few states opted out entirely, and others have withdrawn from the program. 

Additionally, many institutions that do not receive government funding—such as independent and parochial schools—are not mandated to follow Common Core. While these schools may follow certain aspects of common core, they are freer to use different methods. 

If you’re trying to understand what math concepts your 3rd grader is expected to know, we’re here to simplify.

3rd Grade Math Common Core Standards

The common core third grade math standards address five main topics:  operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base 10, numbers and operations in fractions, measurement and data, and geometry. We’ve explained each standard’s components below: 

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

In 3rd grade math, students learn to represent and solve multiplication and division problems within 100. Whether they are using arrays, area models, or other strategies, 3rd graders learn the relationship between multiplication and division.

Third graders also will be able to solve problems involving the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). By exploring different ways of solving problems, students learn to identify and explain math patterns. This can help them develop a deeper understanding of how numbers work and how to use mathematical thinking to solve problems.

Number and Operations in Base 10

Base 10 is a number system that uses ten digits (0-9) to represent any number. Third grade students will learn place value, which enables them to perform multi-digit arithmetic and round whole numbers to the nearest 10 or 100. They will learn strategies and methods based on place value, operation properties, and the relationship between addition and subtraction, to fluently add or subtract within 1000. Additionally, third-grade students will learn how to multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10, such as 5×80 or 6×50.

Number and Operations — Fractions

To understand fractions, 3rd graders will use visual models to illustrate parts of a whole. They will learn to identify fractions as numbers on a number line and represent fractions in a diagram.

Students should understand that two fractions are equal if they are the same size or on the same point on a number line. To compare fractions, they will record results using symbols >, =, or < and support their conclusions using visual fraction models.

Measurement and Data

Students will measure and estimate problems involving time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects. They will represent and interpret data using visual models like picture graphs or bar graphs. Third graders will explore geometric measurement by solving problems involving perimeter and area.

Geometry

Third-grade math students learn that different shapes may share attributes and that these shared qualities can group categorize them into a larger category. For example, while rhombuses and rectangles are different shapes, they both have four sides and are considered quadrilaterals. Students will learn to partition shapes into equal parts and express the area of each part as a fraction of the whole shape.

Did you know?

DoodleMath is standards-aligned to K-5 Common Core math curriculum. With our math app, your child can practice 3rd grade math problems & play fun math games anytime! 

Create a free account today!

How do 3rd Grade Math Standards Vary by State?

While the goal of Common Core is to provide common learning goals for all students, 3rd grade math standards still vary by state. When Common Core was introduced in 2010, all but four states—Virginia, Alaska, Nebraska, and Texas– adopted the initiative. Minnesota took Common Core’s English and Language Arts standards but not Mathematics. Of the 45 states that adopted the standards, 24 have repealed them, revised them, or edited parts of them. Four states have entirely withdrawn from the program: Arizona, Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Carolina. 

States that do not participate in the Common Core have established their own academic expectations. For example, the state of Texas defined their own set of state standards called Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) that define what students should know and be able to do in each subject and grade level. The Texas State Board of Education, with extensive input from educators, creates and implements the TEKS standards.

What Should Kids Know in Math by the End of 3rd Grade?

The 3rd grade Common Core math standards outline broad expectations of what kids should know in math by the end of the year. However, 3rd grade math standards vary, so the best way to understand what your child should understand and be able to do by the end of 3rd grade is to establish clear communication with your child’s teacher and school. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and request clarification of expectations—a school-home partnership is incredibly important.

Where Can You Practice 3rd Grade Math Concepts?

Regardless of whether your child’s school follows Common Core, providing third-grade math help and practicing math concepts is essential to develop skills and confidence. DoodleMath’s interactive math app is an engaging way for students to review important math topics. Other ways to practice 3rd grade math concepts include downloading  Common Core math standards grade 3 worksheets, looking for real-world 3rd grade math problems in daily life, or playing math board games.

FAQs About 3rd Grade Math Standards

Depending on school or state standards, 3rd graders should learn important math concepts involving multiplication, division, fractions, place value, measurement, and geometry.

The 3rd grade math common core standards are operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base 10, number and operations in fractions, measurement and data, and geometry. The goal is for your student to comprehend each objective under these main math topics.

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Katie Wickliff headshot

Katie Wickliff

Katie holds a master’s degree in Education from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in both Journalism and English from The University of Iowa. She has over 15 years of education experience as a K-12 classroom teacher and Orton-Gillingham certified tutor. Most importantly, Katie is the mother of two elementary students, ages 8 and 11. She is passionate about math education and firmly believes that the right tools and support will help every student reach their full potential.

Katie Wickliff headshot

Katie Wickliff

Katie holds a master’s degree in Education from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in both Journalism and English from The University of Iowa. She has over 15 years of education experience as a K-12 classroom teacher and Orton-Gillingham certified tutor. Most importantly, Katie is the mother of two elementary students, ages 8 and 11. She is passionate about math education and firmly believes that the right tools and support will help every student reach their full potential.

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