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Mathematics in grade three builds on what the child has already learned; experience in using math is a process of continuous growth. Although third graders are introduced to new, more complex forms of math, the study of mathematics remains more concrete than abstract -- most numbers stand for something that the children can see. Children are helped to understand that mathematics is something logical, not merely a random collection of facts, and that numbers are linked together by relationships that can be grasped.

Third graders use math in the course of working with science, cooking, health, social studies, reading, and writing. They are able to read numbers into the thousands, both as numerals and as words. The idea of zero will become clearer, and children will use it in their computations.

Third graders learn the position of 100s and 1,000s; they gain greater understanding of fractions such as 1/4, 3/4, 1/3, 2/3, and 1/10 and their relationship to wholes; they estimate more confidently; they conduct precise measurements in inches, feet, yards, ounces, and pounds; and they use graphs to represent numerical comparisons.

They add columns of three or four numbers with regrouping, subtract numbers in the thousands, have good recall of addition and subtraction through the number 20, begin using division, learn liquid capacities and measurements, and begin using Fahrenheit and Celsius scales on a thermometer. Children become increasingly aware of the patterns of mathematics, including the relationships among addition, subtraction, and multiplication. They also do more computations in the form of word or story problems.

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