All but five states -- Texas, Nebraska, Virginia, Minnesota and Alaska -- now have consistent math objectives for third-grade students. However, the math objectives for all 50 states are very similar in scope and content. The general focus of math objectives across the nation for third-grade students includes content relative to fundamental mathematical concepts, algebra, geometry, measurement, and statistics and probability. There is also an emphasis on critical-thinking skills and mathematical-reasoning skills.

## Number and Operations

Objectives in third-grade math classes are geared toward developing an understanding of the base-ten numeration system, which is essential to the understanding of all future mathematical concepts. There are also objectives that focus on fractions and fractional relationships, as well as manipulating whole numbers via basic arithmetical processes. Objectives also include a focus on helping students to develop critical-thinking and reasoning skills.

## Algebra

Objectives for students in third-grade math classes also focus on fundamentals of algebra. Students are exposed to rules for solving algebraic equations -- direction of operations and sequence of operations -- as well as the use of symbols to determine relationship between numbers. Objectives include content for the understanding of the algebraic relationships explained by the commutative, associative and distribution principles.

## Geometry

Objectives for third-grade math also include content related to geometry. Students are exposed to terminology used in basic geometry and to the application of geometrical principles. Students will identify two- and three-dimensional geometric figures and demonstrate an understanding of symmetry. Objectives also include content to familiarize students with linear and area measures.

## Measurement

Measurement objectives in third-grade math may include exposure to measurement systems including the metric and the U.S. measurement system, as well as systems for temperature and time measurement. Students learn how to convert metric measures of millimeters, centimeters and meters to inches, feet and yards. Emphasis is placed on learning how to read time on a traditional face clock or on a digital clock. Students also learn how to read a thermometer and the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

## Probability and Statistics

Third-grade math students will also learn how to plan for action research; collect, analyze and interpret data; and display results, in written and graphic forms. Students will learn how to construct and interpret bar graphs and pictographs and understand the significance of their findings. They will also use relevant statistical information to predict outcomes and determine relationships in the data set.

#### References

- Common Core State Initiative Standards: Mathematics Grade 3 Introduction
- Common Core State Initiative Standards: In the States
- Math Scope: Texas Math Standards - 3rd Grade
- Utah Education Network: Mathematics - 3rd Grade
- Internet for Classrooms: 3rd Grade Mathematics Skills Prior Standards Implementation

#### Photo Credits

- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images