A Parent's Guide to Third Grade

The Parent's Guide to a Successful Third Grade Year

Third Grade Girl in Class
Third Grade Parents Guide. Will & Deni McIntyre / Getty Images

In third grade, your child is beginning to explore new ways of learning. She is learning more about friendships and, unfortunately, may be encountering the negative side of her peers in the form of bullying. From articles about zero tolerance policies to figuring out whether or not your child is too sick to go to school, here's your parent's guide to third grade.

Third Grade Basics:

  • What You Can Expect in 3rd Grade: Here's a brief overview of what you can expect in your child's third grade year.
  • What Do Kids Learn in 3rd Grade? Third grade is a year of great academic growth. Children who were previously very concrete thinkers are steadily becoming more open to the abstract.
  • Signs of Trouble With Learning in Third Grade: If your child is showing signs of trouble in third grade, it should be addressed as soon as possible. Speak with your child's teacher and/or pediatrician if she shows some of the signs of trouble on the following list.
  • What Do Report Card Comments Really Mean? Ideally, your child's teacher will say exactly what she means, but politeness sometimes masks the true meaning, making it harder to know what those report card comments really mean. Here are some commonly used report card phrases decoded.
  • How Does Your Child's Teacher Rate? With all the talk about whether or not our education system is serving students well, you may be wondering how your child's teacher rates or if she's making the grade.

     The Social Third Grader:

    • Helping Your Child Make Friends: While you may have less of a say in who your grade-schooler plays with than you did when he was younger, you can still help guide him toward developing healthy and happy friendships.
    • When Your Child Refuses to Go to School: Dealing With School Refusal: When a child refuses to go to school many parents will wonder what they're doing wrong, but they are not alone. Dealing with school refusal relies on understanding what's behind it and working with a team of professionals to help your child through this tough time.
    • What is School Refusal?: School refusal is sometimes referred to as school avoidance and used to be known as "school phobia." School refusal is not truancy and it's not the occasional day when your child doesn't want to go to school for a specific reason.
    • Warning Signs That Your Child May be the Victim of School Bullying:  School bullying is a common problem for many children. These warning signs may be an indication that your child is a victim of school bullying.

       Third Grade Reading and Writing:

      • Ways to Improve Reading Fluency: Fluent readers not only make the transition to being fluent writers much more easily than non-fluent readers, but as students get older reading plays an important role in math, science and social studies, too. Here are some ways to improve reading fluency.
      • What Does Reading With Prosody Mean?: You've been told your child reads with prosody. Although you're proud, you're not sure what prosody means. Wonder no more.
      • How to Raise an Eager Reader: If your early grade-schooler hasn't caught the reading bug yet, you can take steps now to encourage a love of books that'll hopefully last through the years ahead. Here are some ways you can help a reluctant reader.

      Third Grade Math:

      • What Are Math Manipulatives?: Manipulatives allow students to visualize abstract ideas, solve problems in a concrete way and check their answers. Is your child using them in the classroom?
      • Math Help: Order of Operations: For many parents, algebra class was a long time ago, making it hard to provide math help in solving those long equations. The most important thing to remember is making sure that your child does the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in the right order.
      • Math Games Online: These sites offer lots of fun online math games that encourage development of addition, subtraction, and other math facts.

      Helping Your Third Grader:

      • Dos and Don'ts of Parent-Teacher Communication: Parent-teacher communication plays a big role in helping your child to have a successful academic career. Unfortunately, because teachers spend their time in the classroom with students, it may not always be easy to get in touch with your child's teacher. Knowing some of the Dos and Don'ts of parent-teacher communication can help you make that connection.
      • When is Summer School a Good Idea?: If it's recommended your child go to summer school or if you're looking to enroll him in a private program, it's important to take a quick look at the reasoning behind the idea.
      • 9 Great Homework Habits that Work:  From ways to help your kids get more organized to giving them ways to minimize and eliminate homework stress, here are some great tips for good homework habits that work.