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Third Grade Math Update

May 5, 2021 | Sam Martino

Third graders are two thirds of the way through the year and continuing their math exploration. 

Fraction tiles are invaluable when it comes to making quick comparisons or finding equivalent fractions.

The both classrooms recently finished up an extensive unit on fractions. Students learned to see fractions as a way to divide up a “whole.” This led to some interesting realizations. Students were curious to learn how improper fractions could represent numbers that were more than one whole part. 

Students also came to understand that fractions with larger denominators actually represent smaller amounts. By the end of the unit classes were comparing fractions and learning to find equivalent ones. Having this background knowledge will help students in the years to come as they add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions.

A few of the addition strategies that students learn to use.

This year’s penultimate unit returns students to the study of 3-digit addition and subtraction. Previous investigations introduced students to strategies to add and subtract numbers up to 1000. This unit will help support some of the skills students have already learned and help develop number sense beyond 1000. 

The KONS strategy is often a student favorite.

At this point some students are beginning to use the traditional algorithm but many are still finding success with other strategies. This is perfectly fine for third grade students. In fact in many instances it can be quicker or more efficient to use another strategy (for instance subtracting 435 from 1000 requires lots of carrying over from place values. Using something like a number line may be the best way to go about solving this problem).

KONS can also be used for subtraction.

Number lines help lay the understanding of place value.

We are excited to begin winding down the year with these incredible math students.

Sam Martino

Assistant Teacher, Grade 3 Mountains Class; Math Specialist

Sam Martino is a Grades 2&3 assistant teacher in the Mountains Class. He graduated from Fordham University in 2014 with a bachelor of arts in history. Prior to joining the staff in 2015, Mr. Martino worked as a substitute teacher at Mustard Seed School. During his time as a substitute, he was able to work with every elementary and middle school class. Mr. Martino’s connection to Mustard Seed School goes back much further, however. He first connected with Mustard Seed in 1999 when he enrolled as a second grade student. In 2006, Mr. Martino graduated from Mustard Seed School. His mother served as a member of the Board of Trustees, and Mr. Martino’s two brothers also graduated from Mustard Seed. A lifelong Hoboken resident, Mr. Martino is excited to continue working with students in a unique urban community. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, music, and movies. He can often be seen lugging instruments around town as he travels to and from practices and shows.

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