Alabama has some very specific expectations and requirements for their 3rd grade math classes to be successful. Primary education teachers are expected to teach these basic skills so that students will be able to pass a skills test showing they can perform the math skills necessary to continue on to the next grade. The teachers are given a great deal of latitude as long as the requirements and testing results are favorable.

Here is the list of basic requirements provided by the Alabama Department of Education.

1. Demonstrate number sense by comparing, ordering and expanding whole numbers through 9999.

2. Solve addition and subtraction problems, including word problems, involving two- and three-digit numbers with and without regrouping.

3. Multiply whole numbers with and without regrouping using single-digit multipliers

4. Divide whole numbers using two-digit and one digit divisor

5. Model equivalent fractions with concrete objects or pictorial representations

6. Use coins to make change up to a $1.00

7. Complete a given numeric or geometric pattern

8. Identify geometric representations for points, lines, perpendicular lines, angles and rays

9. Specify locations on a coordinate grid by using horizontal and vertical movements

10. Measure length in metric units

11. Determine elapsed time to the day with calendars and to the hour with a clock

12. Recognize data as either categorical or numerical

13. Determine the likelihood of different outcomes in a simple experiment

Under these basic tent of 13 requirements there are over 169 skills for the students to become successful with.

The job of the teacher is not only to make sure the students understand the concepts, but help the students prove their knowledge by passing state tests.

A series of activities, practice tests, and works sheets are the most common ways to accomplish the task.

Let’s break down one of the categories and see what the requirements are and some of the tools a teacher may use to teach them.

3. Multiply whole numbers with and without regrouping using single-digit multipliers

3.1 Applying concepts of multiplication through the use of manipulatives, number stories, array, repeated addition or problem situations.

*Multiplication sentences

*Multiplication: Multiply a one-digit number by a larger number – word problems

*Multiplication: Multiply three or more numbers – word problems

*Money: Multiply money amounts

*Money: Divide money amounts

There are two other subcategories under just this one objective as well. Let’s break a couple of these down to activities and ideas.

*Multiplication: Multiply three or more numbers – word problems

1. Mr. Rawlins is opening a new book store. He bought 5 book cases. Each bookcase has three shelves. Each shelf can hold 8 books. How many books can Mr. Rawlins buy to put in bookcases?

2. Jamie wants to earn some extra money. Her Mom says that she can wash windows and she will pay her $3.00 per window. She can wash 5 windows a day. In two days how much money can Jamie make?

Make it more real by having a problem where the class earns some kind of reward. If each of the 20 children in the class complete their one page of homework for five days (one school week) there is a reward. The reward is 5 extra minutes of out side time. If everyone in class is success for three weeks how many extra outside minutes will they have earned?

There is a lot to learn and test. There are websites for parents and teachers alike, with ideas and clear explanations and examples. It is worth the time to help the child learn.

sources:

http://www.ixl.com/math/standards/alabama/third

http://www.alsde.edu/html/sections/documents.asp?section=54&sort=10&footer=sections

http://www.hsv.k12.al.us/dept/merts/instruction/skills/3COS.pdf