Math Checkups

Third Grade

“How long is your hair, to an eighth of an inch?”

Ask this question, then hand over a ruler! You can snip a hair at the base to make it easy.

What's the skill?

Using a ruler is one of the most obvious life skills learned in school. Fractions are as well.

Why is it urgent?

Even in the age of video games and social media, we still live in three dimensions – and want our kids to understand physical space.

“The first candy bar was invented in 1866. How long ago was that?”

…or for the more gadget-oriented, ask how long we’ve had the phone (Alexander Graham Bell invented it in 1876).

What's the skill?

This exploration of fun trivia is actually sneaking in four-digit subtraction.

Why is it urgent?

This exercise ensures your child understands regrouping. Otherwise, the wheels come off the cart when they reach long division.

If your child needs more work on this skill, watch Khan Academy’s videos on subtraction with regrouping.

“How big is your room?”

Ask your child how many square feet his/her bedroom is. Offer a measuring tape if needed to find the dimensions.

What's the skill?

This is a real-life example of calculating area — far more interesting than the blank rectangles on the homework.

Why is it urgent?

Area problems show multiplication in action. And someday your child will need to gut-test the realtor’s claims.

Wondering what to do next? Talk to your kid’s teacher