Teaching math to third graders can be SO much fun! Math is highly engaging, and the third-grade standards are fun to teach! So, buckle up today as I share how you can make your math block fun and engaging!
3rd Grade Math Schedule
Typically, you are going to be teaching one unit at a time. I HIGHLY suggest that you teach in some sort of station format. Students learn math concepts so much better in a smaller group setting. Then, they can do all the typical practice that we do inside the stations. For that, the schedule would look like this…
- 10-minute warm up and intro to the whole group
- 50-minute stations
- 10-minute clean up and checking of station work
You can use that schedule format with however much time you have.
Small Group vs. Whole Group
Whole group math is where you will introduce the unit quickly or do whole group practice. The small group is where the real teaching and practice is going to happen.
Here is a quick rundown of the stations. If you want more detail, head to this post…
- M: Math Facts/Tech Time: This station is where students will work on their facts. For third grade, it usually starts with addition and subtraction and moves to multiplication. I suggest doing this online! They can also do a little tech on the skill of the week!
- A: At your seat: This is a worksheet they are doing after they meet with you to practice the week’s skill.
- T: Teacher time: Where the magic happens! This is where you are teaching that group the skill.
- H: Hands-On: Games! Students play a game that practices that week’s skill with a partner or their group.
You want to teach math in so many different ways, and that is why math stations come in handy. You can teach it using manipulatives during your teacher time and the hands-on game station. You can practice using technology during tech time and by playing a video during your introduction time. Students can practice explicitly during worksheet time. You get the gist. It is important to make sure you are teaching in as many modalities as you can.
Practicing All Year
You don’t want just to teach a unit and move on in math. You want to make sure they are returning to those skills so they don’t lose them. Here are some suggestions on how to do that…
- Holiday Weeks- Whenever there is a holiday, I like to do holiday activities that whole week. So, for example, if it is Valentine’s Day then I will do activities around that theme all week long. These activities in math will practice all those skills that we learned previously.
- Themed Weeks- Wanna have a camping week? Construction week? Mystery week? These are great ways to get your students engaged in practicing all the skills that they have learned thus far.
- You can add questions to your worksheet time that focus on previous skills
- Morning work is a great time to review skills
- At the start of your teacher time, ask them a question that reviews a previous skill
Intervention is pretty easy when it comes to teaching math in a station format! Here are some tips to make that happen!
- Give students manipulatives they can use at every station they visit.
- Decide what they NEED to learn and just focus on that. You don’t have to teach them more than they need to learn.
- Cut their worksheets in half.
- Give them more time at teacher time than the other groups of students.
My biggest suggestion with enrichment is to go through all the third-grade content in teacher time at a faster pace than the other groups. Once you have taught all the content and can confidently feel like they know the information, give them higher-level activities during teacher time. They can still work on the third-grade content and master it during their other stations, but with you, you can teach them all sorts of higher-level and harder math tasks. They will LOVE it.
I hope some of these tips helped! If you want more information on teaching third grade throughout the year, make sure you are on the VIP list for The Friendly Teacher here. There I send freebies, tips, and more on how to teach your third graders!