US Primary Benchmarks: What to expect of your Third Grader

Benchmarks are Key for Academic Success

"Is my child performing at the right level for their age? I don't get enough feedback from school."

This is the question which worries all concerned parents at least once during their children’s school career. Primary school is when the foundations are laid for academic success so it is valuable for parents to understand some of the key development benchmarks by grade. Here, BartyED’s US primary specialists explain some of the key skills children should develop by the end of third grade. The benchmarks below can be used as an easy diagnostic at home to determine your child's current performance.

Third grade is all about consolidation: 
In Math, students should have memorized all multiplication tables. Common Core Standards suggest all one-digit products; BartyED is old-fashioned and insists students know up to the twelves times table. You do not need to hire a tutor for this. Try chanting them at home during a physical activity (e.g. star jumps.) Or have a competition testing each other – who can come up with the answer quicker? Consistent practice each day is key.
Students should also have consolidated two-digit addition and subtraction and be comfortable with multiplication and division. By the end of third grade, all basic operations should be fluent. Students should also be able to present all their working in a neat fashion. Centimeter squared note-books are still acceptable for students at this stage. Students should also be able to tell the time and convert between 12hr and 24hr clock.

For reading, students should be reading longer stories and chapter books with some understanding of expression and theme. In guided reading they should be able to make reasonable predictions about what might happen next in the story. If you have a reluctant reader try to read co-operatively, taking a sentence each in turns. Like the multiplication tables, it is the consistency which is key in improving reading skills.
Students should be able to include conjunctions to produce complex sentences in their writing (e.g. because, therefore, since, but.) They should be able to use these to communicate causation, sequence and contrast in their writing. They should also be using basic punctuation accurately such as sentence opening capitalization, end-periods and commas in lists.