24 Third grade academics In math, third graders work with larger whole numbers (in the thousands and beyond) and with fractions and decimal numbers. The concept of even and odd numbers is introduced, and students solve and explain two- and three-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. Teachers assign more complex math work, and students must do more work in their heads. Reading becomes more complicated now that students have advanced from picture books to chapter books. Third graders begin to use graphic organizers to summarize stories and to write personal narratives and reports. They also learn the basics of writing—including revising, edit- ing, and proofreading. Third graders learn and observe more complex systems in nature, including the solar system, weather, and the food chain. In social studies, children begin to learn more about the past, including the ways transportation and travel have changed. Help improve organizational skills With more homework and more activities, it’s important for third graders to develop good organizational skills. Organization is an area in which parents can really help their children. u Make sure that your child has a folder for each subject. Remind your child to put all handouts, assignments, and returned tests in the appropriate folders. Loose papers should not be stuck inside books or stuffed into a backpack. u Have your child use a student planner, assignment notebook, or agenda to keep track of assignments. Check it regularly to make sure that your child is using it correctly. u Encourage your child to get everything ready for the next day before going to bed, and to clean out his/her backpack and desk every week.