Since the beginning of the year, students have been working to improve their math problem solving, computation, and fluency. On Monday, May 14th, all third grade students will take the Math STAAR test. It requires students to use problem solving skills, math computation, and reading comprehension to solve a variety of math questions. The homework folder marked STAAR Math Homework is coming home March 26 and will need to be returned on the date assigned. Scratch paper will be included in the folder and NEEDS to be used. Just marking an answer with no work shown cannot help us help your child if they get a question wrong.
The STAAR Math Homework should be completed during the week. The pages will be given to the students either Friday or Monday and will be due either Thursday or Friday, depending on what is occurring that coming Friday. We will review these assignments in class. For this reason, it is important that your child has completed and returned the assignment so that the time spent checking and discussing it is most beneficial. The following strategies can be used to help your child comprehend word problems. These are things we have talked about all year and the students should now be able to apply.
Word Problem Strategies:
Read the problem: Get a feel for the kind of problem you are about to solve.
Then reread each sentence, stop, and jot:
Is there any information that could be important?
Pull that information out and label it. For example, if the first sentence says John had 34 watermelons, I might write down JW: 34 for John’s watermelons.
Organize all information before solving!
Ask yourself what actions are happening:
A strip diagram can help you organize those actions. Once you know the actions and how they are
related to the problem, you can figure out what operation/operations you will use to solve the
Can you eliminate answer choices that don’t make sense from the information you’ve gathered so far?
Sometimes you can eliminate the “silly” answer choices once you’ve analyzed the problem.
Choose a strategy to solve:
Students have been taught many strategies to solve problems. They can draw a picture, draw a
model, break apart numbers into easier numbers to solve, create an array for
multiplication/division, and much more. Make sure they work carefully and don’t rush! This
causes students to miscalculate.
Finally, does your answer make sense?
Does your answer match what the problem is asking? If you plugged your answer in, would it
work and make sense?
Finally, as you are working with your child on their STAAR homework, we ask that you help your child by reminding them to use the strategies we have practiced in class and allow them to the answer the questions. This is not for a grade, but rather an opportunity to learn. We appreciate your support of your child and what they have been accomplishing as 3rd grade problem solvers! If you have any questions, please contact your child’s math teacher.
3rd Grade Math Teachers