Third grade

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Third grade (called Year 4 in the UK) is the fourth year of primary education in most countries. It is the third school year of primary school. Students are usually 7–9 years old, depending on when their birthday occurs. In some school districts, it is the final year of elementary school.

  • In math, students are usually introduced to multiplication and division facts, place value to thousands or ten thousands, and estimation. Depending on the school, students may even begin to work on long division. Decimals (to tenths only) are sometimes introduced. Students begin to work on problem-solving skills working to explain their thinking in mathematical terms.
  • In science, third graders are taught basic physical sciences and chemistry. Weather and climate are also taught. The concept of atoms and molecules are common, the states of matter, and energy, along with basic elements such as oxygen, hydrogen, gold, zinc, and iron. Nutrition is also taught in third grade along with chemistry.
  • Social studies begin a study of the culture of the United States and basic idea of the early part of the United States from the time of Native Americans to the Civil War. Outward expansion and the gold rush is covered.
  • In reading, third grade students begin working more on text comprehension than decoding strategies. Students also begin reading harder chapter books. They read and distinguish between a variety of genres: realistic fiction, non-fiction, poetry, fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction and folktales.

Grade 3 students learn how to work on projects on their own and with others. This may start as early as second and first grade as well. Social skills, empathy and leadership are considered by some educators[citation needed] to be as important to develop as the academic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Brazilian equivalent[edit]

In Brazil, children begin their first year of elementary school at age 6 or 7 depending on their birthdate. Therefore, the 3rd year of elementary school is typically for students of 8–9 years of age.

British equivalent[edit]

At the same age, Scottish and Welsh pupils are in their fourth year of compulsory education. In Northern Ireland pupils are in their fifth year of compulsory education.

In England, the year of school that is the same age as 3rd Grade is Year 4, which is the fourth year of compulsory education. Most children start one year earlier however, in the Reception class.[1]

Canadian equivalent[edit]

In Canada, the year is called Grade 3, and the pupils are known as "3rd grade".

French equivalent[edit]

In France, children aged 8 join CE2 ("Cours élémentaire deuxième année"), the third school year of primary school. It was formerly called "neuvième" (ninth year before Terminale, the "baccalauréat" year).[2]

Indian equivalent[edit]

In India children enter Class 3 or 4 at ages 8 to 9.[3]

Irish equivalent[edit]

In the Republic of Ireland, the equivalent is Third Class or Rang a trí (for 9-10 year olds) which is the fifth year of Primary School.

New Zealand equivalent[edit]

In New Zealand, this level of class is called Standard 2 or Year 4. Children generally start this level between the ages of eight and nine.

Portuguese equivalent[edit]

In Portugal, the third grade (terceiro ano, 3.º ano) is the third year of the four-year 1.º Ciclo do Ensino Básico that includes also the first grade, the second grade and the fourth grade.[4]

Spanish equivalent[edit]

In Spain for children from 8 to 9 years old is also the third year of primary education (el año tercero de la educación primaria). Also, primary education is subdivided in 3 stages, two years each one. This is the first year in the second stage.


Preceded by
Second grade
Third grade
age 8-9
Succeeded by
Fourth grade