Third grade

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Third grade is the term used for the third year of primary education in the US. It is the third school year after kindergarten. Students are usually 8 – 10 years old, depending on when their birthday occurs. Similar terms, for example Grade 3, are used in other countries (see below).

  • In mathematics, 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.

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

In Brazil, elementary school age was recently raised from 8 to 9 years, and the minimum age required for third grade was changed from 7 to 8 years old.

British equivalent

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

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

French equivalent

In France, children aged 8–9 join CE2 ("Cours élémentaire deuxième année"), the third compulsory year after "école maternelle" (nursery school or kindergarten). It was formerly called "neuvième" (ninth year before Terminale, the "baccalauréat" year).[2]

Indian equivalent

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

Irish equivalent

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

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.

Portugal equivalent

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]

Spain equivalent

In Spain for children from 8 to 9 years old is also the third year of primary education ("Tercero de Educación Primaria"). Also, primary education is subdivided in 3 stages, two years each one. This is the first year in the second stage.


  2. Education in France#Primary education
  3. Primary education#India
  4. "Ensino Básico e Secundário". (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2012-10-15.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Preceded by
Second grade
Third grade
age 8-9
Succeeded by
Fourth grade