3rd Grade Computation and Algebraic Thinking Resources

What are the missing digits of this equation? Think strategically about the possibilities, then click the buttons to find out. Play this game slowly with lots of conversations about what you know/don't know. See this Marilyn Burns blog post for more information and instructional ideas.

This is a hundreds chart, but with a twist. Every number in the hundreds chart has been multiplied by a random number [1,10]. Can you figure out the pattern? (See also Number Path, which explores the same idea on a normal hundreds chart.)

How many of one shape fits into the other. Intended to serve as a bridge to division.


Arrange the digits 1-9 into three 3-digit numbers. Try to get the sum as close to 1000 as possible.

A simple tool for students who need support when finding a common denominator (or any other context in which they are looking for a common multiple).

This resource is intended to get students to use proportional reasoning to estimate quotients. Use the sliders to generate random dividends and divisors, or input your own numbers. Start by dragging the numbers to the correct locations, then predict the number of "jumps" to land on the dividend.

This is designed to help students connect division algorithms to the "action" that is actually taking place. As students develop repeated subtraction or partial quotient approaches, use this to support them thinking "What is happening here?" as they represent the problem mathematically and attend to the meaning of the quantities.

Use the sliders to adjust the addends, then consider the size of the sum relative to the two bounds you are given. "Would the sum be closer to ___ or ___? How do you know?" As the level of precision increases, the level of mathematical reasoning increases with it. And the GRAND purpose behind this is to get students using an estimation strategy called front-end addition. Consider building this around a central question of "How do we make our estimates more precise?"

An updated version of "How Many?" with a new feature: once you see the squares, you can arrange them into groups. Use this to connect estimation and quantity to skip counting. Or use it to have a conversation about multiplication or division.

This activity is meant to develop flexible, creative thinking about numbers and operations. Your goal is to move a from a starting number to a target number, but there are many ways to do this! Adjust the sliders to control the bounds of the numbers involved.

A simple activity in which you put multiplication expressions in increasing order. Adjust the sliders to change the number of expressions and the number of digits in the factors, focusing more on estimation for large products.

A simple activity in which you put division expressions in increasing order. Adjust the slider to change the number of questions.

Adjust the slider to control the size of the numbers. One of the pieces (a part or the whole) is randomly provided. Use estimation to fill in the rest. Feedback provided.

Designed to develop ability to estimate reasonable answers in subtraction situations. Specify your own subtraction problem (or generate a random one), then represent the relative size of the subtrahend by shading a rectangle representing the minuend. Feedback on accuracy of shading is provided. (Not included but recommended: finish by estimate the size of the difference before actually doing the subtraction.)

Designed to make a more concrete connection between dividend, divisor, and quotient. Use number sense to estimate the relative size of dividend and divisor, then use that to estimate the quotient.

Enter a division expression, then select an approach to the division (partitive or quotative).

Enter a multiplication expression, then select a visualization (jumps on a number line, array, or equal sized groups).

Designed to develop a specific strategy when faced with a regrouping problem in subtraction. Specify a subtraction problem, then see that represented on the number line as the distance between the two numbers. Since that is a fixed distance, explore how it can be found by adjusting the minuend and subtrahend to generate equivalent subtraction problems, some which would not require regrouping.