I don't have a lot of experience with the lower grades at all. I have taught 2 years in 5th and 6th grades. When people say that 3rd grade starts out like 2nd graders, what does this generally mean in terms of writing? Multiple sentences? Paragraph? Also, I got a book of daily word problems for math, and the problems given for week 1 seem way to hard in my eyes. Ex: Mindy's candle is 5 inches long. Her candle takes 10 minutes to burn 1 inch. How long will her candle burn? I guess I just have no idea what to expect and don't want to make things too easy, but want to make sure I am working on their level. I have checked out the standards for 2nd, but I want real examples of what to expect.

I am new to third grade this year also. The example of the word problem you posted does seem a little difficult at this point in my opinion. I have been reviewing the math curriculum I will be using and I have not come across a problem like that yet. Maybe some experienced 3rd grade teachers can give us some better input.

In my student teaching (2nd grade) they did math problems that were harder than that. I haven't started teaching 3rd yet, but I would think that problem would be fine.

I hope I can be some help. This is my 13th year in 3rd grade! Yes, they are very much like 2nd graders. I always have to remember that when I start the year. One big thing is notebook paper. Our 3rd graders use primary paper in 2nd. I have to teach them what side the holes go on, how to head a paper, and that they must write smaller. I use a big chart that looks like notebook paper and a transparency. A story problem like you gave would take a lot of explanation. They could understand if you drew a picture. I know my kids would not get that at the beginning of the year. Third graders are a lot fun, but they are very literal. Keep that in mind when you tell jokes. I always have to tell them to go ahead and laugh because I just told a joke!:lol: This age group thrives on routine. Have fun with them!

Third grade is a great age to teach! If I ever get the chance to move back there, I think I will jump at the chance! They are very much like 2nd graders at first. They really need to have responsibility and organization skills modeled for them. They have a hard time transitioning to the point where they can use higher level thinking skills. My kids were shocked the first time I made them dig deeper into their reading because I asked a question that was not right there in the story. However, in about January, they suddenly hit the point where they are truly 3rd graders(almost 4th graders)! That transition is just amazing, to me, to watch. I also used that exact math problem that you asked with my kids. I posed it to them as a challenge. At first, I wouldn't give them any help. I just smiled and told them to give it their best shot. Then, we went through the problem as a class and did it step by step. My kids started getting really good at those problems by the end of the year. I started them out really slow though. I gave them the short, one step problems first and we progressed up to the candle problem. Good luck, you'll love third grade!

It might depend on the math curriculum you use. I did a long term sub in second grade, and I had them from Februrary to the end of the year. My district uses Investigations and we did complex story problems all the time. The one example you gave is a bit hard but if they know story problem strategies, they should be able to begin with some of the easier problems in the beginning of the book. I'm knew to third grade too, I student taught in 1st and 4th and LTS in second. I'm thinking about doing Math Minutes in the morning and a story problem for them to solve. However, I just got hired and am taking the place of a super great teacher and I am excited to see what she leaves and to talk to my team about what they do. Mention some of your concerns to your fellow teachers, I'm sure they would be gald to help you!