Simple September Activities to Support and Challenge | 3rd Grade

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In the beginning of year, getting to know everyone is super exciting, students are well-behaved, and eager to learn. This “honeymoon phase” does wear off and then the real work begins. The sooner you get to know your students, the sooner you will be able to start planning with their needs in mind.

Many 3rd grade teachers have students who haven’t been in a classroom full-time since they were in the middle of first grade! In addition to learning classroom procedures and routines, students will also require more social emotional learning as they navigate situations with peers they may not have been in for over a year. Add on teaching academics, and teachers have a few full time jobs rolled into one.

In this past year, some students have lost significant knowledge and skills while others have flourished, learning more than they might have in a “normal” year. Reaching all students where they are will be critical to a successful year. 

These September activities were developed with this in mind. Each activity is based on third grade standards and has two levels. One to support struggling students with foundational skills. The other level extends the same skill providing a challenge for those who are ready.

With a variety of worksheets, puzzles, and games students will be excited for math time! Differentiate independent math centers, make leveled Finished Work packets, use with an aide, or enjoy a game with your whole class. Print and hand out quickly with black and white versions, or print in color and create a reusable center with a sheet protector. Your students will be engaged and growing their math skills while you save time and energy.

Let’s take a closer look at what September’s bundle includes.

  • Measurement Puzzle
  • Multiplication & Division Booklets
  • Two Truths & a Lie: Telling Time
  • Guess My Shape Game
  • Squirrels & Foxes Addition Game
  • Rounding Pie Game
  • Labor Day Facts: Multiplication & Division Unknowns
  • Number Forms Words Search

Measurement Puzzle

3rd grade math measuring volume and mass fall puzzle

A fun fall puzzle is a great way to sneak some fine motor skills (cutting & gluing) practice into your math block.

The lower and higher level puzzles look the same while focusing on slightly different skills. Students who need more support will focus on reading measurements of grams and liters with some simple addition and subtraction. Students ready for a challenge will also determine measurements of unmarked beakers and perform some simple division.

Multiplication & Division Booklets

3rd grade math multiplication and division mini-books

I loved making these mini-books as a kid! The best part – your students can keep and use them as needed all year long.

These books provide a simple introduction to multiplication and division through making equal groups and arrays. The first book focuses on multiplication, giving explanations and examples as well as a few practice problems. The second book is all about division.

Have students create the books in a center, read through the examples, and try the problems on their own. Then, come together for a class discussion to share what they learned, ask questions, or explain how they can show multiplication and division in another way.

Two Truths & a Lie

3rd grade math telling time 2 truths and a lie

If this game isn’t already in your teacher bag of tricks, add it now! You’ll be playing it all year long.

A student (or teacher) shares three facts about themself, except only two are true and one statement is false. Other students try to guess which is the false statement.

This activity works in much the same way. Three clocks have the time underneath them, but only two are showing the correct time. Students must find the “lie” among the three clocks. An exit ticket is included for students to fix the lie to show the correct time.

For struggling students, most of the times are to the nearest 5 minutes, while students who need a challenge will be telling time to the nearest minute.

Guess My Shape Game

3rd grade math guess my shape riddle game

Do you need a math center that is just plain fun? Or would you like to reward your class for a job well done? This game is perfect for that!

Remember Guess Who? The little faces, asking yes or no questions, flipping down the faces until there’s only one left…

For this game, the people have turned into shapes! Students can choose any shape they’d like, then take turns eliminating them until they can guess their partner’s shape.

Not only do students LOVE this game, they use a lot of mathematical vocabulary too. Play it with your students now, then make a few extra copies and add it to your emergency sub plans for that day you’re not feeling well. Your sub will thank you!

Squirrels & Foxes Addition Game

3rd Need to wake up your sleepy students? Or maybe you want a fun Friday afternoon game? Or just a riveting math center to liven up the math block. This game is best with the whole class in 2-4 teams, but works great in a small group too. Also, it’s great for a sub once your students have played a couple times.

I remember playing this as a kid and being crazy about it. Here’s the gist:

You’re a squirrel collecting acorns. On your turn, you can “collect” as many as you’d like, but you have to watch out for the fox. Most cards have acorn numbers on them, but some cards have foxes. Foxes steal all your acorns for the round, or make you lose your turn if picked first.

If you avoid the fox and choose for the round to be over, you can “hide” all your acorns so the fox can’t steal them the next round.

Please, can we play again?!

Rounding Pie Game

3rd grade math rounding numbers board game

This game is great for centers and is played with two players.

Students are collecting apples to make apple pie. They use spinners to determine moves and what place value to round to. They collect 2 apples for rounding up and 1 apple when rounding down. The player with the most apples at the end is the winner.

The record sheet allows you to see student work and hold them accountable at their independent math center.

Labor Day Facts: Multiplication & Division Unknowns

3rd grade math labor day facts multiplication and division facts

This two page worksheet is great for the first week in September to teach about Labor Day. Students answer simple multiplication and division fact problems, then match answers to fill in the blanks to learn about the holiday.

For struggling students, using the Multiplication & Division Mini-Books will help to make equal groups or arrays to solve the problems.

Number Forms Word Search

3rd grade math number forms word search

Finally….a math word search!! Add this to a math center, assign as homework, leave for a sub, or include in an early finishers packet. This has so many great options depending on what hole you need to fill in your planning.

While converting numbers to word and expanded form isn’t technically a 3rd grade standard, it is in 2nd and 4th, so it’s great practice for 3rd graders. The higher level includes adding place value disks and expanded form. Both levels include word banks to help with spelling, but there’s also a bonus version of the higher level without word bank for an extra challenge.

Stay tuned for more monthly activities…

Each month, we’ll be introducing a new set of activities specially designed with your 3rd grade students in mind!

Sign up for a friendly email reminder and you won’t miss out as each Monthly Activity Bundle is released. Plus, receive a free coloring page download as an autumn gift for you and your students!

Purchase the September Bundle

Available for grades 3-5.


  • Skills practice aligned to Common Core Standards
  • Monthly themed games, puzzles, riddles, coloring, and more!
  • 2 levels for differentiation
  • BW & Color
  • Answer Keys

Math Tech Connections

Math Tech Connections

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