Year 3

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We can read and write numbers to 1000 and put them in order

Year 3 Unit 1

What we are learning:

  • We don’t write big numbers in the same way that we say them. We write 23457, but say twenty three thousand four hundred and fifty seven. If we were to write the number in the way that we say it we would write: 2300040057!
  • Number lines are really useful. They can be horizontal or vertical. A thermometer and a tape measure are examples of number lines that have the numbers already on them when you purchase them. An empty number line – children will often create these at school to support their calculations – is a blank line that you add your own numbers to.
  • It is beneficial to all children to look at and talk about numbers to at least 1000. Parents sometimes worry about introducing bigger numbers if their child is not secure with numbers up to 100. Numbers beyond 100 will reinforce the skills of reading, writing and ordering numbers. For example if your child is practising the ‘teens’ numbers with you, have a look together at 113, 213, 313, 413 etc. It will be comforting to your child to know that 13 in the tens and units column will remain as thirteen.

Activities you can do at home:

Children are fascinated by big numbers. Look for examples of big numbers in your immediate environment – for example phone numbers – and talk about them together. Ask questions that guide your child to develop their
own understanding of the size of these numbers such as, Is this number bigger than 100? Is this number bigger than 1000? What makes you think that? How many digits are there altogether?

It is easy to be ‘less-mathematically correct’ at fun events when there is a raffle. The ticket numbers are often called out as a string of digits rather than as a number. Encourage your child to read the number on their ticket(s) to you and not the string of digits. Buy a book of raffle tickets and put a selection of tickets in an envelope. Take it in turns (with your child) to draw a ticket from the envelope. Write your initials on the ticket and when they are all drawn out of the envelope put them in size order (lowest to highest/ left to right). Agree on who drew out the biggest number/ smallest number/ closest number to …

Work with your child to create a number board. Cut out numbers (up to and beyond 1000) from magazines/ newspapers/packaging/raffle book (again!)
Blu-tack the numbers to a board and use the stopwatch on your mobile phone to make a fun game out of putting the numbers in order in less than 2 minutes/ less than 1 minute … Use ascending order (getting bigger), and
descending order (getting smaller)

Try to find time for counting practice every day. Encourage your child to do an action when they count (perhaps clap or click fingers etc) this both makes the counting more fun and the active approach will help your child to remember what they have been learning.


Good questions to ask:

Is this number bigger than 100?
What is the biggest number you can say? Or write?
Which of these numbers is bigger?
What number is ten bigger than…..?
What number is 10 less than……?

If your child:

Is confident saying numbers up to 1000 and ordering them
Count beyond 1000, or
Look at interesting sequences of numbers and ask them what is changing, e.g.
234, 244, 254…..
234, 334, 434…..
234, 1234, 2234, 3234……

Extension Activity

Please use this activity when you think your child understands the unit of work. It will deepen and extend your child’s understanding of this unit.


Extension activity (PDF)