This test question, released by the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC), is discussed here in the interest of helping third-grade students, their parents, and friends understand more clearly the knowledge and skills that third graders should have in math by the end of the school year (2018 #2).

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## Information for Teachers

This problem tests students’ understanding of the Common Core mathematics standard 3.NBT.A.2, which says that by the end of third grade, you should have the ability to “fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.”

Note that “fluency” means much more than being able to add and subtract quickly. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics defines *procedural fluency* as “the ability to apply procedures accurately, efficiently, and flexibly; to transfer procedures to different problems and contexts; to build or modify procedures from other procedures; and to recognize when one strategy or procedure is more appropriate to apply than another.”

In that sense, using only one strategy to add three-digit numbers falls short of a demonstration of fluency, and teachers and parents should encourage students to explain different approaches to finding the arithmetic answer to these problems.

For the first six months following the publication of this article, we encourage and welcome comments about extending this lesson or information about how you have taught this lesson in your classrooms. #LearnTogether #Voxitatis