Singapore Math Strategies – Drawing Bar Models
Drawing bar models is a powerful tool to help students break down information and visualize math problems. Bar modeling also helps students improve mathematical fluency and number sense.
7 Steps In Drawing Bar Models:
1. Read the problem.
Start by reading the problem carefully sentence by sentence.
2. Determine the variables of who and what.
As you are reading the problem, identify the who and what of the problem. Underline the who and what.
3. Draw the unit bars.
Do your best to draw the unit bar or bars based on the problem.
4. Re-read the problem and make sure that the unit bars match the information.
You can adjust the unit bar/ bars to make sure that the bar models accurately reflect the information.
5. Place the question mark.
Look at your bar model. Based on the problem, what are they asking? Now, place a question mark on the bar model.
6. Compute the problem.
Compute the problem. If it is a multi-step problem, all steps should be shown. All working should be clearly shown too. This way if the student gets it wrong, we can refer to the steps and the working.
7. Write a complete sentence that answers the question.
Writing a sentence ensures that students know how to respond to the question. Sometimes students have trouble comprehending the problem so this step is important to make sure the student understands the problem and communicates effectively.