Friday, March 8, 2013

Problem Solving and Model Drawing (Bar Model)

There's still time...

A few weeks back, I linked up a Freebie called, "Problem Solving, Magic and Happily Ever After:  A Student and Parent Guide to Common Core Word Problems."
You might remember can see it below and grab a copy for yourself!

I am really excited to finally be finished with the workbook to go along with it!
Addition and subtraction problems can be presented in many ways and students must be able to solve problems of any situation.  Below you will see the "Common Addition and Subtraction Situations" as set forth in the Common Core Curriculum.
That is some chart! Not to mention a huge responsibility for teachers!  In order to provide plenty of practice for my students,  the workbook I created provides 4 practice sheets with 6 word problems for each type of situation. (That's a lot of practice!) In my classroom, I used two of the sheets for guided practice and two for homework.  I also sent the handbook home to the parents as a reference guide (it was very appreciated!).

Did I mention that I used one of my favorite illustrators throughout this packet.  Nikki from Melonheadz Illustrations, how I love your work! Thank you for helping me make such a cute workbook!
This packet utilizes the Singapore Math Strategy of Model Drawing or "Bar Models."  You may ask, "How can Bar Modeling help my students with word problems?"
Well, here you go:
Using the Bar Modeling strategy has made a huge difference in the way my students handle word problems.  They know that once they can identify the parts and whole in the problem, they have a great visual that quickly helps them to see which operation to use.

The worksheets in the workbook are scaffolded.  For the first two problems, a bar model is there for the students to plug information into.  There is also space for them to Record, Illustrate, Compute & Explain their thinking (R.I.C.E. method...also from Singapore Math).

The remaining problem solving tasks require that the students provide their own Bar Model, Illustration and Computation.

To introduce the concept of Bar Modeling and provide great visuals in a whole or small group, I suggest you take a look at "Thinking Blocks."

I also have some great resources compiled in my Live Binder.  

I'd love to know if you have any tips and tricks for helping your students solve word problems like magic!


  1. Oh Tracey! I LOVE this! It's fantastic:) Thank you so much for including me!

    1. Thanks Nikki! Your artwork made it fun for me!

  2. I subscribed to your newsletter and shared the link and info to teacher friends. I'm excited about the Core problems you are giving away. Thanks so much for helping teachers like me. THANKS!!!!

  3. Tracey, that is a great premiere edition newsletter! Congratulations!

    1. Thanks should be receiving a goodie from me today :)

  4. What a great surprise when I received your newsletter I grew up spending my summers at LBI in Surf City. I hope they recover quickly. I did subscribe to your newsletter and I Pinned your product:) I can't wait to dive into those word problems. Thanks:)
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