Bar Modeling

For an Introduction to Bar Modelling have a look at the NCETM Secondary Professional Development Materials  Choose the section on Using mathematical representations at KS3 for 10 different guidance documents including Bar Models. This 17-page document for professional development provides a very comprehensive introduction to Bar Modelling and includes example problems.

Thinking Blocks – Math Playground

The section on Further Resources in the NCETM guidance document includes Thinking Blocks, an outstanding resource that I included in a recent post on Ratio and Proportion. The relevant information on using the resource is included for completeness in this post. Further resources for Bar Modelling are also given.

Thinking Blocks from Colleen King’s site Math PlayGround – is a wonderful way to visualize Ratio and Proportion problems. This works on all devices.

Models like this really help students to visualise problems. Note the numerous videos showing how to model problems (scroll down the page). You can use the Thinking Blocks Tool to model your own problems; watching the videos will help you learn to use the tool. There is a very clear help section also.

Thinking Blocks Modeling Tool

I have used the tool here to model a problem from Andy Lutwyche’s Clumsy Clive on Ratio resource.

Thinking Blocks Modeling Tool – use for your own problems

Also featured in NCETM’s resource section is The Mathenæum from Ken Wessen which includes Modelling Word Problems and Fractions, Decimals and Percentages.

The Mathenæum – Ken Wessen
The Mathenæum – Ken Wessen

See also:

Sybilla Beckmann paper

Sybilla Beckmann’s paper, Solving Algebra and Other Story Problems with Simple Diagrams: a Method Demonstrated in Grade 4–6 Texts Used in Singapore is an interesting read on the subject of the use of diagrams.

Note Pearson Edexcel GCSE Maths Networks on YouTube; for an excellent introduction to Bar Modelling watch Naomi Bartholomew-Millar’s session.

MathPad – Using Bar Pictures to Solve Equations