November – Barvember

White Rose Maths – Barvember

It’s Barvember from White Rose Maths. Barvember, from White Rose Maths, was created to encourage the use of the bar model. Bar models can really help children visualise and then solve maths problems. You could solve the problems using this great digital tool from White Rose Maths, Bar Model

Further resources on Bar Modelling:

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.

On the subject of White Rose Maths have a look at this brilliant resource from Ben Gordon: Representations through the Curriculum shows the progression of bar modelling from Year 7 to Year 11 with examples for each topic and some video support.

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 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


Wayne Chadburn

The start of November is a good time to remind readers of Wayne Chadburn’s monthly calendars. He writes these calendars to provide regular, varied practice – a little bit of maths each day. Three versions of each monthly calendar are available, Higher, Foundation Plus, and Foundation; answers are provided.