Math Practices and Bar Modeling

Math Practices and Bar Modeling
Posted on 02/27/2015
In addition to outlining content that all students in each grade should master each year, the Common Core curriculum also outlines math practices, or ways of thinking, that are the tools of a successful mathematician. The practice called “Reason Abstractly and Quantitatively” asks that students be able to move fluidly between thinking about the meaning of the problem and thinking abstractly about the math involved in solving the problem. One strategy that helps us reason abstractly and quantitatively is bar modeling.

Bar modeling, a powerful tool for both understanding and solving problems, is a key component in the new Math in Focus curriculum. Bar modeling helps students represent problem situations and relationships between given and yet to be discovered values. These models can then be used to help develop a strategy for solving the problem. Sixth grade students have been using bar models to help them understand and solve ratio problems.

Ellen Davis
Math Teacher, 6-8th On grade pathway