Strategy 6: The Bar Model


This “no numbers” approach (Strategy 5) lends itself to graphic representations like the bar model, a powerful approach to understanding a problem and planning a solution. Here's the problem from Strategy 5:
Leroy bought some pants. The sales tax was included in total price. How much did the pants cost before the tax?

bar_model_1.jpg

Once the problem is understood in terms of the bar model, students can put the numbers back in and solve it – the execute and look back phases.

What would a bar model look like for the swim team problem?
The boys swim team and the girls swim team held a car wash. They made $210 altogether. There were twice as many girls as boys, so they decided to give the girls’ team twice as much money as the boys’ team. How much did each team get?

Always start with the total amount represented by the whole bar:

bar_model_2.jpg