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Bar method for problem solving

Discussion in 'Primary' started by teacher_1186, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. teacher_1186

    teacher_1186 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I'm interested in this method having read a little about it on the 'net/in magazines. I'm hoping someone may be able to point me in the right direction! I teach Year 3 and we haven't used the bar method before.

    I'm teaching a lesson based on word problems, for e.g. Danger Mouse has saved 30 people, Wonder Woman has saved 21. How many more people has Danger Mouse saved than Wonder Woman? Would the bar method work for this and would it be a good way to introduce it? Any pointers?

    Thank you,

  2. klbgreen

    klbgreen New commenter

    I've started teaching the bar method this year and have found it so adaptable to many areas of maths.
    A bar method would work for the example you gave. You would need two bars: one representing DangerMouse and one for Wonder Woman. Label each of these with their value and then label the part of Danger Mouse's bar that is longer than Wonder Woman's with a question mark. You can then discuss what you need to do with the information you have to find the missing value.
    With Year 3, multi-link could be useful to give a concrete way into the bar model. Show a bar of 30 multilink cubes on your visualiser and compare to a bar of 21 multilink cubes. Children will be able to see clearly what they have to do and will then be able to make a link between the image of the cubes and why we draw a bar.
    If you sign up for the NCETM website (it's free), they have a fantastic set of videos which show how to use the bar model with a Year 3 class.
    teacher_1186 likes this.
  3. teacher_1186

    teacher_1186 New commenter

    Thank you, really clearly explained! Off to search for the videos now! Thanks again :)
  4. Ambojambo

    Ambojambo New commenter

    I use this method a lot...It really helps the children to visualise ... I've used it with less and more able both groups were able to reason clearer and solve problems more confidently.
    Give it a go.
    teacher_1186 likes this.
  5. porker

    porker New commenter

    teacher_1186 likes this.
  6. teacher_1186

    teacher_1186 New commenter

    Just to say thanks to the other posters - I'd missed your replies!
  7. WRMaths

    WRMaths New commenter

    As a Hub we have done a lot of work around Bar Modelling. We feel it certainly is a very powerful tool for problem solving. We are in the process of creating some example sheets to show how it can be used They are not ready yet. If you are interested in further details please feel free to drop us an email mathshub@trinityacademyhalifax.org and I can get one of the team to send you some more information.
    teacher_1186 likes this.
  8. Studyzonetv

    Studyzonetv Occasional commenter


    Here's a link to some great free apps for the iPad. They include videos and nice progression as children learn to apply the skills. The questions are a bit Americanised, but they can easily be adapted.

    teacher_1186 likes this.
  9. Studyzonetv

    Studyzonetv Occasional commenter

    Ahh, just realised that's the same as Porker posted with a link to Maths Playground! Didn't realise there was an online version as well as the app.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    for many years there was a set of soft plastic rectilinear shapes that were intended for teaching algebra but were effectively a version of the bar method. The Hampshire Maths advisor loved them so most Hampshire schools had to buy them. Actually they tended to sit n cupboards unused and are probably still hiding in store cupboards around the country if you can find them!
    teacher_1186 likes this.
  11. teacher_1186

    teacher_1186 New commenter

    Just catching up and wanted to say thanks to the other posters for your help. WRMathshub thank you, I'll be in touch - have been using your schemes of learning which are fab!

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