Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Model drawing has helped my students become very confident in solving word problems.  Instead of guessing, or giving up on word problems, they have strategies they can use to solve the problem and be successful.  Step 1 is to READ the entire problem.  Step 2 is to REWRITE the question in sentence form.  Step 3 is to determine WHO or WHAT is involved in the problem.  I tell my students they can do Steps 1, 2, and 3.  Once they do the first three steps it is easier for them to understand what the problem is asking.  When they get to Step 4- Draw the unit bars they are showing their work using a visual model.  Step 5.  They are re-reading or CHUNKING the problem.

This poster is on my wall for my students to refer to.  They also have a small copy in their own Singapore Model Drawing Books.

I love Model Drawing and I couldn't imagine teaching anything other than model drawing with my students!  I wish my own children would have learned problem solving this way.

My students struggle when they see a problem like the one below.  When they see the three times they want to show 4 unit bars.  I explain it first using pencils (below).  This makes it easier for them to understand.

  This book is a great resource if you are just starting out with model drawing.  Char Forsten is amazing and her ideas are very helpful.  When I started model drawing I was taught by Char Forsten and the SDE staff in Boston.  Before I went to Boston I used this book (actually her older version) with my students.


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