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I love conferring during math workshop. As with literacy, it truly lets you get a snapshot up closer of a student's thinking. While working with a student last week I realized he didn't know how to get started using a bar model. Depending on the resource you use, you will find bar models, tape diagrams, and model drawing are all synonyms for the the same idea. All three of these help mathematicians make sense of a problem. They help the students visually see what the words are all about. During our conference, I realized my words were not enough to help this student. He sat there with the same puzzled look on his face after he read the problem and before I started talking about the steps we take to create a bar model. I asked him if pictures might be helpful with my words and referenced other charts in our classroom and he said, "Yes, I think that would be helpful." Together we sketched a rough draft for this anchor chart and here are my final touches.
Having students use bar models/tape diagrams/model drawings is new to me this year. If you have any tips or thoughts or experiences please join in the conversation by leaving a comment today. I'd love to know more from you.
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