Monday, October 3, 2016

Pondering Math Representations {Math Monday}


When I saw this drawing last week, I wanted to jump for joy because I was looking at an example of how a student was able to make sense of a problem.  We often encourage our early mathematicians to draw as a way to make sense of their math work.  With time and as their computation skills improve students want to dive right into working with numbers and quite often they don't understand the problem enough to make sense of what to do with those numbers.  I also think as students grow drawing is seen as something younger students do.  

I loved how E was able to connect these three numbers as one; a sum.  His drawing made me think about bar models and wonder if we tried to draw  the problem with a bit more reality could bar models make more sense.  A couple of years ago I tried to jump right into modeling and encouraging students to use bar models as a way of making sense of their math problems.  It was challenging and harder than I thought.  I knew better but the district resource made it look so easy.  I'm wondering now, if we encourage more drawing prior to introducing bar modeling would there be a deeper understanding and easier transition to using bar models as one problem solving strategy.  


  1. YES! I would love to see more pictures that support math. So many times with my fifth graders with difficult computations I ask them to explain what they see and draw a picture. Another thoughtful and helpful post. Thanks

  2. ...because this drawing looks pretty much like a bar model anyway, right?!?!

    Okay. Math Monday. I'll get back on the bandwagon!!