My school district has adopted a Singapore math based program called Math In Focus. One of the highlighted strategies in the program is the use of bar modeling to solve word problems. With bar modeling students draw bars in rectangular shapes to represent quantities. They can represent a problem which is termed a whole-part model by comparing two parts of unequal lengths which can be used to solve addition and subtraction problems. Another type of bar modeling called the comparison model in which students draw one long bar to represent a value and a shorter bar to represent a lesser value, these two bars are used to compare the quantities and the difference between the two numbers.
Last year when introducing the concept of bar modeling to the teachers at my school I came across the website “Thinking Blocks”. Thinking blocks is a great tool to use when modeling and practicing the solving of math word problems. Thinking Blocks is a free online math tool. Teachers are able to track a student's progress, however it is currently limited to the current session the student is working on. However, the website states that a data saving option may be available at a later date. Regardless, I saw that this site was very useful for teachers & students and at the same time user friendly. I thought it would be an appropriate online tool to do a tutorial on and share with others what it had to offer. Although my tutorial is 5 minutes in length it only touches upon a small portion of what the website offers. Please view the link to my "Thinking Block" tutorial.
Below are some additional resources.
Examples of Bar Modeling
Math In Focushttp://www.hmhco.com/shop/education-curriculum/math/math-in-focus-singapore-math