useful when you need to make sense of the given information and figure out how to attack a complex problem (MP1). Once students know how to create and apply these models, all they need is a surface to write on and a writing utensil.
So what can you do with these basic models? Check out these two articles for some examples of problems that can be solved using the bar model. The first article quotes Scott Baldridge a professor at LSU and the mathematics expert who is overseeing the development of the NY Math Modules.
Technology and Bar Models-
I haven't decided what I think about using computer or iPads to create bar models (Erin). I love the simplicity of just being able to draw a quick sketch anytime anywhere. The best argument for using a program to create a bar model is a situation that requires you to split a bar into equal pieces. You'll see how easily that was done in the video.
The Youtube video below shows a solution modeled using the "Modeling Tool" on the Thinking Blocks website.