# Bar Diagram Approach - used in Math Mammoth?

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I've been reading MM vs. Singapore threads and it's been mentioned that MM teaches the bar diagram that is used in Singapore. I am embarrassed to ask this BUT what is this and where? We are part way through MM Light Blue 2nd grade. I don't remember a bar diagram approach and would love to know more about this. My hope is that we just haven't seen it yet but that we will.

Can someone enlighten me or set me straight?? :001_smile:

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The 4A sample looks like that's when it's first introduced.

I'd actually been wondering this myself, but hadn't looked it up yet. :)

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The bar diagrams are used to help visualize and solve word problems. We are doing them in MM3. They make it super easy to teach and learn this method...I've used both SM and MM now and I really am seeing many more "aha!" moments even though some things are introduced later.

I'll give a simple example...

Joel has 19 books. He gave some away to a friend and has 8 left. How many did he give away?

You'd make a bar like this: (I've never typed these so I'm not sure how to make them look just right!)

[----------19----------] this shows the total is 19

[----8----][----- ?-----] this shows he still has 8, and the unknown of how many he gave away.

So you can easily see you have a total of 19 and need to take away 8 to solve the problem.

That seems an obvious thing but not in the early years of word problems for our kids. And it's a steady growth to using these bar diagrams to solve much more difficult problems.

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It may also be in level 2, but I started MM at level 3 and am now also using level 1 with my next child. So, we'll see!

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hmschooling,

Thanks for sharing the example. Is it something like using Cuisenaire rods where This Color plus That Color Equals This New Color?? I don't know the C Rod colors/value so my example is goofy:D. I'm glad to know that I probably haven't missed it!! I was just getting nervous that I somehow overlooked something very important.

I also see that you are using HOD. :001_smile: We are starting within the month (sooooo happy about this decision) and I love how the hands on math in the early guides is tied to the Singapore lesson. I also LOVE the lay out of the colorful workbooks. My DS6 would like that a LOT! However, if MM is equally awesome and easy to teach (which it is so far) then I'll probably just keep moving forward with MM. Since my youngers haven't done much (if any) math I think Singapore is worth the consideration . . .

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hmschooling,

Thanks for sharing the example. Is it something like using Cuisenaire rods where This Color plus That Color Equals This New Color?? I don't know the C Rod colors/value so my example is goofy:D. I'm glad to know that I probably haven't missed it!! I was just getting nervous that I somehow overlooked something very important.

I also see that you are using HOD. :001_smile: We are starting within the month (sooooo happy about this decision) and I love how the hands on math in the early guides is tied to the Singapore lesson. I also LOVE the lay out of the colorful workbooks. My DS6 would like that a LOT! However, if MM is equally awesome and easy to teach (which it is so far) then I'll probably just keep moving forward with MM. Since my youngers haven't done much (if any) math I think Singapore is worth the consideration . . .

I've never used the rods, so I have no idea! MM is equally as awesome! I considered doing just what you're considering doing with continuing MM for older and starting youngers with SM. Then I realized that MM is so much easier to teach (after trying SM) and getting the same end result, not to mention when I got to 3A and the hands-on, hand-holding I loved from the guide was gone....well, I was lost! So I thought about starting them in SM until the hands-on lessons were gone, then switching to MM3. I decided to just start them in MM from the beginning, but we'll do lots of the fun hands-on from the HOD guides anyway. My kids really love MM...both my not-so-math-loving DD and my lives-for-math DS

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My daughter has used them some in MM 3rd and my son just finished a division chapter in MM 4th where they were used. There might be a question asking about 3/4 of John's \$200.00 salary. Using a bar graph you divide it into 4 pieces and then show that the whole amount would be the \$200. It is then easy to find one fourth part of \$200 (by dividing by 4) and then find 3 fourths. The questions got quite a bit more complicated, but that describes basic idea. :)

My kids find MM challenging at times, but that is why I am using it. It really makes them think and gives them strategies like the bar graphs that help with those tough problems.

Angela

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If you go to mathplayground.com, there is a whole section on "thinking blocks" which has the student set up bar diagrams to solve problems. It is basically a tutorial to the whole bar diagram method.

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