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Need help with Singapore bar diagrams


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I posted recently about finally finding math happiness for my dd9 with Singapore. Honestly, I avoided Singapore for so long because I didn't understand it so I am relearning many things with my daughter. Here is my problem. I do not understand the bar diagrams. I have the HIG but my eyes glaze over and I start to get lost. Can someone please explain this to me like you would your child? Use this problem:


Mary bought 3 dresses. Each dress cost the same amount. She gave the cashier $20 and got $2 change. How much did each dress cost?


I can solve this in my head but using the bar diagrams escapes me. Help?

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3 dresses




let's make each dress one bar. We need to figure out what each bar is. The problem also has $2 in change. Where do we put that? Yes- up by the dresses because that is the extra money we have and we need to keep it with our costs. What we gave the cashier is $20. How do we get rid of that 2 extra dollars on top? We subtract it from the $20. What is your answer? $18. Now we're just left with the cost of the dresses. How many dresses do we have? 3 How much for all the dresses? $18. How much is each dress? $6


It's so hard to draw this on a computer!


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