Ratio using Bar Modelling – Secondary: TES Maths Resource of the Week

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What is it?
The more I visit primary schools and work with their teachers and pupils, the more I become convinced by the power of their bar modelling approach. Likewise, the Year 7s I teach these days seem significantly stronger in all aspects of ratio and multiplicative reasoning than Year 7s in the past.
This resource provides a wonderful introduction to the basics of bar modeling for ratio, aimed at secondary teachers. The choice of questions is superb, and really helps illustrate the power of the approach.

Consider the following three approaches:

1) Kallan and Adam share some money in the ratio 5:3.
Between them they have £240.
How much does each person receive?

2) Kallan and Adam share some money in the ratio 5:3
Adam has £240
How much money did they share?

3) Kallan and Adam share some money in the ratio 5:3
Kallan has £240 more than Adam
How much does Adam have?

These three questions all look similar, but have completely different answers and, as the resource demonstrates superbly, setting each of these scenarios up with a bar model can move students away from guessing at half-remembered rules and towards a coherent approach that makes sense.

How can it be used?

This resource is really well structured. Students are encouraged to think about how each question is slightly different, “how will this affect your diagram? What will stay the same each time and what will change?”. Students could initially try these problems on their own, and then compare their answers and approaches with their neighbour before the teacher leads a whole-class discussion.
Following this, there are a series of scaffolded worksheets for calculating the final solution to these problems, as well as some fresh problems to try. Then to top it all off, there is the kind of tricky exam question where I have certainly seen many students over the years struggle. I am confident that students using this resource will flourish!

Thanks so much for sharing

Download: Ratio using Bar Modelling – Secondary
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