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Model Drawing Examples

Grade 1

Model Drawing Procedure

Developed in Singapore Visual representation of details and actions which assists children with problem solving

Helps children logically think using visual models to determine their computations

Model Drawing Procedure

Teaches the importance of language within math problems

Provides foundation for algebraic understanding

Provides for differentiated instruction

Model Drawing Procedure

Fosters quantitative reasoning (number sense) when teachers question Empowers students to think systematically and master more difficult problems Makes multi-step and multi-concept problems easy to work

Model Drawing does NOT

Work on every problem
Specify ONE RIGHT model Specify ONE RIGHT operation

Areas for Use of Model Drawing Procedure in Grade 1

Whole Number Operations
Addition Subtraction Multi-operations

Use Model Drawing in Four-Step Process

Step 1
Main Idea of Question

Step 2



Unit Bar

Read one sentence at a time to adjust unit bars.

Step 3
Work the computation (s).

Step 4
Describe how the problem was solved.


2. Details

Main Idea

Four Step Process

Read the problem. Write the main idea in the question. Write who the problem is about (related to main idea.) Write what the problem is about (related to main idea.) Draw unit bars of equal length. Re-read the problem one sentence at a time adjusting the unit bars to match the story and identify the question on the model. Write the number sentence and work the computation (s). Describe how the problem was solved.

3. Strategy

4. How

Put Together


Ann has 2 toys. Jeff has 3 toys. How many toys do they have together?
Step 1 Step 2 2

Toys together

Ann toys

Jeff toys
Step 3 2 Step 4 Add 2 and 3.

+3 5

Andy and Henry went to the zoo. Andy saw 4 . Henry saw 5 . How many animals did the 2 boys see?
Main Idea Details 4

Animals seen



Strategy 4 +5 9


Put together 4 and 5 to get a sum of 9.

Take Away


Ann has 4 toys. She gave away 1 toy. How many toys are left?
Step 1 Step 2 4

Toys left

Ann toys


Step 3 4

Step 4 Subtract 1 from 4.

- 1 3



Ann has 4 toys. Jeff has 1 toy. How many more toys does Ann have than Jeff?
Step 1 Step 2 4

More toys Ann than Jeff

Ann toys


Jeff toys
Step 3 4 Step 4 Subtract 1 from 4.

- 1 3

Anabel bought 3 at the carnival. Leo bought 4 at the carnival. How many more were bought than
Main Idea Details 3 Anabel 4 Leo

more ice cream than apples

Strategy 4

How Compared 3 to 4 to get 1.

-3 1

Ann has 2 toys. Jeff has 4 toys. How many more toys does Jeff have than Ann?
Step 1 Step 2 2

More toys Jeff than Ann

Ann toys

Jeff toys
Step 3 4


Step 4 Subtract 2 from 4.

- 2 2

Missing Part


Ann has 5 balls. Three are baseballs. The rest are footballs. How many are footballs?
Step 1 Step 2 5


Ann balls

? FB
Step 3 5 Step 4 Subtract 3 from 5.

3 BB

- 3 2

Carlos had 11 coins in his pocket. Eight coins were quarters and the rest were dimes. How many coins were dimes?
Main Idea Details 11
Carlos coins

coins dimes




How Found the difference of 11 and 8.

11 -8 3

Put Together and Take Away

Addition and Subtraction

Lisa had 8 marbles. On Monday, she gave 3 away and on Tuesday she gave away 2 more. How many marbles does she have left? Step 1 Step 2
Lisa marbles



marbles left

Step 3 3 +2 5 8 - 5 3

Step 4 Add 3 and 2. Subtract 5 from 8.

Extra Information
Try to keep students focused on what the question is asking them to find. If a child understands that the details are usually what is needed to answer the main idea of the question, he will be less likely to include information that is not needed in the details. However, if the child includes the extra information in the drawing, placing the ? in the model will help them understand what information is needed to answer the question.

Hold These Thoughts

In first grade, be sure all the unit bars for each variable are touching each other so comparisons are clearer. At the beginning of first grade, show one unit for each item. Modeling each part of the model drawing with unifix cubes concretely represents the picture that is being drawn. In the drawing, list the variables in the order they appear in the problem. To show take away, mark off the appropriate unit bar segments and draw a X.

Including labels helps clarify drawings.

Hold These Thoughts

Unit bars need to be proportional. Make sure that the bar of $25 is not larger than the bar of $30.

Continuously asking students to describe how the unit bars should be adjusted, connecting the adjustment to the vocabulary in the sentence improves students number sense and reasoning. You can always adjust the size of a unit bar as you learn more information. When you lengthen the bar, it means the number is larger, and when you shorten the bar, it means the number is smaller. If there is more than one number given in a sentence, adjust the model one number at a time. Break long sentences into partsand or commas.
Too often, students rush through a problem and answer the wrong question. Placing the question mark helps to prevent that.

Hold These Thoughts

The computation is the differentiated part of the lesson. The model looks the same for all students, but the way they achieve success with computation is differentiated. No matter how you calculate it, the answer is the same! This is very important for students to see. Draw a dotted line between unit bars to point out segments of equal value. Dont get distracted looking for extraneous information. Focus on what the question is asking you to find. When a problem says, three times as many add one unit bar at a time. Otherwise, many students will add three MORE unit bars instead of adding just two.

_______________ Is certified as a Model Math Artist. __________ Teacher Name