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Bar Modelling - Staff training

I think that Bar modelling is the best thing since sliced bread and here's how you can help yourself, your teachers and your children to love it too.


1. Make sure you have plenty of cuisenaire in each classroom and encourage time for children to just play with it within a mathematical idea. For example, try asking the children to make a 25 face. Following this ask them to create a 50 whatever!

2. Be sure there is a careful progression from EYFS to Yr 6. For example, do your year 4 teachers know where they can use bar modelling in each unit? Children need to be well versed in part part whole.

3. Have you got a public display space dedicated to some pictures of real bar modelling. This is a great way to spread the word to the whole school community about the maths that is happening in your school.

4. Are you and your staff clear about how to use cuisenaire? Often teachers (and children) get hung up on the numbers that each one represents. Part of the fabulousness of cuisenaire is that the rods can be anything. Try asking children - if red is worth 1 what must the others be?

5. Try using Cuisenaire and replacing the numbers with letters so that O=R+B, ask the children to create that with rods and then start to make their own equations and convince their partner.

6. Draw a bar model on the board and ask the children "Whats the problem?" and get them to create a word problem.

7. Encourage KS1 to make stories and role play a bar model that you have created. This really helps them understand bout proportion and its importance in bar modelling.

8. Go in the hall and use the PE mats as giant bar modelling equipment. Ask one child to create a problem then 2 teams have to try to re-create this as a PE mat bar!

9. Pin up a GCSE question on sugar paper in the staff room and challenge your staff to draw the answer - give them a week and then discuss in the next staff meeting.

10. Come to my bar modelling afternoon which I am running in the Spring term in Stowmarket for more fun and ideas.

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