Singapore Primary Math Explained sc-math

Solving math problems with model diagrams

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Part-whole model Comparison model Solving model diagrams

Solving model diagrams

At the risk of over simplification, the strategy for solving primary math problems with model diagrams may be summarised as follows:

  • Draw the model diagram for the problem.
    It is important to ensure that the model correctly represents the problem. The difference between terms such as "3 times more than" and "3 times as much as" should be understood.
  • Identify relationships between units.
    If the relationship between the various units are not obvious, it may be necessary to sub-divide, combine, substitute or re-arrange the known units to derive common units.
  • Solve the problem.
    With the information gained from the model, use skills such as "identifying relationship and patterns" and "arithmetic manipulation" to solve the problem.

Drawing the model for complex problems may require some thought as the relationship between the various components of the problem may not be immediately obvious. It is therefore important that a child should gain sufficient exposure and experience by solving simpler problems first. With enough practise, the child should be able to model complex problems without much dificulty.

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