Singapore Primary Math Explained sc-math

Solving math problems with model diagrams

Updated: 6 March, 2005

Part-whole model Comparison model Solving model diagrams

Students in Singapore Primary Schools often use the model approach to solve math problems. This approach generally uses bar diagrams to show the relationship of the variables or objects in the problem sum.

The two basic models used in the model approach are the Part-whole model and the Comparison model.

Part-whole model

part whole model

This approach uses a single bar diagram to represent the problem. It is used in problems where you need to find the whole given the parts or the parts given the whole.

Examples

Mr Lim bought a magazine and a book for $20. The magazine costs $8. How much did Mr Lim pay for the book?

model diagram

   Cost of book = $20 - $8
                = $12
   Mr Lim paid $12 for the book.

Peter has 30 books.

3
5
of them are math books and the remaining are science books. How many science books does Peter have?

model diagram

   5 units = 30 books
   1 unit  = 30 ÷ 5
           = 6 books
   2 units = 6 × 2
           = 12 books
   Peter has 12 science books

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