Using Bar Models for Multiplication and Division

Do you know we can use bar models for multiplication and division problems? In this blog post, we illustrate some of the common types of word problems involving Multiplication and Division and how to solve them using this powerful heuristic.

Using Bar Models for Multiplication and Division in One-Step Multiplication Word Problems

Example (from Math in Focus workbook 3A):

School A collects 76 bundles of newspaper for recycling.
School B collects 5 times the number of bundles as School A.
How many bundles of newspaper does School B collect?

Bar model for one-step multiplication problem

Using Bar Models for Multiplication and Division in Two-Step Multiplication Word Problem

Example (from Math in Focus workbook 3A):

Jill has 28 stickers.
Peggy has 4 times as many stickers as Jill.
Luis has 15 fewer stickers than Peggy.
How many stickers does Luis have?

Bar model for two-step multiplication problem

Using Bar Models for Multiplication and Division in One-Step Division Word Problem

Example (from Math in Focus workbook 3A):

Cally works 63 hours in 7 weeks.
She works an equal number of hours per week.
How many hours does she work per week?

Bar model for one-step division problem

Using Bar Models for Multiplication and Division in Two-Step Division Word Problem

Example (from Math in Focus workbook 3A):

Lance and Alex have 70 pencils.
Lance has 4 times as many pencils as Alex.
Alex’s pencils are shared equally among 2 children.
How many pencils does each child get?

Bar model for two-step division problem

Related Resources

Video explanation and lesson plan (member’s resource)

Common Core Standards

  • D8 Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.

Suggested Workbook Series

  • Math in Focus workbook (3A) Chapter 9 – Using Bar Models: Multiplication and Division (pages 159 to 180)
  • Primary Mathematics workbook (Common Core Edition) (3A) Chapter 3 – Multiplication and Division (pages 91 to 96)

Related Resources

For more related resources, please refer to our Bar Models page.

Related Resources

For more related resources, please refer to our Multiplication and Division page.

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