Do students need to draw the bars when solving word problems?
I am currently in the unit of Parts to Whole, teaching bar modeling. Looking ahead, it seems to me that bar modeling is a big part of not only this unit but upcoming units as well.
My wondering and question: I have students who are looking at the problems and can figure them out by stacking numbers then using the renaming strategy which was what they learned in lessons before bar modeling. Should I be encouraging all of my students to draw the bar model before stacking the numbers to solve the problem? How critical is it for them to bar model? Please know that I am not saying that I don’t want to teach it at all, but I don’t know how much I should be “pushing” those that either don’t understand it or those that feel like they can work the problems using other strategies.