Modeling with a Tape Diagram


Tape diagrams are another visual strategy your child will learn to show addition and subtraction. If this strategy works well for your child, encourage her to use it when solving story problems!

Remember RDWW? Read, draw, write a number sentence, and write an answer statement. Let’s solve the same addition problem we did when learning RDWW but use tape diagrams as our drawing instead!

Madison picked 3 flowers. Logan picked 2 more. How many flowers did they pick in all?

This shows Madison’s flowers. This shows Logan’s flowers. We show the total on a tape diagram like this. Now we know three plus two equals five. Or, your child may like to draw tape diagrams this way. Then, she will show the total like this.

See? Your child is learning many strategies for problem solving! This is all part of building problem solving skills from concrete objects, to pictures, to number sentences!


Grade 1 Common Core Standards

Operations & Algebraic Thinking: Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.

(1.OA.1) Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.