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Item description

Solving word problems using bar models is the focus of these task cards. Each task card in this set has a word problem requiring single- or double-digit addition or subtraction. Students must find the missing addend, the sum, or the difference.


Many students have difficulty determining which operation to use or what the problem is really asking them to find. To help develop these skills, each task card includes a bar model as a guide. A bar model (or tape diagram) is a pictorial representation of a math problem in which bars or boxes are used to represent the known and unknown quantities. It is a visual problem solving strategy that focuses on the relationship between the parts and the whole.


The bar models on the cards near the end of the set provide less information than those at the beginning and require students to figure out for themselves where the numbers should be placed.



  • 24 task cards

  • recording sheet

  • answer key


The task cards are provided in 3 formats:

  • 1/4 page color – For individual student use or small groups

  • 1/4 page black & white – To save on ink

  • Full page – For use on digital devices or through your interactive whiteboard


If you want your students to think critically when faced with a word problem, teaching them to use bar models is an excellent strategy! You can learn more about this method here: Using Tape Diagrams (Bar Models) to Problem Solve