Drawing diagrams organizes numerical and spatial information such as dimensions, and makes relationships between numbers and dimensions more apparent. The process of drawing and labelling the diagram helps apprentices visualize the problem and understand which numerical information is relevant. When apprentices can synthesize the information into a visual aid, they focus more on translating the word problem into a plan for finding the requested information.
Instructors should model drawing and labelling diagrams. Consistency in the method of labelling also benefits struggling apprentices because they learn a process they can repeat.
Here are a few examples instructors can use to demonstrate how simple diagrams can help translate a word problem:
Diagrams and other visual aids help apprentices by making concepts more concrete and allow them to organize information such as dimensions or other numbers. When demonstrating examples of solving word problems, instructors should show how to create visual aids such as diagrams that help translate the problems into math equations.