How To Use Tape Diagrams For Comparisons & Problem-Solving

A tape diagram represents a number divided into segments on a rectangular bar to understand its fractional values and divisors

A tape diagram, also known as a strip diagram or bar model, is a visual representation of a mathematical problem using rectangular bars divided into segments. Each segment within the bar represents a part or fraction of a whole, aiding in the visualization and understanding of numerical relationships.

Here's how to create a tape diagram:

  1. Draw a rectangular bar to represent the total quantity or number being considered.
  2. Divide the bar into segments, with each segment representing a part or fraction of the whole.
  3. Label the segments accordingly to indicate their respective values or fractions.

Let's illustrate the use of a tape diagram with the expression 6 × 2/3:

  1. Draw a rectangular bar divided into 3 equal segments, based on the denominator of the fraction.
  2. Using the Equal Groups method, distribute 6 items equally throughout the 3 segments, which results in 2 items per column.
  3. Shade 2 of the segments to represent the numerator of the fraction.
  4. Count the items in the shaded segments to determine their total value (i.e. 4 items).

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