"Without question, one of the most common responses I have when sitting in the back of a mathematics class is screaming under my breath, 'Draw a picture!' or 'Use a number line!' or 'Ask them what it looks like!'" (page something or other...I don't know, it's on my Kindle app, how am I supposed to cite these things?)

I think he really meant to say, "Draw a picture, you idiot!" (hence, my post title). So I figured, why not apply it to this lesson:

What does everyone think about teaching this way? Will this help students gain a better understanding of variables and operations? Should I preface this with diagramming of numerical expressions first? What about expressions that don't lend themselves well to a diagram (such as 5 divided by n)? Any suggestions?

Nathan Kraft