Q&A #107

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Integers - teaching strategies

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From: Anne Collins

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000111213:51:38
Subject: Re: Enrichment

One nice strategy for the students to develop an understanding is to
give them a chip board or algeblocks (on a mat) that is divided into
two sections, one positive and one negative

negative          zero           positive

Have them place 4 blocks or chips on the negative side representing -4
now ask them to take away - 3 what is left is -1.
have them place 4 blocks or chips on the negative side again
representing -4 this time have them take away 3...they cannot because
there are no positive chips or blocks on the mat...they must add 3
zero pairs to do this(a zero pair is a -1 and a +1)  after the zero
pairs are placed there are 7 chips or blocks on the negative side and
3 on the positive side...when the kids take away 3 they see there are
a -7 remaining.

Kids that do this many times are able to see for themselves rather
than trusting us to explain.
Hope you try this...works great with my students for years.

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