Q&A #1657

Integer chips

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 16, 1999 at 09:39:46
Subject: Re: Integer chips

Integer chips are very useful in teaching the ideas of integer operations. I
created something that is even better. I made "smiley"  and "frowny" faces on
clear overhead materials. The smiles have + + for eyes and the frowns have

Difficult to demonstrate here. But the semicircle of smile placed on top of
semicircle of frown actually creates something that really looks like a zero!
The abstraction of zero is the hardest thing for kids to get with the other
kinds of integer chips. Anyway, with the group you are working with, I would
think you would want to have them "discover" the rules. Give them some
examples. ADD means to place into the work area, SUBTRACT means to
remove from the work area. +2 + -4
     Start with the +2  in the work area
     ADD -4              to the area
Now one +1 and one -1 get together to make zero. This happens at another
time. So the only thing left in the area is -2 and 2 zeros! I think I still
have some handouts on all of this if you would like me to mail to you.

 -Claudia, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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