Monday, October 12, 2015

Teaching Integers for Deep Understanding (Negative and Positive Numbers)

Negative and positive numbers seem like a straightforward subject.  I have found students over the years that seem to understand the concept, but when they are faced with a word problem or a situation that involves integers, it becomes easier to distinguish students that have deep level understanding from those that partially understand.

Presenting this concept in many ways is helpful.  This builds deeper understanding. Students  will often say "Oh!  That is what is means" when they see integers presented in mutiple ways.

Students are asked to draw diagrams in their journals of different ways to represent integers (negative and positive numbers).

My favorites are
-as owing (negative) or having (positive) a certain amount of money
-as above sea level (positive) or below sea level (negative)
-as below freezing (negative) or boiling point (positive)

After using multiple examples, students begin to generalize.

Grade 5 Interactive Common Core Math Journal


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