Sunday, October 14, 2012

Starting Integers

When I had my students write their goals at the beginning of the year, I had quite a few of them that said they wanted to learn how to add negative numbers (or something else to do with integers).  After reading those, I was really excited to start our unit on integers.

Our Foldable - Click Here for a Copy

In our standards, 7th grade is where students are introduced to integers for the first time, so I wanted to make sure we started with activities that would give students an understanding of integers.  I had the students make this foldable for their notebook where we looked at opposite versus absolute value.  Students are constantly mixing the two up, and always giving an opposite when they are look for absolute value.  We discussed that absolute value was the distance for zero, and as usually a lot of the students claim that absolute value just turns the number positive, so we had a really good discussion on why it became positive.  My students all know about Ferris Bueller's Day Off now - I really wanted to show them the clip of trying to turn the odometer backwards, but I'm not sure the language would be appropriate so we just talked about it.

I messed up the positive one, but didn't want to waste more masking tape
In addition to the foldable, I made a number line out of a piece of masking tape in the hallway and had students walk out the absolute value.  A classmate would give them an integer between -15 and 15, and they would walk the distance to zero on the number line.  I think they thought it was a little ridiculous, especially those that 'got it' but I had very few students who messed up absolute value on the practice sheet they did for homework, so I'm calling it a success. 

Practice Sheet - Click Here for a Copy

I also made a set of index cards with random numbers from -50 to 50 on them.  I first had students find their opposite in the classroom (which I think I'm going to use as a way to make random groups from now on) and then I had the students line up in order from least to greatest without talking.  This was really good practice for them to move around and practice ordering integers. 
We've continued to practice integer number sense in their warm ups and as we are discussing integer operations, but they seem to have a good grasp on the concept, which makes me really happy. 

We've moved on to integer operations, and I am thrilled with how those lessons are going, but I'll talk about that in another blog post!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment! I look forward to reading what you're thinking!