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  • Thaddeus Coleman

    August 8, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    I have to agree with Lisa and the other posters…integer ops is typically a very difficult concept for the kids to master. Also, the notion of zero pairs_ while certainly true and sensible to those who understand the zero property of addition_ is often seen as very contrived and “hocus-pocus-sy” to those who don’t have number flexibility. Some Integer ops are also harder to show on a number line. Personally, my own understanding is challenged as I still struggle with showing division of negatives by negatives on number lines in a form that l doesn’t seem forced and unnatural.

    To de-mystify integer ops and make the concept more concrete, I work to present scenarios revolving around temperature (heat tablets/fireballs and ice cubes in a tub of water for counter models or thermometers for number line models), money, and altitude (balloons and weights) and ask the kids to predict type of change/direction of movement (i.e., if it will get hotter or colder, will you gain or lose/owe money, will you be higher or lower/ above or underground). I ask them to predict this before coming up with a final answer. I think this aligns with “fueling sense making.”

    When they actually go through this thinking process or when I walk them through problems that cause them grief, it seems to help them a lot. The issue has been getting them to take themselves through this thinking process when given straight number problems. Guess I have to work on my scaffolding techniques and teacher moves more to get them to buy into this process until the patterns/rules become more ingrained.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  Thaddeus Coleman. Reason: Wanted to acknowledge others' comments