My husband teaches two seventh grade math classes that just cannot or will not understand adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers. Does anyone have any great teaching, game playing, etc. ideas that would help him? He doesn't want to go on until they've learned what they need for the exit exam.
He is going to try playing the card game "War" using a deck of cards without face cards and making black cards positive and red cards negative. Any other suggestions?

This is more elementary level but when I taught 6th & 7th grade Math, we learned integers with two-sided counters(I didn't have any so I made them--laminate a red & yellow sheet of construction paper together and then cut into squares.). Red was negative and yellow was positive. I also used lots of number lines.

and then go to the section on "Computation and Estimation" and watch Integer Models Part 1 and Integer Models Part 2. These videos gave me some great ideas for teaching integers with manipulative models. Clearly these kids are going to need some more concrete manipulative experience before they are going to understand it abstractly.

I particularly liked the tile-spacer manipulatives presented on these videos. Great visual connection to the signs of the integers! I went out and bought several bags of tile spacers to use as manipulatives when I teach those concepts next year!

I struggle with the same thing, and have used counters, M&Ms, etc. plus elevators and football yardage to try to get students to visualize what's happening. I made a packet with a flow chart I made up for the kids as a review and reinforcement. I'm too junior a member here to post attachments, but I'll email it if you give me your address.

Would love a copy of your packet- my email addy is hazeleyesinnc@yahoo.com

With subtracting integers use the LCO method Leave Change Opposite- example 5-(-3) Leave the 5 Change the - to + and do the opposite of (-3) .......5+3= 8. I've also told the students when they see the two negative signs make them a positive or +. If I get anything else I'll be sure to pass it on.

Thanks for all of the responses. I would love a copy of your packet for my husband, daughter, and son-in-law who all teach math. Please send the info to the English teacher/media specialist @
swindle@tcss.net
Thanks!

I teach 8th grade and they still don't get integers. I found TeacherTube.com. Go to teachertube.com and search Integer Cheer...this teacher does this really annoying cheer...but it sticks. My kids griped about having to watch it. I would make them watch it over and over and over--but they left my room chanting the cheer. Now when someone makes a mistake with integers, someone always starts chanting the cheer. I use a ladder metaphor for adding and subtracting. I tried the number line but they would be confused about going left or right, they "get" going up(+) and down(-). I have previously told them that they are on a construction site and the foreman made them dig this really deep hole and then put this really tall ladder in this hole. I always make them start at zero (ground level). Positives they climb up and negatives they climb down.

Hi Mathzilla,
I would love to have the packet that you've created to help with understanding integers.
If you could send it to me that would be great - kboon@sasktel.net
Thanks, Barbara

I would like your packet as well. I teach 7th grade, and, time limits us, but even though I have spent all year reinforcing integer rules, a lot still don't get them. I have heard that the 8th grade teachers have a problem with this as well by the end of algebra. They also learned integers in 6th grade too.

Mathzilla, I, too, would love your packet. You can email me at mrsf70@gmail.com. Thanks!

Also, I do something similar to the LCO mentioned above, but I teach students to "add the opposite". We look at ways subtraction is the same as adding a negative number. Most do very well with it.

I am unable to download your booklet, it just takes me to an untitled page. Is it possible to email it to me or a different link? Thanks I really appreciate your willingness to share.

Hi Mathzilla,
Is it possible for me to still get a packet sent to my school email address on your integer help? My email is diane.hartwig@pequannock.org. Thanks for your help.

Some of my students had trouble with the concept of a negative number floating out there by itself.

I use a slightly different example than yours.
There are three people: a digger, a piler and a filler.

The digger digs holes in the ground. The piler, delivers piles of dirt. The filler, you the student, fills the holes in with the dirt and reports what is left over.

Scenario 1: The holes are dug, three piles are delivered. As the filler, take the delivered piles and put them into available holes. What's left over (nothing, all holes are filled).

S2: 3 holes are dug, 4 piles delivered. Left over: one pile.

S3: 4 holes are dug, 3 piles delivered. Left over: one hole.

Now, the holes are written as negative number. Piles as positive.

Give problems with just - and + n;umbers:

-5 holes combined with +7 piles - what do you get? = +2

I would love to have the integers packet. I am a 5th grade teacher and I'm trying to get my kids ready for middle school. You can email me at mejtaylo@yahoo.com.

I know you posted this years ago but just wondering if you still have that Integers packet. I teach 6th gade math to SB students. They are having a hard time grasping the integers concept. Anything different you can provide would be great. My e-mail is suzanneap@leeschools.net

I'm going to try changing my Leave Change Change to Leave Change Opposite. I would greatly appreciate it if you would email the booklet to me for use with my students.