# Integers... What do I do with positive and negative numbers???

Jan 18, 2016 | Mt. Pleasant

As our kids move to integers, as for all of us, they get confused by what to do when dealing with positive and negative signs.  To help them through this, we stay consistent with the foundational framework we've already given them.

In the example, the first thing we see is the subtraction operator ... "-".  The Mathnasium Method asks "How far apart" are the two numbers.  This is true everytime.

The next thing we know is that the second number is our starting point and the first number is our ending point.  This is true everytime.

Last is to count the hops in between.  We use 0 as our "pit stop" and we know we have 2 hops to get to 0 and from there, 5 hops to get to 5.  So we have 7 in between our two numbers.

We emphasize that the kids are just using what they already know and that the negative or positive signs on the integers are just describing where each of them lives on the number line ... kind of like "addresses".

Try this with your kids, I'm sure it'll make a difference with their confidence.