Help your students gain conceptual understanding of adding integers using the balloon model. I have had the most success with students using this model!
The idea is based on a vertical number line, where zero is the top of a mountain. There is a hot air balloon hovering at zero. In the model, helium balloons represent positives and sand bags represent negatives. The logical nature of the model helps students understand what happens when these are added to the hot air balloon.
Example: 6 + (-2)
1st number is where we start: 6
Addition means to put something else on the hot air balloon
2nd number is what gets put on: in this case, 2 sandbags
This brings it down two spaces, resulting in a sum of 4