An introduction to adding positive and negative integers by using money. Most students understand the concept of money and debt and this activity has students either earning money through chores or losing money through purchases. Students will write an expression based on current money and the new event and solve for the new dollar amount.
I provide cards to cut apart and I found items lying around my house that corresponded to the description (example: a necklace for bought jewelry, a shoe for bought shoes). I taped the cards to each item and split the items into a positive and a negative bag. Sometimes I had students draw items out of the positive bag and sometimes out of the negative bag. They enjoyed the surprise of what item they drew out and discussing why/how this was a positive vs. a negative. My students recorded the item that was drawn out of the bag, wrote an expression, then solved. We wrote in red when working with a negative number and black with a positive number. The answer key provided is just an example of what a students paper should look like when finished.
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