This file creates a format for students to take notes about integer computation. A blank student copy is included as well as a completed teacher copy. I typically split this into two days with one day focusing on rules for integer addition and one day focusing on rules for integer multiplication and division.
On day 1, I have students visualize a balance with a positive and negative side. We draw the balance, write the numbers from our problem on it, and use it to understand our answer. After a few problems with balances, we look for patterns to write a rule. Students then practice solving a few more problems, and I give them the choice of continuing to use the balance or practicing with the rule. Also during day 1, I teach students that subtraction is the same as adding a negative, so problems such as -8 - 3 are included as part of the addition rules.
On day 2, students use calculators to fill in the multiplication and division tables. (I find that without calculators, some students do not fill in the correct signs on their answers.) Students can usually quickly generalize these patterns to the two multiplication and division integer rules, leaving the rest of the period for practice with all integer computation rules.
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