This manipulative allows students to "see" the relationship between positive and negative integers. Problems like -12 + 5 and 7 - 12 are easier to visualize with this tool.
I created this manipulative for my graduate thesis and tested it out with my own students. My students were solving advanced equations wrong, not because they didn't know the algebra but because they couldn't combine integers in the very last steps. Even in 11th grade when students "should" know how to add with negative numbers, student errors dropped by 62% after using this tool.
This download is an ebook with a cutout of the manipulative and simple directions for constructing and using the tool. All you need is a grommet, some colorful paper and a laminator, if you'd like (clear packing tape also works perfectly well).
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