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The rules of how to work with positive and negative numbers are important because they are in our daily lives. Things such as balancing money, temperatures, and of course for math in school. When teaching how to use for multiplying/dividing rational numbers have the student use counters or their hand to cover the signs that are in the problem. The sign that is not covered is the sign of the product or quotient.
ex. -2 x 4, have the student cover a negative and a positive sign what is not covered is the answer, -8.