This activity sheet engages students in using algebra tiles to discover the rules for addition of signed integers.
First students develop the rules using the color tiles to help them visualize the operation of addition. Zero pairs are incorporated in the lesson to simplify expressions
Then students are asked to translate each problem into a mathematical expression so they can see how it is written algebraically. Students are asked to write their own rules based on the tiles and on the algebraic expressions.
Extension problems have students extend the rules to decimals and fractions. The emphasis is on determining the sign of the answer based upon what numbers they are given.