Archive | Positive & Negative Numbers

Temperature for Positive and Negative Numbers

Kids struggle with positive and negative numbers … that’s a given. But I’ve recently hit on a reliable way to eliminate the confusion … temperature. Using a temperature scale as a model for solving integer problems has several advantages: 1)  It’s a system students already know from everyday life. 2)  The relationships among positive temperatures, […]

Algebra Survival e-Workbook arrives TODAY!!

eBook version of the Algebra Survival Guide is HERE! Check it out on Price is 20% lower than that of the paperback version, and the e-version has several unique advantages over the paperback book.

How to decrease Algebraic mistakes – Part 4

The double-slash notation comes to the rescue in algebra once again. In this post we learn how this clever notation device helps students combine positive and negative numbers, the trickiest pre-algebra concept of all. Read to find out how you can use this notation to make this concept easier for your students or children.

How to Decrease Algebraic Mistakes – Part 1

Algebraic expressions are covered with mental “land mines.” Step the wrong way, and an expression will blow up on the page, making it impossible for students to move in the right direction. Fortunately there’s a simple thing students can do to succeed at simplifying algebraic expressions, and that simple something is using what I call […]

Common Algebra Mistake: Interpreting Negative Signs in Front of Parentheses

Tricky area of algebra: negative signs in front of parentheses. This explains how we can help students relate the concept to everyday life, and thereby grasp it so they remember it!

Addition and Subtraction: More Bad Behavior by Dear Aunt Sally

Aunt Sally also confuses students about addition and subtraction. Read this post to find out how to overcome the confusion.

“Simple” equations? Not always so simple.

Here’s a tip that helps teachers help students solve simple equations, but equations that have a tricky twist that can really trip kids up.

Make Combining Integers a Lively Story

Here’s a fun and easy way to teach one of the toughest concepts in all of PreAlgebra: the rule for combining integers with different signs. We turn it into a fun “tug-of-war” game. This entry gives you everything you need to teach it today!

Making Sense of Negative Signs

Solving equations can be extremely difficult for many students. This blog explores a certain kind of equation that gives students the “heeby-jeebies,” and it tells you how to help them find a way out of their confusion.