Lesson: Add Integers Using Chips/Counters

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT add and model integer addition using counters.

Lesson Plan



Know integer subtraction is the inverse of integer addition; use the number line to model addition and subtraction of integers and add and subtract integers



Key Points

SWBAT add integers using counters/chips

·         Positive counters are represented by a empty circle

·         Negative integers are represented by a colored circle

·         One positive and one negative equal zero (cancel out each other)

·         After canceling out numbers, whatever  is left is your answer.


1.      Chip used counters and a mat to keep track of his score in a word game.  He got 6 questions correct and 12 questions incorrect. 


What is Chip’s final score?


A.      –18

B.      –12

C.      –6

D.     12



2.      Draw a diagram to show 8 + (-5).   Then solve the problem.


3.       Draw a diagram to show -9 + 4.  Then solve the problem.



Do Now:



1)      -5 + 8




2)      7 + (-3) 

3)      -8 + -7


Teaching Points/Direct Instruction:

·         Tell students that another way to model addition of integers is to use counters

·         Show students that the light colored (empty) circle/counter represents a positive  and a dark colored counter/circle represents a negative

·         Show students that when adding integers we can use the counters by just putting out what the problem says and then removing the parts that cancel each other out

·         Tell students that one positive and one negative together equal zero and in other words they cancel out each other

·         Once you have done all of your canceling then you can see what’s remaining. 

·         If positive colors are remaining you just name how many and there are, if negatives are remaining you just name how many their area and add a negative sign

·         Demonstrate -5 + 8 for students

·         Draw a model and show how to write a number sentence for it.  (-3 + 2 = -1)

Guided Practice:

·         Students work with two color counters to model and draw -4 + 4

·         -8 + -2

·         +1 + (-8)


Independent Practice:

·         Students work on worksheet to practice using counters and writing number sentences for models of addition with integers.



·         Ask students to explain to one another how to use counters to model integer addition

·         Exit Ticket





Small Group Practice with RF


skills time

Integer Addition Card game

·  Shuffle both decks.

·  Now it’s time to “face-off”. Player 1 should lay down the top 2 cards from his deck face up. Player 1 adds the 2 cards, paying attention to positive and negative signs. Player 2 should do the same with her 2 cards. Compare answers. The player with the highest answer keeps all 4 cards (place in a separate pile).

·  Continue playing until all integer cards are used. The player with the most cards wins!

Pull students to review Unit 1 Test mistakes. 

Lesson Resources

Notes Add Integers with Chips and Counters   Notes
Notes 4 Number Line Counters  
Notes 4 Number Line Counters  
Exit Ticket Add Integers Counters  
HW Add Integers with Counters  


lasheika gourdine Posted 3 years ago:
Ms. Ivory's lessons are enjoyable to read! They are effective and student-friendly. Kudos to you!
Jill Gandhi Posted 4 years ago:
Ms. Ivory's entire Integer Unit has saved my life! I love how the lessons are structured and how the conceptual lessons lead into the procedures. Keep it up!



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