Adding Integers by Walking it Out

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SWBAT add and subtract integers on a number line.

Big Idea

Develop students' number sense by physically modeling the process of adding and subtracting integers on a number line..

Bell Ringer

10 minutes

This will be an individual student assignment. Have the students identify the correct answer for each problem and then write a story problem that could be modeled by each response. For example, for question number one a student could write: I owe my best friend $10.00, however I only have $4.00 to give to her. Once I pay her what I owe her, I will still owe her $6.00. I tell my students that positive numbers represent the money that you have, and negative numbers represent the money that you owe. Having your students create real world situations from each equation will lend itself to MP1.  Students will need to critically think about what makes sense. Students will also practice MP 4, modeling mathematics, and MP 6, attend to precision.

Main Activity

20 minutes

Performance Assessment

10 minutes


5 minutes

Stop the lesson about 5 minutes before the period is to end. Reflect with your students about the process. Why does this work? How could you use this with directional words like east, and west? What do you think will happen with subtraction? This does not have to be formal. You can log their responses in your head and use their responses for the next day as an opener. 


20 minutes

For the homework assignment, have students complete the above problems, along with their blank number lines. What students do not complete in the class period can be assigned for their homework. When I introduce a new lesson, I like to use their homework as their bell ringer. The next day, your bell ringer can be to go over each equation and the process they showed on their number line sheets. If you have a document camera or elmo you can have the students share their work that way, or choose a few students to “walk out” their answers using the large number line. You may want to go over each equation, or just a few to gauge understanding.