Adding and Subtracting Rational Numbers - Practice Makes Perfect!

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Students will be able to add and subtract rational numbers.

Big Idea

I think I can…I think I can…don’t think…DO! This lesson will turn thinking into doing by giving students practice on their fluency with adding and subtracting rational numbers.


10 minutes

Launch Video: Opener

Learning Target: After completion of the opener, I will address the day’s learning targets to the students. In today’s lesson, the intended target is, “I can add and subtract rational numbers.” Students will jot the learning target down in their agendas (our version of a student planner, there is a place to write the learning target for every day). This may also be the first time some students have heard the term “rational numbers” so we will have a discussion on what that phrase means at this time as well.


50 minutes

Relay Race:  The purpose of today’s lesson is for students to hone their skills with adding and subtracting rational numbers.  For this practice activity, I have chosen to do what I refer to as a relay race (Instructional Strategy - Relay Race).  Students are now seated in homogeneous groups based on the data I just gathered from the opener.  Groups of students getting 3 or 4 questions correct will be instructed to begin their work with problems 13-22 of the activity – as those problems are more challenging, and take learning to the next step.  These students will be expected to persevere with the problems until they can get them right – they have shown that they have the skills, and now they will be asked to apply those skills to real world scenarios and harder mathematical problems (mathematical practice 1mathematical practice 4mathematical practice 2). The rest of the students will be instructed to begin their work with problems 1-12, and then move to 13-22 once they have successfully completed 1-12.  I will be working with the lower groups of students, helping with needs that I notice as I am correcting the opener – rules for adding and subtracting, common denominator, lining up decimal points, etc.  With this group, attention to precision, (mathematical practice 6), will be more important than ever – as that is what is most likely tripping them up – sign issues, lining up decimals, etc.  As with all relay races, students will be able to check their answers against mine as they go (they are posted around the room), so they will get immediate feedback as to whether they are right or wrong, and will know if they need my help. 


2 minutes

Instructional Strategy - Table Discussion As a way to summarize this lesson, and get students thinking forward, I am going to ask students to have a discussion with their table regarding how they think we multiply and divide signed fractions, as that will be our next lesson.  After students discuss at their tables, I will have them share out, but will leave them hanging on the exact procedure!