Integer Addition Lab

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Students will model addition of integers using color counters.

Big Idea

You can add them. Can you draw them?


5 minutes
  • POD

As student enter the room, they will have a seat, take out their Problem of the Day (POD) sheet and begin to work on the question on the SMARTboard.  The POD also allows students to use MP 3 continually based on the discussions we have about the problem each day.

What number added to -15 gives the sum 15?

This problem is a good problem for us to discuss because students tend to see the problem and assume that adding the integers together somehow gives the sum of zero. As we talk about the problem and possible solutions as a whole group, they understand HOW to actually solve the problem. It also serves as a review for the absolute value concept.

  • Learning Target

The target for the day is also on the SMARTboard each day when students enter the room.  The target for today’s lesson is for students to transition from using the concrete models to apply rules for addition and subtraction of integers.


25 minutes

The grouping for this lab will be based on the student responses to the exit ticket from the previous lesson. I want to group students who have developed a rule together and have students who have not quite developed a rule or set of rules to work together. This way students who may need more support can receive that from me and each other and students who may be ready to extend have that opportunity as well.


5 minutes

Exit Ticket

Is this answer right? How do you know?

(-7) + 4 = -11

I chose this problem to close the lesson as an opportunity for students to explain how they know what they now. I want to move away from guessing and have them support their thinking based on reasoning. After completing the lab, I want them to use reasoning to support their answers. Students who can't will need additional support from me.