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Subtracting a negative integer: three models to justify the rule

I show three models or ways to think about subtracting a negative integer: counters, number line jumps, and thinking about the distance between the numbers. Each way verifies (justifies) the SHORTCUT that subtracting a negative number is the same as ADDING a positive number: it is as if the two negatives − − turn into a positive + .

(Of course, this shortcut is just a specific instance of the general principle that subtraction really is adding the opposite. I don't mention this in the lesson though, as the lesson is meant as introductory, and for 6th grade.)

After seeing those models/ways, we then proceed to solve some practice problems (additions and subtractions) using the shortcut.





See also

Add and subtract integers on a number line — a video lesson

Addition of integers — a video lesson

Math Mammoth Integers — a self-teaching worktext with explanations & exercises for all operations with integers

Back to the integer videos index

Back to all videos index

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