WME@Kimpton Middle
## Understanding Negative IntegersWhole numbers, 1, 2, 3, and so on are natural for counting and you are already familiar with them. Zero represents nothing (or nothing left), and can be the result of 2 − 2, or 8 − 8. But what about 5 − 7? Reducing 5 by 5 is already zero. Here,
we come up 2 short. We say the answer is In bookkeeping, negative numbers are written in parenthesis,
(7) for negative 7 for example;
or in red, 9 for negative 9 for example.
In mathematics, we use the
By putting integers on the number line, we can demonstrate clearly
the meaning of negative numbers and how they work in addition and subtration
operations. Here is a model that we call - Moving forwards models a positive integer.
- Moving backwards models a negative integer.
- Facing the positive direction models the addition operation.
- Facing the negative direction models the subtraction operation.
Let's see how this model works. 8 + (−3) means: 5 − (−3) means: This tool helps you visualize what we mean. Do 8 + (−3) Next, do 5 − (−2) |

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