There is a first time for everything…

I taught my first Math lesson last Wednesday.  As I was walking around assisting students throughout class on Tuesday, I noticed that the children were struggling with differentiating between positive and negative moves on a number line.  I decided this was an area that needed to be addressed because we would soon be moving onto plotting points on a coordinate plane.

I put together a lesson that broke down these abstract concepts into more concrete, easy-to-follow scenarios.  Below are some of the activities:

Our Skill and Drill activity prompted students to begin thinking about how to order numbers on a number line.
To begin the lesson, we first started out with a concrete example.  If Pig stopped at the tree to rest (zero), and he needs to move backwards down the street, what type of move would that be, positive or negative?

Next, I added a number line and took out the keywords in the problem to see if students could infer which way Frog would need to move up or down the number line.  Students are expected to reply that if Frog wanted to catch King Frog, he would need to hop forward which would be a positive move.

Lastly, I wanted to get the students up and moving a bit by creating a human number line.  Each child was given a card to represent a number on the line, and they were asked to collaboratively put the number line in the correct order.
Reflecting back on the lesson I am very pleased with how well it went.  The students were happy and engaged throughout the duration of the activity.  If I were to do this lesson again, a few minor tweaks would be made such as encouraging the students to make their own positive or negative moves down the line without a teacher prompting them to do so.  Or, an extended challenge would be asking the students to state which number they landed on after making those positive and negative moves (this would prepare them for adding and subtracting positive and negative integers).

All the Best,

Ms. Vince

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