Teaching Math without Rules: Addition of Positive and Negative Numbers

I’ve discovered many ways of teaching math through the years and the most interesting one was the addition of numbers with opposite signs. I learned this from a teacher who said that he never understood the rules – so he made up his own method.

He “breaks” the bigger number into two pieces so it can be cancelled. Here it is:

What do you think? Can you teach it this way? Share your thoughts in the comments.



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2 Responses to Teaching Math without Rules: Addition of Positive and Negative Numbers

    • I love it when I hear things like that, Siggi!

      My best friend never realized she was multiplying in her head with the distributive property until I told her about it. “Isn’t that how everyone does it?” she said!

      Thanks for the comment!

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