5 Summary

This unit has focused on negative numbers, understanding why they are needed and how they can be worked with. In reading this unit you have thought about how to enable your students to develop ways to visualise what negative numbers actually mean and ways to see addition and subtraction with negative numbers. You also used the expression ‘Imagine if...’ to trigger your students’ imagination.

Students need rich and varied experiences of working with negative numbers if they are to see them as a normal part of using mathematics to represent the world. The activities in this unit have looked at many different ways to allow students to experience and understand negative numbers.

You have also seen how reflecting on learning and how learning happens is important in becoming better at teaching.

4 Meanings of addition and subtraction processes