I haven't had the opportunity to teach much about integers, or about how to add or subtract positive and negative integers, but I might get the chance this year. It isn't in our current curriculum, so it's an extra topic that we don't normally get to spend time on. However, we will be teaching integer concepts next year, as we work on Common Core implementation....and maybe, just maybe, we'll get to work on some integer concepts at the end of this year.
Even though I don't get to teach this topic, I do have a large number line with positive and negative numbers posted in my room, with the hope that the kids will observe it and think about it. And, from time to time, when we talk about the idea that the Commutative Property does NOT work for subtraction, we will refer to the number line (that I have to be on tiptoe to reach!) to see that a problem like 7-2 = 5, but 2-7 = -5. So, we do have that visual to discuss from time to time.
In preparation for next year (and this year, just in case), I created an Integer Operations Footloose activity, and as I was searching for hands-on activities, I also found a great number line idea on Pinterest (page no longer found.). Students can walk on the number line - I would think this would help students get a better understanding of moving in the positive and negative directions. I really hope I get to use it! If I can't use it at school, maybe I can use it with my daughter this summer.....she still struggles with adding and subtracting negatives and positives.
What are some good memory tricks to help students learn the rules of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing integers?