Is it a Positive Day or is it a Negative Day? {Integer Activity}

Is it a Positive Day or is it a Negative Day? {Integer Activity}

Ask students to help you construct a game. Ask them for positive things that happen to them and negative things that happen to them.

Write them up at the board and work with your students to assign numbers from 1 to 10 and -1 to -10 to them. It doesn't really matter which numbers you assign. You can change them at a later time if you like.

Here are some examples. Try to write the final statements so they could apply to anyone in class. Also try to get an even mix of positive and negative statements.

Got an extra piece of pie at dinner. (+8)
Lost a shoe on the playground. (-6)
Made a “D” on my Social Studies test. (-9)
Made an “A” on my Math test. (+10)
Had fun at the movies. (+5)

You should work with your students to have at least 30 of these statements. Once you've written the statements and assigned them an arbitrary value, it's time for the game to begin.

Let the students work at their desks with paper and pencil or if they have already done some work with negative numbers see if they can do the needed work with mental math.

Now tell them that today these are the things that have happened to them and rattle off 3-5 of these in succession.

The students will have a few seconds to come to their conclusions. Then ask them for their answers. Who thinks it was a positive day? Who thinks it was a negative day? Compare their answers and check their work.

Keep creating new positive and negative days until you can give them 8-10 events in a day and they can come up with the correct answer!

Ask the students how they would evaluate the day if the answer comes out to zero.

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