The Number Line & Introduction to Negative Numbers

We headed outside this morning to learn about the number line and where negative numbers are in reference to positive numbers and zero.

To prepare this quick, fun activity, I grabbed Priss's homemade jump rope she finger-crocheted from yarn.  I cut several index cards in half and wrote several random numbers on them -- positive, negative, and zero -- and then I cut a "hook" in the top so they'd slip onto the rope and hang freely.

Outside, the oldest and youngest kids took the ends of the rope, and we marked '0' at the mailbox.  Squeak held the "negative" end of the rope because she's the youngest/smallest, and Rocky held the "positive" end of the rope, because he's the oldest/tallest.

Then I explained how I could walk "up" the street (and the number line), counting up through the positive numbers with each step.  I turned around and walked "down" the street (and the number line), counting backward through zero and beyond through the negative numbers.

When they grasped the concept, the kids each took a few random number cards and placed them on the number line where they belonged!  Of course, we made sure to swap out the rope-holders so they'd have a turn, too.

Great fun!  A fast, easy activity that solidified their understanding of the number line and negative numbers!
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