Inverse Numbers and the Snake Games

When I taught a large lower elementary, one of my favorite first year works was negative snake game.  The boys, yes it was most often boys who loved this work, would stretch a row of positive and negative beads across the floor.  They would then scramble along looking for ones that were opposites (+4 and -4) to remove first since they canceled each other out and the problem would be much simpler to work without all those guys.  (See the history of negative numbers – cool side trip.)

Today I began working with inverses in algebra with my older kids.  I realized that I should have taught the term “inverse” in the process of working with the negative snakes.  We had to back fill a bit about inverse numbers and their relationship to the way positive and negative integers work in algebra problems.

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2 Comments

Filed under Algebra, AV, DW, JV, Mathematics, Snake Game Addition, Students

2 responses to “Inverse Numbers and the Snake Games

  1. Julie

    I know I sure understand how it works now better than I did in high school!
    Mrs. W

  2. Thank you for this post. That will be a great tip to have as we come up on that work. Thank you also for the two great links…very helpful!

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