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Understanding Integers ~ Lesson 3 Absolute Value Students will understand that absolute value is the distance of a number from zero on the number line. The absolute value is always positive. Teaching Actions: Materials •Whiteboard •Smartboard or chalkboard •Pre-made Number Line •Pre-made integer strips •Tag board/construction paper with the number 0 written on it – 1 per student Comments 1. Give each student a zero card. Tell them they are going to walk an imaginary number line. Have each student put their card on the ground and stand on it. 0 is home base – all integers start from 0. Determine as a class which direction is positive and which direction is negative. Ask students to turn so they are facing the direction of the positive integers. Have them take 3 steps. Ask how many steps away from 0 they took (3). Have students return to home base, or 0. Have students turn to face the negative integers. Have them take 3 steps. Ask how many steps away from 0 they took (3). Many students will say 3. Explain why you can’t take 3 steps. Continue this until all students understand that it doesn’t matter what direction you are facing. It is the distance from zero that matters. 07-15-10 Lesson 3 p. 1 Understanding Integers ~ Lesson 3 Teaching Actions: Comments 2. Define absolute value and discuss the symbol for absolute value. Have students practice by having them tell what the absolute value of a number is, writing the absolute value in symbolic form, and stating which two numbers have the same absolute value. (i.e. The two numbers that have the absolute value of 3 are 3 and 3). Students should explain why two numbers can have the same absolute value. Introduce the integer strips as a model. If some students continue to say a negative number for an absolute value (many students get stuck thinking absolute value is the opposite), have them take out their integer strips and place integers on the number line and count how many spaces away from 0 the integer is. 07-15-10 4 = 4 4 = 4 Absolute value is the distance of a number from zero on the number line. The absolute value is always positive. Deliberately use language that refers to both distance and area. For example, “A distance of five from zero” and/or “five squares from zero” and/or “a magnitude or value of 5.” Students naturally relate area to value more readily than length to value. Lesson 3 p. 2