Tuesday, June 21, 2016


The word comes from the Latin language (which isn't a language we use today) which means whole. So this must indicate that an integer is a whole number. If it is a whole number, then it is not a fraction or a decimal.

A whole number is any number including zero and any number that is greater than zero and does not have any fractional part.

[ 0, 1, 2, 3, ...]

Counting numbers are just like the whole number but these numbers don't include the zero. It would be just like you are counting 1, 2, 3,  and so on.

[ 1, 2, 3, ...]

The integers are whole numbers, but they include positive and negative numbers as well as the zero.

[ ..., -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, ... ]

My students have been having problems with integers. We have tried temperatures, sea level, checkbook and now the red and yellow counters to help explain the ins and outs of integers. I am looking for more ideas to help explain this concept.


  1. One of my math partners loved taking her class out to the blacktop with chalk. Each student drew a number line from -10 to 10, labeling the integers. Then the students had to stand on zero ready for her to call out an integer to where they had to move. The students quizzed each other. They even explored the idea of absolute value. Later they would return to this activity to begin adding and subtracting integers.

  2. I love this idea. It reminds me of a spin on a hopscotch type of game.