Maths Without Limits
Opening Young Minds to Endless Possibilities

Negative numbers can be a confusing topic for children if they are simply taught rules.  

The ‘two minuses make a plus’ rule is a classic one for causing confusion as it is often applied wrongly.  

If, on the other hand, a number line is used to explain the concepts, pupils’ understanding can be much more secure.

This exploration uses a number line in the context of a temperature scale.

The phrases ‘degrees of heat’ and ‘degrees of frost’ (used in weather reports) provide a model for understanding addition and subtraction of positive and negative numbers.

By the time you have worked through these activities with your children, they should be fully secure with the concepts.

They will also have had a lot of fun!

Important Note: Teacher or parent guidance for using these slides can be found in the speaker notes section, which can be found by clicking on the three dots which appear when you click or mouseover the bottom left of a slide.