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Negative numbers in primary school

(15 Posts)
Cat98 Wed 23-Oct-13 14:51:55

What do they do with them? Is it just understanding of, and using in calculations? I'm just wondering because ds is really showing an interest and I want to check I'm explaining stuff to him in the 'right' way.
Also what age do they usually cover them in school?
Thanks smile

ReallyTired Wed 23-Oct-13 14:53:05

juniors. I suggest you look at the BBC bitesize website. Its got lots of fun games to make it interesting.

trinity0097 Wed 23-Oct-13 17:41:48

Temperature differences mainly in primary school rather than things like -3 x 4 or 4 - - 2

clam Wed 23-Oct-13 18:14:19

We cover them in the Autumn term of Year 4 - mainly to do with temperature as it gives them a 'real-life' context to hang them on. They cover number lines (vertical and horizontal) with gaps in, and identify which numbers are higher or lower than others.

UniS Wed 23-Oct-13 21:15:46

Officially not till year 4.
BUT some kids will work it out/ learn at home and use them quite happily before year 4. DS "got it" early in year 2.

Fuzzymum1 Wed 23-Oct-13 21:34:55

My DS3 is in year two and got it a few months back. He can work out things like 7-11= and understands the concept of less than nothing. I don't think he's typical though and have no idea when it's normally taught.

Cat98 Wed 23-Oct-13 22:31:57

Thanks. Ds has just started year 1 but we know he's ahead with numeracy. He asked about it back in reception when he saw -1 on a weather forecast, and has been using it from time to time since. But lately he's been asking me to ask him sums with them in and is quite happy to work out 5 - 10 etc.

I assume they haven't been covering it in school yet then, I think he is doing a little extension work but he says he hasn't done them in school. I just wondered how they use them!

I will look at bbc bitesize if he wants to do stuff, thank you smile

Ferguson Wed 23-Oct-13 22:57:14

I'm none too hot on maths, but could it also be taught with 'money' - so you borrow a certain amount, and have to pay it back in due course? So you are owing an amount, would that not be 'negative'?

Cat98 Wed 23-Oct-13 22:58:23

That's a good idea ferguson, thanks.

simpson Wed 23-Oct-13 23:08:22

DS started to cover it in yr3 but is doing more of it now at the start of yr4.

SuperScribbler Thu 24-Oct-13 06:04:00

DS started to understand the concept in Y1 and we used money to demonstrate its uses.

strruglingoldteach Thu 24-Oct-13 06:17:18

The other situation that's good to use is goal differences- look at the football league tables. They're excellent for all kinds of maths, but you can discuss what it means to have a -5 goal difference.

Oblomov Thu 24-Oct-13 06:39:24

Liking the money and goal differences ideas.

Cat98 Thu 24-Oct-13 07:44:39

Thanks, yes that would be good too, he loves football.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 24-Oct-13 07:55:23

My son was curious about negative numbers in year 1. I explained it using money examples: if you had £1 and wanted to buy some sweets that cost £1.50 then you wouldn't be able to buy them as you don't have enough money, but if I lent you 50p then you could buy the sweets and owe me 50p, the owing amount is a negative because you have less than zero.

There are probably lots of kid friendly apps to explain it.

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