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Lesson Plan

Understand debits and credits by representing them as positive and negative numbers

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.C.5
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP3

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Big Ideas: Gains are represented by positive numbers; losses are represented by negative numbers. More debt = less money. This lesson builds on students' work with extending the number line to include negative numbers. The task presents the students with descriptions of the account balances of six start-up businesses and asks them to interpret the transactions as a negative\positive number or zero and to then use this information to decide which companies would make good investments. By translating the vocabulary of debits and credits into positive and negative numbers and by analyzing the amounts for trends of increase or decrease, students reason why larger negative numbers signify less value. The mathematical concepts in this lesson build toward students' future work with absolute value in grade 6 and with operations with signed numbers in grade 7. Vocabulary: positive, negative, balance, debit, credit, debt, withdrawal, deposit, inequality Special Materials: none
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