Monday, November 14, 2011
Introducing Integers: Good Weather
The mathematical introduction of integers as positive and negative numbers on the number line is easily accomplished through the real-life application of weather changes in temperature. We are all accustomed to hearing how the temperature will be up or down over the course of the week. Given Monday's temperature, and a series of up and down daily changes, students are challenged to find Friday's temperature.
Teachers might use the 5-day weather forecast for your area on Monday. Give students Monday's temperature, then tell them how the temperature will change each day, going up or down from the previous day. Challenge students to find the predicted temperature on Friday, then check it against Friday's actual temperature as part of daily routines.
The Good Weather problem is a formal assessment of students' proficiency in using integers to describe the changes in temperature and predict the Friday temperature. It is simple to adjust this problem to reflect the current temperatures in any area, depending on the season.
Download the Good Weather assessment.