# [Numeracy 179] Re: The double negative language-math link

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Linda Shilling-Burhans lshilling at cvabe.org
Tue Feb 16 12:03:58 EST 2010

Pretty darn good Charlie. Uncomplicated too. I am appreciated all the
incredible suggestions to help "cross the line" with our dumbfounded
students.
Thanks for every good thing I am getting out of this discussion. Most of it
will be put to good use, I promise.
﻿ ﻿ ﻿ ﻿ ﻿
Linda

Linda Shilling-Burhans
Community Coordinator
802-222-3282

-------Original Message-------

From: Charlie
Date: 2/15/2010 4:53:55 PM
To: The Math and Numeracy Discussion List
Subject: [Numeracy 171] Re: The double negative language-math link

I draw a horizontal line and call it ground level. A pile of dirt can be x
feet above ground level (positive). A hole in the ground can be x feet below
ground level (negative). You can add a positive value by filling the hole
and/or making the pile taller. You can add a negative integer by shoveling
off of the pile and/or digging deeper. Subtraction problem are converted to
addition. For subtraction, the mantra is "cross the line [change from
subtraction to addition] and change the sign [of the second integer]"

Charlie Love
GED/ESOL Instructor
701 Camino del Rio, Room 301
Durango, CO 81301
phone: 970-385-4354 ext. 110
fax: 970-385-7968
charlie at durangoaec.org

On Feb 15, 2010, at 7:05 AM, mysbooks at aol.com wrote:

Sea level, stocks, money; loans, home equity-especially relevant when
mortgages are "under water".

-----Original Message-----
From: Denney, Brooke <denneyb at cowley.edu>
To: numeracy at nifl.gov
Sent: Thu, Feb 11, 2010 10:17 pm
Subject: [Numeracy 151] The double negative language-math link

Michael:

I disagree with your statement that, “negatives carry meaning in
mathematical, but not physical (reality) terms”; after all, it is winter in
the Midwest and negative values mean something in my reality when we are
talking about wind chill factors and really cold temperatures (perhaps
living in a really warm climate you may have forgotten). Also, negative
numbers are used when discussing the grade of the road (i.e., positive or
negative grade). Does anyone else have examples of negative numbers used in
reality?

-Brooke

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