# [Numeracy 181] Re: The double negative language-math link

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Carol King cking at lyon.k12.nv.us
Tue Feb 16 12:56:32 EST 2010

Michael you are right that the negatives have physical reality, but I
have students who do not relate to those examples. The concept of a
negative even when we talk about temperature does not compute for them.
I tend to resort to the double negative in language as the example when
I cannot make head way with temperature or holes or number lines. These
students really do see it in terms of 15 degrees is cold and negative 15
is really cold and can not bridge the relationship of numbers to see why
the range from 15 to -15 should create an addition problem (Yes we count
it out, but they will repeatedly look me in the face and say, See its
15!) or if counting works for temperature, they cannot transfer it to
algebra for 15 - - 15.

________________________________

From: numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:numeracy-bounces at nifl.gov] On
Behalf Of Charlie
Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 1:36 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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