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Working With Rational Numbers
Type of Unit: Concept
Prior Knowledge
Students should be able to:
 Compare and order positive and negative numbers and place them on a number line.
 Understand the concepts of opposites absolute value.
Lesson Flow
The unit begins with students using a balloon model to informally explore adding and subtracting integers. With the model, adding or removing heat represents adding or subtracting positive integers, and adding or removing weight represents adding or subtracting negative integers.
Students then move from the balloon model to a number line model for adding and subtracting integers, eventually extending the addition and subtraction rules from integers to all rational numbers. Number lines and multiplication patterns are used to find products of rational numbers. The relationship between multiplication and division is used to understand how to divide rational numbers. Properties of addition are briefly reviewed, then used to prove rules for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
This unit includes problems with realworld contexts, formative assessment lessons, and Gallery problems.
 Subject:
 Mathematics, Algebra
 Material Type:
 Unit of Study
 Level:
 Middle School
 Grade:
 7
 Tags:

 Expressions
 Problem Solving
 Integers
 Subtraction
 Decimals
 Number Line
 Distance
 Equations
 Addition
 Fractions
 Rational Numbers
 7th Grade Mathematics
 Division
 Multiplication
 Absolute Value
 Negative Numbers
Education Standards
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Describe situations in which opposite quantities combine to make 0. For example, a hydrogen atom has 0 charge because its two constituents are oppositely charged.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Understand p + q as the number located a distance q from p, in the positive or negative direction depending on whether q is positive or negative. Show that a number and its opposite have a sum of 0 (are additive inverses). Interpret sums of rational numbers by describing realworld contexts.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Understand subtraction of rational numbers as adding the additive inverse, p  q = p + (q). Show that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference, and apply this principle in realworld contexts.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract rational numbers.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers. Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division and of fractions to multiply and divide rational numbers.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Understand that multiplication is extended from fractions to rational numbers by requiring that operations continue to satisfy the properties of operations, particularly the distributive property, leading to products such as (1)(1) = 1 and the rules for multiplying signed numbers. Interpret products of rational numbers by describing realworld contexts.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Understand that integers can be divided, provided that the divisor is not zero, and every quotient of integers (with nonzero divisor) is a rational number. If p and q are integers then (p/q) = (p)/q = p/(q). Interpret quotients of rational numbers by describing realworld contexts.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide rational numbers.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.
Learning Domain: The Number System
Standard: Solve realworld and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers. (Computations with rational numbers extend the rules for manipulating fractions to complex fractions.)
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, "Does this make sense?"ť They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Mathematically proficient students make sense of the quantities and their relationships in problem situations. Students bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize"Óto abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents"Óand the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases, and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose. Mathematically proficient students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and"Óif there is a flaw in an argument"Óexplain what it is. Elementary students can construct arguments using concrete referents such as objects, drawings, diagrams, and actions. Such arguments can make sense and be correct, even though they are not generalized or made formal until later grades. Later, students learn to determine domains to which an argument applies. Students at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Model with mathematics. Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another. Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, twoway tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose.
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Use appropriate tools strategically. Mathematically proficient students consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem. These tools might include pencil and paper, concrete models, a ruler, a protractor, a calculator, a spreadsheet, a computer algebra system, a statistical package, or dynamic geometry software. Proficient students are sufficiently familiar with tools appropriate for their grade or course to make sound decisions about when each of these tools might be helpful, recognizing both the insight to be gained and their limitations. For example, mathematically proficient high school students analyze graphs of functions and solutions generated using a graphing calculator. They detect possible errors by strategically using estimation and other mathematical knowledge. When making mathematical models, they know that technology can enable them to visualize the results of varying assumptions, explore consequences, and compare predictions with data. Mathematically proficient students at various grade levels are able to identify relevant external mathematical resources, such as digital content located on a website, and use them to pose or solve problems. They are able to use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts.
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Attend to precision. Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Look for and make use of structure. Mathematically proficient students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. Young students, for example, might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more, or they may sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. Later, students will see 7 x 8 equals the well remembered 7 x 5 + 7 x 3, in preparation for learning about the distributive property. In the expression x^2 + 9x + 14, older students can see the 14 as 2 x 7 and the 9 as 2 + 7. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects. For example, they can see 5  3(x  y)^2 as 5 minus a positive number times a square and use that to realize that its value cannot be more than 5 for any real numbers x and y.
Learning Domain: Mathematical Practices
Standard: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Mathematically proficient students notice if calculations are repeated, and look both for general methods and for shortcuts. Upper elementary students might notice when dividing 25 by 11 that they are repeating the same calculations over and over again, and conclude they have a repeating decimal. By paying attention to the calculation of slope as they repeatedly check whether points are on the line through (1, 2) with slope 3, middle school students might abstract the equation (y  2)/(x 1) = 3. Noticing the regularity in the way terms cancel when expanding (x  1)(x + 1), (x  1)(x^2 + x + 1), and (x  1)(x^3 + x^2 + x + 1) might lead them to the general formula for the sum of a geometric series. As they work to solve a problem, mathematically proficient students maintain oversight of the process, while attending to the details. They continually evaluate the reasonableness of their intermediate results.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Apply and extend previous understandings of addition and subtraction to add and subtract rational numbers; represent addition and subtraction on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Describe situations in which opposite quantities combine to make 0. For example, a hydrogen atom has 0 charge because its two constituents are oppositely charged.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Understand p + q as the number located a distance q from p, in the positive or negative direction depending on whether q is positive or negative. Show that a number and its opposite have a sum of 0 (are additive inverses). Interpret sums of rational numbers by describing realworld contexts.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Understand subtraction of rational numbers as adding the additive inverse, p – q = p + (–q). Show that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference, and apply this principle in realworld contexts.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract rational numbers.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers. Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division and of fractions to multiply and divide rational numbers.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Understand that multiplication is extended from fractions to rational numbers by requiring that operations continue to satisfy the properties of operations, particularly the distributive property, leading to products such as (–1)(–1) = 1 and the rules for multiplying signed numbers. Interpret products of rational numbers by describing realworld contexts.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Understand that integers can be divided, provided that the divisor is not zero, and every quotient of integers (with nonzero divisor) is a rational number. If p and q are integers then –(p/q) = (–p)/q = p/(–q). Interpret quotients of rational numbers by describing realworld contexts.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide rational numbers.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Convert a rational number to a decimal using long division; know that the decimal form of a rational number terminates in 0s or eventually repeats.
Cluster: Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational numbers
Standard: Solve realworld and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers. (Computations with rational numbers extend the rules for manipulating fractions to complex fractions.)
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, “Does this make sense?” They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Mathematically proficient students make sense of the quantities and their relationships in problem situations. Students bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize—to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents—and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases, and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose. Mathematically proficient students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and—if there is a flaw in an argument—explain what it is. Elementary students can construct arguments using concrete referents such as objects, drawings, diagrams, and actions. Such arguments can make sense and be correct, even though they are not generalized or made formal until later grades. Later, students learn to determine domains to which an argument applies. Students at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Model with mathematics. Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another. Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, twoway tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose.
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Use appropriate tools strategically. Mathematically proficient students consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem. These tools might include pencil and paper, concrete models, a ruler, a protractor, a calculator, a spreadsheet, a computer algebra system, a statistical package, or dynamic geometry software. Proficient students are sufficiently familiar with tools appropriate for their grade or course to make sound decisions about when each of these tools might be helpful, recognizing both the insight to be gained and their limitations. For example, mathematically proficient high school students analyze graphs of functions and solutions generated using a graphing calculator. They detect possible errors by strategically using estimation and other mathematical knowledge. When making mathematical models, they know that technology can enable them to visualize the results of varying assumptions, explore consequences, and compare predictions with data. Mathematically proficient students at various grade levels are able to identify relevant external mathematical resources, such as digital content located on a website, and use them to pose or solve problems. They are able to use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of concepts.
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Attend to precision. Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Look for and make use of structure. Mathematically proficient students look closely to discern a pattern or structure. Young students, for example, might notice that three and seven more is the same amount as seven and three more, or they may sort a collection of shapes according to how many sides the shapes have. Later, students will see 7 × 8 equals the well remembered 7 × 5 + 7 × 3, in preparation for learning about the distributive property. In the expression x^2 + 9x + 14, older students can see the 14 as 2 × 7 and the 9 as 2 + 7. They recognize the significance of an existing line in a geometric figure and can use the strategy of drawing an auxiliary line for solving problems. They also can step back for an overview and shift perspective. They can see complicated things, such as some algebraic expressions, as single objects or as being composed of several objects. For example, they can see 5 – 3(x – y)^2 as 5 minus a positive number times a square and use that to realize that its value cannot be more than 5 for any real numbers x and y.
Cluster: Mathematical practices
Standard: Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Mathematically proficient students notice if calculations are repeated, and look both for general methods and for shortcuts. Upper elementary students might notice when dividing 25 by 11 that they are repeating the same calculations over and over again, and conclude they have a repeating decimal. By paying attention to the calculation of slope as they repeatedly check whether points are on the line through (1, 2) with slope 3, middle school students might abstract the equation (y – 2)/(x –1) = 3. Noticing the regularity in the way terms cancel when expanding (x – 1)(x + 1), (x – 1)(x^2 + x + 1), and (x – 1)(x^3 + x^2 + x + 1) might lead them to the general formula for the sum of a geometric series. As they work to solve a problem, mathematically proficient students maintain oversight of the process, while attending to the details. They continually evaluate the reasonableness of their intermediate results.
Lesson 2
Model Integer AdditionLesson 3
Model Integer SubtractionLesson 7
Self Check ExerciseLesson 8
Gallery Problems ExerciseLesson 9
Model Integers MultiplicationLesson 12
Simplifying Numerical ExpressionsLesson 13
Understanding Rational NumbersLesson 14
Self Check ExerciseLesson 15
Gallery Problems Exercise