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Text version tutorial 3

Text version tutorial 3

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Author: Michelle Bauer
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Tutorial

PREVIOUS LESSON:  Multiplying and Dividing Positive and Negative Numbers

Contents

Overview

Background

Practice

Summary

OVERVIEW

 Learn about absolute value

 Practice finding absolute value

 Try a few examples in context

BACKGROUND

ABSOLUTE VALUE expresses the distance of any number from zero

You can take the absolute value of a positive number, a negative number, or zero.

  KEY TERM  ABSOLUTE VALUE  The distance (also known as magnitude) a number is from zero on the number line; it is always a positive value.

If we start at 4, the distance to 0 on the number line is 4 spaces.  Therefore, the ABSOLUTE VALUE of 4 is 4.  We use vertical bars to show ABSOLUTE VALUE, so it would be written like this:

|4| = 4

The principle is the same with a negative number.  Using a number line, you start with the number and head towards 0, counting the spaces that you use. 

This example would be written as |-2| = 2.  This would read "the ABSOLUTE VALUE of negative 2 is 2."

 BIG IDEA  You can determine ABSOLUTE VALUE by using a number line, and counting the distance to zero.

Here are some examples:

|25| = 25

|0| = 0

|-12| = 12

|9/4| = 9/4

|-11.673| = 11.673

 BRAINSTORM Why is it that ABSOLUTE VALUE can never be negative?