• The set of integers is composed of the counting (natural ) numbers, their opposites, and zero.
  • Begining with zero, numbers increase in value to the right (0, 1, 2, 3, …) and decrease in value to the left (…-3, -2, -1, 0)
    When comparing numbers the order in which they are placed on the number line will determine if it is greater than or less than another number.


If a number is to the left of a number on the number line, it is less than the other number. If it is to the right then it is greater than that number.

 Example: If the lowest score wins, order the following golf scores from best to worst: Tigre Madera –4, Jack Nickles +1, Nick Cost –2, Freddy Pairs –5, John Weekly +3
Answer: -5, -4, -2, +1, +3


The Picksburg running back, nicknamed "the trolley," had five carries with the following results: +18, -3, +4, 0, -1. List these yardage figures from best to worst.


  • Absolute value is the distance a number is from zero on a number line. We use |n | to indicate absolute value.
  • |-n| = |n| =n; where n is an integer.

    Example: |-7| = 7

    Example: Jack Nickles is –4 after 36 holes of golf. How many strokes away from even par is he? (Par for a course is a score of zero strokes above or below.)
    Answer: 4


Example: |7 + 3| - |-9| = 10 – 9 = 1

 writer: Kevin Gallagher/mC


Alpha | Interactive Adventure with Deep Sea Carl

 art: Zach Sterba/mC

  writer: Kevin Gallagher/mC