In KS2 Maths children will come to understand negative or minus numbers. In Year Six children should be confident when counting up and down in negative numbers and filling in the gaps in a number sequence. They should also be able to perform addition and subtraction problems with negative numbers and will now be given problems involving 2 and 3 figure negative numbers.

Negative or minus numbers are whole numbers below zero. You may wonder where on earth a negative number would be used. An example of how negative numbers are used would be measuring temperatures. If its colder than the freezing point of water (0^{o}C) we say it is a minus temperature. Addition and subtraction can be tricky with negative numbers. One method that might help is to rearrange the problem. For example:

14 - 8 = 6 so 6 - 14 = -8 It all becomes easier with practise!

Take this quiz to test yours skills at addition and subtraction with negative numbers.

1.

The temperature is 6^{o}. If it falls 18^{o} what is the temperature now?

24^{o}

-24^{o}

-8^{o}

-12^{o}

18 - 6 = 12 so 6 - 18 = -12

2.

The temperature is -13^{o}. If it rises 39^{o} what is the temperature now?

26^{o}

39^{o}

13^{o}

-26^{o}

39 - 13 = 26 so -13 + 39 = 26

3.

Which is the largest of these numbers?

2

-35

-3

-14

Even the lowest positive number is higher than all the negative numbers

4.

Which of these is the lowest number?

-1

0

-28

-15

Remember that the higher the negative number the less its value

5.

The temperature is -15^{o}. If it falls 8^{o} what is the temperature now?

23^{o}

-7^{o}

-23^{o}

7^{o}

15 + 8 = 23 so -15 - 8 = -23

6.

Which is the next number in the following sequence? 10, 5, 0, -5

10

-1

-10

-15

The numbers are decreasing by 5

7.

The temperature is -28^{o}. If it rises 13^{o} what is the temperature now?

-41^{o}

-15^{o}

15^{o}

41^{o}

28 - 13 = 15 so -28 + 13 = -15

8.

Which are the missing numbers in this sequence? -33, -35, ___, -39, -41, ___?

-36 and -43

-37 and -42

-37 and -43

-37 and -40

The numbers in this sequence are decreasing by 2 each time

9.

Which of these statements is true?

-33 > -3

-29 > -28

-7 > -17

-44 > -34

The symbol > means greater than

10.

Which of these statements is true?

-1 < -58

-23 < -1

2 < -99

-15 < -20

The symbol < means smaller than