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Quick Reads
Quick Reads: Another Good Idea: The Zero Box

Paul Friedmann 

November 2008, Volume 14, Issue 4, Page 2221


The zero box is a technique used to teach students how to add positive and negative numbers. Although it can be used in isolation, it is most effective as a bridge that helps students make the transition between the use of manipulatives and more formal mathematical "rules."

Quick Reads focuses on providing the reader with activities or ideas for the middle school classroom that are quick and applicable. Quick Reads is a regular department of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.  Its aim is to publish single ideas that are too good not to be published, but are not long enough for a full article. Topics range from research, collaboration and ‘what works’ in the classroom.


Addition and Subtraction
Grades 6-8
Math Coordinator / Coach
Skill and Fluency