Students learn that subtracting an integer is the same as adding the opposite of the integer. For example, 2 - 4 can be changed to 2 + (-4) -- in other words, minus a positive can be changed to plus a negative -- and -7 - (-1) can be changed to -7 + (+1) -- in other words, minus a negative can be changed to plus a positive. Once the subtraction has been changed to addition, students add the integers using a number line, where a positive integer represents a move to the right, and a negative integer represents a move to the left.

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