This zero model is intended for young children to make sense of mathematical ideas involving negative numbers. The essential idea is that every number has an additive inverse so that (+A) + (-A) =0. For example, (+1) + (-1) = 0 and (+5) + (-5) = 0. This big idea, together with the connections between addition and subtraction, can be used to explain why 0 – (-1)= +1, and eventually why (-1)(-1) = +1. It is really a fun perspective and has healthy implications for higher mathematics. And, yes, subtraction can be interpreted as “take away.” Thus, 0 – (-1) means taking (-1) from 0. Well, 0 is “(+1)+(-1)”, thus, the result is (+1).

There are two types of 3D models here. One allows the assertion of small magnets (5mm diameter x 1mm) into the small box on each side (at about 80% completion when printing). The magnets will then be fully sealed inside. The other model has the two pieces connected in a wedge structure. Be very careful when using small magnets with children.

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