# ZeroSum Ruler (home)

## Blogging on math education and other related things

### Income and Debt with ZeroSum RulerJuly 10, 2011

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One of the ZeroSum ruler’s main purposes is to calculate debt/income problems.   In the problem “I owe you \$12 and pay you back just \$7. How much do I still owe you?” how do you come to your answer?   Do you count backwards from \$12 to \$7?   Or do you count forwards from \$7 to \$12?   No really, how much do I owe you?   How did you figure this out?    The ZeroSum ruler allows the student to count forwards instead of backwards just like we do in real life!    So why do we make our kids count backwards in school?

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### My Old Schoolhouse review debut!January 27, 2011

The ZeroSum Ruler was recently reviewed by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine!  You can read their full review – and get a glimpse at my old address where I fought a slumlord to the death of my career and almost me – at: The ZeroSum Ruler’s Old Schoolhouse Review!

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“Math is a subject that students can sometimes fake their way through. They might not understand how a problem works, but given the formula, they can follow rules and get things to come out all right in the end. Faking can only get them so far, though. Eventually, they will either forget the formula or not be able to recognize it when arranged in an unfamiliar manner. What a math teacher wants to see is the light bulb moment–when a student doesn’t just use a formula but understands why it works.

Working with negative numbers is an abstract concept that many students have a hard time visualizing. How does one visualize what isn’t there? According to the website, the ZeroSum Ruler naturally brings this abstract “knowing” into concrete “showing”! This simple little device helps students see not only the negative numbers but also their relationship with other numbers.

For instance, a student might not see how subtracting 10 from 5 is actually the same as saying 5 + -10. Visualizing the process with the ZeroSum Ruler helps students see that when they are figuring out a real-life scenario, such as how much someone owes them, they are really counting forward in positive numbers.

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The ruler itself is of laminated cardstock and is hinged at zero so that it can be folded, making the positive numbers line up with the negative numbers. This allows students to count forward the number they are subtracting or adding.

The true gem of the ZeroSum Ruler is the creator herself. Shana is passionate about math and making it reachable for students. Her website contains math videos and commentaries that help students see that math is fun, interesting, and relevant. She breaks things down in an easy-to-understand method, and she is also happy to help with math questions from students and teachers.

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The ZeroSum Ruler is a great asset for students struggling with the concept of negative numbers. And its creator is a great help to parents struggling to teach those students.

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Math is a subject that students can sometimes fake their way through. They might not understand how a problem works, but given the formula, they can follow rules and get things to come out all right in the end. Faking can only get them so far, though. Eventually, they will either forget the formula or not be able to recognize it when arranged in an unfamiliar manner. What a math teacher wants to see is the light bulb moment–when a student doesn’t just use a formula but understands why it works.

-

Working with negative numbers is an abstract concept that many students have a hard time visualizing. How does one visualize what isn’t there? According to the website, the ZeroSum Ruler naturally brings this abstract “knowing” into concrete “showing”! This simple little device helps students see not only the negative numbers but also their relationship with other numbers.

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For instance, a student might not see how subtracting 10 from 5 is actually the same as saying 5 + -10. Visualizing the process with the ZeroSum Ruler helps students see that when they are figuring out a real-life scenario, such as how much someone owes them, they are really counting forward in positive numbers.

-

The ruler itself is of laminated cardstock and is hinged at zero so that it can be folded, making the positive numbers line up with the negative numbers. This allows students to count forward the number they are subtracting or adding.

-

The true gem of the ZeroSum Ruler is the creator herself. Shana is passionate about math and making it reachable for students. Her website contains math videos and commentaries that help students see that math is fun, interesting, and relevant. She breaks things down in an easy-to-understand method, and she is also happy to help with math questions from students and teachers.

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The ZeroSum Ruler is a great asset for students struggling with the concept of negative numbers. And its creator is a great help to parents struggling to teach those students.”

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Thank you, Old Schoolhouse Magazine!

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You can purchase a ZeroSum Ruler eBook here: The ZeroSum Ruler on CurrClick or on my blog over there —>

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