I have noticed that a number of relatively senior learners, in Grades 10-12, still struggle with types of integer addition.

For example, consider the following three simple arithmetic integer sums:

$latex 8-3$

$latex -3+8$

$latex -3-8$

Whereas the first and second have the same value they often yield different answers. All I have done is to move the

$latex -3$ to the start of the sum.

I am hoping that you did understand that both of these will produce the answer of $latex 8$.

For the third sum, the situation is different, and I have also found some confusion with this, in which learners tend to misunderstand whether this means $latex 8-3$ or $latex 3-8$, and struggle to understand how to subtract a number from a negative numbers. It appears that they see the minus (-) signs used as having different meaning depending upon whether this is at the start of the sum or if this is between two other numbers.

The answer to this last sum is $latex 11$.