Classroom printables, activities & worksheets

Absolute Value Teaching Resources

Need absolute value worksheets and activities to make math class absolutely engaging this school year? This collection of teacher-created resources has been developed to cut the time you're spending on all that absolute value lesson planning so you have a whole lot more time for teaching this mathematical concept! Each resource in this math teaching resource collection is curriculum-aligned to help students meet Common Core and state-level standards, and each has undergone a rigorous review by the teachers on the Teach Starter team to ensure they're student-ready.

What Is the Absolute Value of a Number?

Maybe you're teaching math for the first time or it's been a while since you were in a classroom with 5th graders or 6th graders. Our teacher team has done their fair share of grade changes and knows what it's like to do that mad dash to brush back up on a concept they haven't taught in a year (or 5!). So what is absolute value, and how do you calculate the absolute value of a number? Here's your quick crash course! Absolute value is the distance from zero that a number is on the number line. Think about a number line, which shows the progression of digits away from zero. Absolute value is basically how many digits away from zero any particular number is. This concept comes in handy for students when they're measuring distance, and it can be helpful when dealing with inequalities.

Absolute Value Examples

Absolute value is always a positive number because the direction you're moving on the number line does not matter! If you are looking for the absolute value of -5, for example, you would remove the negative sign. The absolute value would simply be 5. Typically, absolute value is shown by surrounding a number with two vertical straight lines, which make up the absolute value symbol. For example, when you represent the absolute value of 8 with the absolute value symbol, you get |8|. This means “the absolute value of 8 is 8.”  

5 teaching resources for those 'aha' moments