So, for this problem

2 - 5 = -3

You only have 2 apples...
And you're supposed to give your friend 5 apples... 
You go ahead and give her the 2 apples you have...

number line showing the integers -6 to 6 with a dot over the 2 and arrows jumping back 2 places to the 0

And, then, you'll still owe her 3 more apples!

number line showing integers from -6 to 6 with a dot over the 2 and arrows jumping back (to the left) 5 places and landing on -3

For those of you out there who are old enough to have a checking account (or a pretend one for learning), it's like having only $2.00 in your account and you write a check for $5.00...  So, you are overdrawn (in the hole) by $3.00!

thermometer at 20 degree below zero One of the places that I'll bet you've already heard of negative numbers is with temperatures.  I'm sure you've head someone say, "It's 20 below!"  That means it's -20 degrees - which is very cold!

Don't worry about needing to know how to add and subtract with negative numbers yet.  We've got some other things to talk about first!