# Associative Property of Multiplication: Making Multiplication Easy

Resource Type
Common Core Standards
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The practical use of the Associative Property is that it makes computation easier. We look for combinations of factors that yield a product of 10, 100, 1000, or multiples of any of these. Or combinations that yield the smallest possible numbers which we then multiply by larger factors.

These activities stress this aspect. Students are asked to re-order sequences like these:

17 × 5 × 2

4 × 9 × 2

25 × 90 × 4

6 × 9 × 5

Students get practice in rewriting sequences of 3 numbers to multiply, using parentheses to indicate the order, and keeping in mind that all the computation should be done mentally.

Only 2 CCSS specifically mention the Associative Property of Multipllication, but its use is embedded in the standards for Grades 3, 4, and 5.

Common Core Standards:

3.OA.5: “Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide... 3 × 5 × 2 can be found by 3 × 5 = 15, then 15 × 2 = 30, or by 5 × 2 = 10, then 3 × 10 = 30. (Associative property of multiplication.)....”

5.MD.5.a: “Represent threefold whole-number products as volumes, e.g., to represent the associative property of multiplication.”

Subject: Math, Basic operations, Multiplication

Length/Duration: 8 pages of student work, 2-3 days

A Smart Notebook 10 file is also included.
Total Pages
8 pages
Included
Teaching Duration
3 days
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