The Distributive Property is just common sense. These activities use pairs of arrays to illustrate that the Distributive Property allows students to decide on the order in which they perform calculations.
Students find that they often intuitively know how to mentally calculate the total numbers of objects in these arrays. All we need to do is call their attention to what they’re already doing “in my head.” Then the Distributive Property makes sense – it’s merely a choice of which sequence of operations to use.
There are 4 pages of detailed explanations of how the Distributive Property works with arrays, 4 pages of practice mentally multiplying 1- by 2-digit numbers, and 6 pages of practical word problems.
Common Core Standards:
3.OA.5: ”Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide…Examples: Knowing that 8 × 5 = 40 and 8 × 2 = 16, one can find 8 × 7 as 8 × (5 + 2) = (8 × 5) + (8 × 2) = 40 + 16 = 56. (Distributive property.)
3.MD.7.c: "Use area models to represent the distributive property in mathematical reasoning."
Subject: Math, Computation, Measurement
Level: Grades 3-5
Length/Duration: 14 pages of student work
A Smart Notebook 14 file is also included.