Distributive Property

The distributive property is commonly explained to students as the break apart strategy.  A visual understanding of multiplication is usually necessary to understand the distributive property and not just use it in a rote fashion.

Two colour counters are a common material for this.  Part of the array can be flipped over to show the distributive property.

Distributive Property Array Distributive Property Array


Student Array
This is an array of 100 dots, 10 X 10. An L shaped cut out is used to cover some dots so students can show any multiplication fact quickly.
Large Filled Array
This is a large array (ledger size) of solid dots. It’s useful for showing facts such as the 4X or 3X facts.



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