Working with the Properties!

32 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT understand how to use the properties (Commutative, Associative, Identity).

Big Idea

Understanding properties will lay the ground-work for solving equations.

DO NOW - Who's Related

20 minutes

The students will be applying their understanding of writing expressions to the problem called. “Who’s related”.  I’m looking for students to apply their understanding of writing expressions and evaluating expressions to solve problems involving the age and weights of certain family members(SMP 1).  It will be important to encourage students to write the expression to represent what the numbers are saying (SMP 2). By writing the expression, students should be able to substitute and solve.  This activity can also be re-used when teaching about solving equations.

I’m anticipating that the first few expressions may be difficult for students to write as they involve 2 steps.  Have students circle the key words and then write the expression.  Connect the terms with the appropriate operation. (SMP 2)  Struggling students should be encouraged to use their notes.

As students finish working, have them partner up with other students that are done to go over solutions and strategies. (SMP 3).

Tools:  Who’s related worksheet

Learning about the Commutative Property

10 minutes

I will begin by showing the students what the commutative property means both numerically and algebraically.  Then they will be looking at a word problem that will show them changing the order did not change the amount collected. (SMP 3).  Students have a difficult time remembering what each property means so I am making connections for them through use of common vocabulary and through connecting it to real world scenario.  For the commutative property, I like to tell the students that it’s like our school community.  No matter which way you look at the group, the order doesn’t matter and the group is still the same. (SMP 2) This discovery approach should assist in making the terms more meaningful.

Learning about the Associative Property

10 minutes

Students will again see what the associate property means and how it is connected to real life.  For the associative property, I tell the students that we sit in groups at our table.  If I group you in pairs, your table groupings remain the same no matter which pairs I use. (SMP 2)

Learning about the Identity Property

10 minutes

For this property, I couldn’t find a meaningful, real life scenario.  So what I did was show them through expressions how the identity property works.  I ask the students if they have ever heard of the word “identity” and what does it mean.  They will come up with several answers, but I focus on the one that means “self”.  I make the connection to it by telling them that the identity property wants to get its number back.  Then I ask, what number can we multiply by to get our number back? (1)  What number can I add that will get my number back? (0).  Then I will have students look at several expressions to find the missing value.  The expressions are written in different formats so students see that not all equations look the same, but can be solved the same way. (SMP 2)

Independent Practice

10 minutes

Have the students do a think-pair-share to go over the independent practice problems.  I chose multiple choice because I wanted the students to make the connection between the vocabulary and its meaning (SMP 6). When students go over their solutions, have them share how they know their answer is correct.  Each partner will take turns sharing their solutions (SMP3).


15 minutes

I like Quiz Quiz Trade because it incorporates mathematical practice #6, saying exactly what I mean.  Both partners take part in MP6.  The partner that is answering the question has to decide what property is being used.  If they get stuck, the person holding the card has to give them a tip.  I call this tip, tip, tell. (SMP 3) Once students quiz each other, they trade cards and move on to another person using the HUSUPU.

This activity is in power point because I thought it would be easy to print the slides and laminate them to re-use another time.



10 minutes

Students will write in their notes about the following questions.  Reflection is a good way for the students to assess their understanding of what they learned.

 Have students use an example to explain why the order of adding or multiplying two numbers does not change the result. (SMP 3)

Use an example to explain why grouping numbers in different ways does not change the result of addition or multiplication.(SMP 3)

Give justification of the commutative Rule of Multiplication using the array model (SMP 3 and 4)

Have students explain why the Commutative Property does not apply to subtraction or division. (SMP 3)