Distributive Property, Day 2

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Students will be able to split factors in order to use the distributive property in the finding of area.

Big Idea

The children have been practicing decomposing areas and now digits in order to understand and use the distributive property.


10 minutes

In order to warm the students up for more work with the distributive property, I show this short video and activity from Aha!Math.  I like it because it shows why and when a person might use this property and then gives a few easy practice problems.  

The problems do move rather rapidly, so I suggest you preview it. Unfortunately, because it is a flash video there is no pause button. You can exit, and come back in, but it always starts back at the beginning. By previewing, you can capture the question and put it up on the board and go back to review after the video. Otherwise the purpose of the warm-up may be lost - passive viewing vs. brain activation!


15 minutes

For the mini-lesson, I use the, "I do, We do, You do" instructional model to practice a few multiplication problems.  

You may want to try some simple ones to begin, such as 7 x 3, 4 x 9, and 2 x 8.  These problems are easy for students to solve mentally and also have an obvious factor to split. Once you see student success, you can move to more complicated ones, such as 9 x 15 or 3 x 12. 

After group practice shows students have strategies to grapple with these problems, send the students off to solve several more equations.

Active Engagement

25 minutes

For their independent (partner) work, I assigned the students problems to solve from an activity named Splitting Factors, from www.k-5mathteachingresources.com.  The children were to show their work and write the equations. 

This is an excellent activity to follow up yesterday's lesson, as it asks students to split only one factor and to do so in an "easy" way.  When looking at student work, look for students to use easy numbers to work with and to keep track of the steps in written form. 


15 minutes

For closing, I put up a few problems and students come up to solve and explain their strategy. Listen to my student in this clip, as he mentally uses the property to solve a fairly difficult expression. 

Next, this student explains, quickly and efficiently, how she solves her problem on the bottom of her page. 


This student is close, but still needs some work. I will pull him aside for a day or two of extra practice.