Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Distributive Property Hands On Activity

Great hands on activity for 6th - 8th graders struggling or just learning the Distributive Property.  I like to tell my students that a fun way to remember Distributive Property is that the parenthesis are like a bowl and the term in front is going to be "double dipped" (or "triple dipped" depending on how many terms are inside the parenthesis) into the bowl.  I always have them circle the term in front including the sign so it's easier for them to remember it when distributing. 

Materials Needed:
Half Sheet of Paper (write boxes and parenthesis as pictured)
3 dice (I put in one red one for the older kids to represent a negative number)
Whiteboard or paper and pencil

Students roll the dice and place the dice in the boxes
(if they are using a red dice for negative numbers, then just put it in either of the first 2 boxes)

Students write the problem formed when the roll the dice and solve!

My summer class of 7th graders wanted to make a competition of it.  So, we set a timer to see who could solve the most distributive property problems correctly the fastest.  It was funny to watch them catch on that when they rolled a 1 they would put it in the first box so they didn't have to distribute or "double dip" like I call it. :)

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  1. This looks like a great visual. My students are currently struggling with the real world context to this type of problem. I think this will help with the paper pencil task that will help them build more concrete understanding! Thank you for sharing!

  2. This is great! I'm teaching distributing next week and I love having an activity for my hands-on learners!

  3. This looks great! I am going to try it tomorrow at our school! Thanks! (4th-7th - Neskowin Valley School, Oregon)

  4. Love this. Plan on using it this week with my 8th graders.

  5. Using this next week in a station. I did make a student recording sheet for the students to record their outcomes. (5th grade)