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Instructor Overview

Students use a rectangular area model to understand the distributive property. They watch a video to find how to express the area of a rectangle in two different ways. Then they find the area of rectangular garden plots in two ways.

Key Concepts

The distributive property can be used to rewrite an expression as an equivalent expression that is easier to work with. The distributive property states that multiplication distributes over addition.

  • Applying multiplication to quantities that have been combined by addition: a(b + c)
  • Applying multiplication to each quantity individually, and then adding the products together: ab + ac

The distributive property can be represented with a geometric model. The area of this rectangle can be found in two ways: a(b + c) or ab + ac. The equality of these two expressions, a(b + c) = ab + ac, is the distributive property.

Goals and Learning Objectives

  • Use a geometric model to understand the distributive property.
  • Write equivalent expressions using the distributive property.