Distributive Properties of Geometric Models

Expressions and Properties of Operations

Formative Assessment

Summary of the Math: Expressions and Properties of Operations

Read and Discuss

  • The distributive property enables you to rewrite an expression as an equivalent expression.
  • It works for algebraic expressions in exactly the same way that it works for whole numbers. You have already used the distributive property to help you make mental math calculations, such as determining that: 12 · 32 = 10 · 32 + 2 · 32.
  • With algebraic expressions, the distributive property works the same way: a(b + c) ab + ac
  • This rectangle is a geometric model of the distributive property. The area of the rectangle can be found using two different expressions: a(b + c) or ab + ac. The equality of these expressions, a(b + c) = ab + ac, is the distributive property.


Can you:

  • Explain the distributive property?
  • Show how to represent the distributive property using a visual model?