According to the distributive property, multiplying the sum of two or more addends by a number will give the same result as multiplying each addend individually by the number and then adding the products together.
Here’s an example of how the result does not change when solved normally and when solved using the distributive property.
( 5 + 7 + 3 ) x 4 = 15 x 4 = 60 |
( 5 + 7 + 3 ) x 4 = 5 x 4 + 7 x 4 + 3 x 4 = 60 |
The distributive property helps in making difficult problems simpler. You can use the distributive property of multiplication to rewrite expression by distributing or breaking down a factor as a sum or difference of two numbers.
Here, for instance, calculating 8 × 27 can made easier by breaking down 27 as 20 + 7 or 30 − 3.
The distributive property of multiplication over addition: | The distributive property of multiplication over subtraction: |
8 × ( 20 + 7 ) = 8 × 20 + 8 × 7 = 160 + 56 = 216 |
8 × ( 30 − 3 ) = 8 × 30 − 8 × 3 = 240 − 24 = 216 |
Instead of handing out comparison worksheets to your children, you can ask your child to use the distributive property to compute daily life calculations.
For instance, take your child to a stationery store. Ask him to pick out 4 pens and 4 packets of crayons. Ask him to compute the bill amount using the distributive property of multiplication.