How Does the Distributive Property Work?
Before we go over the distributive property, let's first look at an example. Let's say an art teacher is doing a project that requires each student to have 2 blue circles of paper and 3 orange circles. We could represent this with the picture below:
So now let's say a class is coming in and there are 20 students in the class. How many blue circles will she need? How many orange circles will she need?
She could set out 20 individual sets of 2 blue circles and 3 orange circles to make sure she has enough. But I'm guessing you figured it out a faster way! You get the same answer if you multiply each part by 20.
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