## Discovering the Properties of Multiplication

Properties of Multiplication Flap Book |

One of the most interesting discoveries we had when teaching “Bansho
Style” (see previous posts), is that the students discovered the

**Commutative Property of Multiplication**on their own. Of course, they didn’t know it by that name, but they could see that when we made arrays of 3 x 4 and 4 x 3, that the product was the same. I, of course, seized the moment and tried to get them to make the connection to the**Commutative Property of Addition**by asking:*where have we seen numbers switch places but the result is the same?*
It took some thinking, but they
finally made the connection. I had them
look at the arrays they had built and find a similar array that used the same
factors. The students could plainly see
the that the Commutative Property of Multiplication was very similar to the one
for addition, except we were dealing with multiples and different
vocabulary.

Properties of Multiplication PowerPoint |

*does multiplication have a Zero or Identity Property?*Most of them already knew that multiplying by 1 gives the same factor/product and that multiplying by zero gave a product of zero. What they could not do is explain why. Time to bring out the tiles again and have them show me arrays for multiplying by 1 and multiplying by zero. With the tiles in front of them, they turned to partners and explained what they discovered. We discussed as a class our findings and saw that the Zero Property of Addition and Multiplication were not the same. Next, I used my Properties of Multiplication PowerPoint to formally go over each of the properties while the students took notes.

Soon after their discoveries and discussions of these properties it was
time to solidify the definitions and examples.
The students then put together the Properties of Multiplication Flap
Book which is part of the Properties of Multiplication 5 Pack of Reinforcement Activities. With the book the students
had to match the definition to the property, and glue them down on the inside
cover. Then on the other inside part,
match examples. I wanted to make sure
the students knew those definitions and could give examples so as soon as a student
was done with the book, it was time to turn into Multiplication Man!

Multiplication Man to the rescue! |

Students practicing with Multiplication Man |

We all know in
the end that all these activities and books that we make have to transfer to
paper and pencil tasks and assessments.
So after all this, I do give the students some practice with worksheets or
workbook problems on the Properties of Multiplication. If you would like to see more resources for
teaching these properties, click on this LINK and see what’s available.