Boise State University
Learner Description: This page is designed for teachers who teach 5th grade and work with differnt math properties.
What are the different Math Properties?
The three that I am going to focus on are: Commutative Property, Associative Property, and Distributive Propery. These properties apply to addition and multiplication. I have provided a defintion of each property below:
- Commutative Property: Applies to addition and subtraction. When using the commutative property you can change order of addends for addition or the order of factors for multiplication and the answer will be the same.
Example: 2+1=1+2 or 3x5=5x3
- Associative Property: Applies to addition and subtraction. When using the associative property you can group addends or factors in any way and you will still get the same answer.
Example: (1+2)+3=1+(2+3) or (3x2)x4=3x(2x4)
- Distributive Property: Applies to Multiplication. Multiplying a sum by a number is the same as multiplying each number in the sum by the number and adding the products.
Example: 5 x(3+4)=(5x3)+(5x4)
Each of these properties helps us solve different math problems. They are a way to allow us an easier way to solve math problems that can be overwhelming. The diagram below shows the different math properties and provides links to videos if you click on the rectangle for each property.