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Uses of the Distributive Property

Date: 02/25/2002 at 15:37:46
From: Krystle
Subject: Distributive Property


We have been assigned to do a portfolio and one thing we must do is 
write a paragraph describing the distributive property and what it is 
used for. I have done plenty of research and I know how to describe 
it, but I am not quite sure what it is used for. Can you help?

Thank you,

Date: 02/25/2002 at 16:20:21
From: Doctor Rick
Subject: Re: Distributive Property

Hi, Krystle.

Have you ever used the distributive property in solving an equation? 
For example,

  3x + 4 = 7x - 8

How about in simplifying an expression? For instance,

  3(x - 2) + 4(2x + 5)

This problem uses the property three times, in two different ways!

Can you find ways to describe the conditions that make the 
distributive property useful in each case? 

You have probably encountered other situations in which you used the 
distributive property. It's good to take stock of how you solve 
problems and notice things like this, because methods that have worked 
in the past are likely to be useful again.

- Doctor Rick, The Math Forum   
Associated Topics:
Middle School Number Sense/About Numbers

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