Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Grade(s) 3 resources related to the following standard:
Measurement and Data
Geometric measurement: understand concepts of area and relate area to multiplication and to addition.
7. Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.
c. Use tiling to show in a concrete case that the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths a and b + c is the sum of a × b and a × c. Use area models to represent the distributive property in mathematical reasoning.

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In this 10-page article (PDF) from NCTM the authors present a progression of models they believe can be used with third graders to connect concepts of arithmetic and geometry to understand the distributive property as outlined in the CCSS. They believe exploring the area of multicolor arrays makes the distributive property intuitive for third graders.
Reference Materials, Article
Grade Level: 3
Students can use this interactive Java applet to explore multiplication, the distributive property, prime vs composite, square numbers, and more. Users fill in squares and draw rectangles on a 10 x 10 grid with 10 possible colors to use. Use the quick tour to get started.
Activity, Interactive Media
Grade Level: 2, 3, 4, 5