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What task or problem would you have this student attempt? Or would you follow this up with an explanation?

Thanks to John Weisenfeld for the submission!

  • crazedmummy

    I would ask how many of the items in parentheses there are. Put a “1” in front. Then distribute the -1, if you insist.

  • rachel

    How about a “Hands on Equations ” approach:
    mmmmmm – (mm + 5) – mmmm
    Start the set up: Put out 6 -m’s
    you need to take 2-m’s and a five away the 2-m’s are easy to take away but how can we take a 5 away? Add a 0 pair (+5 and -5) then take the +5 away leaving the -5
    now you have mmmm -5
    the last part of the set up is to take away 4-m’s (the -4m)
    Solution: -5

    My students really connected with the distributive property using this program!