Commutative Property

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Happy weekend friends, you survived another week of being a 'super teacher'.  I wanted to share a fun activity we did this week for the commutative property of multiplication but you could certainly apply this to the commutative property of addition too.

commutative property of multiplication, commutative property of addition ideas and tips

As you know I'm always trying to think of a more clever, memorable way to teach a concept that I think will 'stick' with them and if I do, I always share what worked for me.  Last year I focused on the word....commute - and talked about how sometimes parents commute to work.  That when they drive one direction, they most likely commute the same direction back.  You are just flip flopping the directions.  I called on some kids to pretend to 'drive' around our classroom.  They did remember the name of the property because of that which was nice.  This year I tried something very different.
I decided to focus more on the concept and how it flip flops the numbers.  So of course we made flip flops, they had a lot of fun, we also played some dice games and made drawings to match our commutative property equations.

commutative properties in math - lots of ideas, photos and ways to teach it.

So, we talked about how the numbers 'flip flop' and made the flip flop craftivity.  In my pack I've included one for multiplication and one also for addition in case you change grade levels OR have to teach both like in third with Envision we teach both.
I had them come up with a number sentence and as you can see from the above photo - there was a cover on their flip flops.  The cover looks something like this ( I've included a few options )

commutative property of multiplication, commutative property of addition flip flop craftivity
I've included just a simple explanation that the numbers flip flop and I've included the proper vocabulary ( addends, product, etc. ) as another option.  This is the TOP page that would be cute run on scrapbook paper.  The bottom page is the same just doesn't have the words so they can write and draw number sentences to show the commutative property.

I've also included an optional flip flop crown/hat to wear home.  This would be especially cute for first or second graders.  It's very similar to the craftivity but they would write the number sentences on the hat.

commutative property of addition crown or hat to wear home

I took these pictures of the kids with their hands out, these pictures will be added to a bulletin board with the flip flops.

commutative property of addition, commutative property of multiplication bulletin board idea with pictures of your students.

commutative property of addition and multiplication craft, printables and ideas

If you want to use this to teach this concept to your students you can grab it {here} This pack includes the craft, printables and dice activities to use for both the commutative property of multiplication as well as the commutative property of addition.

commutative property of addition, commutative property of multiplication dice games, craft and printables

I hope this has been helpful to you, let me know if you try it out.  Happy teaching! xoxo,


  1. Love you ideas! I am thinking it would be great to take the photos of the children, but to put the two expressions in their hands that are equal. So one hand could have 6+3 and the other 3+6 and the equals sign could be in between (maybe on their chest like a super hero). Thank you for getting my brain in gear to teach this concept more in depth than I am used to. (Eureka is great, but it is INTENSE! My firsties are learning SO MUCH!)

  2. Love it Camille - I'm definitely keeping that idea in mind for the future...thank you! Good luck. =)- Vicky