“The Distributive Property” is usually a term that gets filed under “Useless Information” in most people’s brains because they are simply told to memorize it and not shown what it means. This free math tutoring video shows you what it’s all about and why even little kids can understand it.
I use Cuisenaire Rods to explain the concept. You could also use other manipulatives or even graph paper. It is very important that students actually understand what they are doing in mathematics. If they are continuously expected to memorize formulas for things they don’t understand, the bridge will crumble at some point for many of them. There needs to be connection to reality. Using these math blocks establishes that reality.