# How To Teach Algebra: The Distributive Property Progression with the Area Model (CRA)

“Ditch the algebra tiles!”

Many middle school and high school teachers will often eliminate the use of algebra tiles / mathematical models or in many more cases not even introduce them at all causing them to promote “ditch algebra tiles”.

We have to agree with this….. only…..

…. if those teachers are introducing tiles and other models without any explanation or demonstration of where those models come from or how they connect to previously learned models of multiplication then the models themselves become a sort of disjointed algorithm for students to memorize.

Many students already see math as sets of separate rules and procedures that have to be followed to get to correct answers. If teachers aren’t showing how mathematical models of multiplying are connected to algebra tiles in middle and high school then ….yes, ditch those tiles as they may be just another thing for students to memorize.

INSTEAD we should teach how the models are connected!

In this video you’ll learn how to introduce the distributive property in your middle school or high school classrooms; how and why the area model for multiplication must be built upon so that the distributive property in algebra class makes sense; and, how we can use the Concreteness Fading Model to connect multiplying algorithms to the area model.

Resources Related To The Video

- https://makemathmoments.com/concreteness-fading/
- Mathigon Polypad – The Distributive Property Progression
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**Make Math Moments ****Problem Based Lessons **and Day 1 Teacher Guides are openly available for you to leverage and use with your students without becoming a Make Math Moments Academy Member.

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