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This animated Math Shorts video explains how the distributive property can help students model and create equivalent expressions. In the accompanying classroom activity, students play a quick game where they identify common factors within an expression and work on a series of problems that expand their understanding of how to apply the distributive property. While the problems begin with whole number expressions, students soon work toward algebraic notation and eventually develop the idea that *ax + bx* can be rewritten as *x(a + b)*. This resource is part of the Math at the Core: Middle School Collection.

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