Here are the two most common mistakes I see:

**3(5x - 2) = 15x - 2**

**5 - (4x + 2) = 20x + 10**

I wrote these notes with these two mistakes in mind.

On the inside, I gave students a table to fill out that walks them step-by-step through the distribution process.

My favorite column is the second one: What should be distributed? Before beginning the multiplication process, I want my students to think critically about what number is actually being distributed. I place a big emphasis on drawing in our invisible 1's!

For combining like terms, I teach my students to place the like terms in groups. Eventually, they wean themselves off this method, but I find it helps my students way more than the more traditional way of color-coding or shape-coding the like terms.

After filling out the table, we tackled a few more advanced distributive property practice problems. You can see our grouping strategy more easily here since there are more terms to combine!

You can download the files for these notes here.

I love!!! that grouping strategy!! I would have my students box one set of like terms and put circles around another and triangles around another and often times they would write the shape through the sign of the number and then end up messing up. I love how you had them just list them. Also by using a few big problems they really see everything they need to group together. Great idea, and thank you!!

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