Return to MAIN (index) page Return to RESOURCE MATERIALS page Returns to MATHS menu page



Put simply, the rule of commutation says that it does not matter in which order you perform certain mathematical operations.


In ADDITION, 6 + 5 gives the same result as 5 + 6


In MULTIPLICATION, 6 x 5 gives the same result as 5 x 6


The easiest way to demonstrate the rule (with regard to multiplication) is to encourage children to prove it for themselves.



Draw 20 dots - neatly arranged as in the diagram.  Count the dots and visibly make a note of the number.


Using a coloured pencil, children should draw lines to show FIVE groups of FOUR.  Point out that "Five groups of four make twenty."


Write 5 x 4 = 20


Now, using the same diagram and a different coloured pencil, draw lines to show FOUR groups of FIVE.  Point out that "Four groups of five make twenty."


Write 4 x 5 = 20


Repeat with different numbers of dots.