Understand properties of multiplication and the relationship between multiplication and division. Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide. Examples: If 6 × 4 = 24 is known, then 4 × 6 = 24 is also known. (Commutative property of multiplication.) 3 × 5 × 2 can be found by 3 × 5 = 15 then 15 × 2 = 30, or by 5 × 2 = 10 then 3 × 10 = 30. (Associative property of multiplication.) Knowing that 8 × 5 = 40 and 8 × 2 = 16, one can find 8 × 7 as 8 × (5 + 2) = (8 × 5) + (8 × 2) = 40 + 16 = 56. (Distributive property.) (Students need not use formal terms for these properties.)
The commutative and associative properties are a whole lot more interesting when you apply them to a mathematical operation that you created!