Don't ask me why, but I love the Commutative Property! No joke. I remember the feeling of really "getting it" when I was little and knowing the big, fancy terminology for it made me feel kinda smart inside. (I was a dork from the start!)
With a name like "Commutative Property" I can understand how a kid can get intimidated and maybe even tune out. It sounds pretty official. =) But when you know the commutative property, it opens up understanding to so many other concepts like Fact Families!
Last week I made a Math center for my kids, heping it would solidify the concept for them. I fell back on my trusty dominoes! (**Sidenote** Go to www.orientaltrading.com and get a set of the miniature dominoes. I think you get a dozen sets for $8. You can use them for so many activities in Math if you ever get bored of your number generating dice!) I had my kids choose a domino, record the number of dots on each side, and write the corresponding addition sentence. Then I had them flip the domino and repeat the steps. It helped them to understand that just like the value of a domino doesn't change no matter what angle you look at it, the sum of numbers will not change even when they are added in a different order.
Here's my worksheet. It's a FREEBIE! Hope your kids enjoy . . . but most of all, I hope it helps them build understanding!