Are you looking for activities for teaching odd and even numbers? I’ve got you covered, but first, let me share that I’ll never forget the first time I taught odd and even numbers. I had no clue how to explain it to my students because it came so naturally to me… So I thought.
I didn’t realize that there were strategies for teaching students about these numbers. Well, that’s not really what this post is about. But, if you’re interested, take a look at this anchor chart below. These are the strategies we use for teaching odd and even numbers in second grade.
1. Twin Towers
This is a fun, hands-on activity. Give each student a random number of snap cubes (between 0 – 20). They are to build two towers that are the same size. If they have one tower that is one cube taller, then it’s an odd number. Students write their number on a post-it note and stick it in the correct category on an anchor chart. Afterward, encourage a discussion about what patterns they notice with the numbers in the even and odd columns and record their discoveries on an anchor chart.
2. Read Aloud
Literature is an important part of math class. It helps students make sense of how the skill relates to real-life situations. Even Steven and Odd Todd introduce the concept of even and odd numbers. Thus, this helps them to build the academic vocabulary necessary to solve problems. While reading, be sure to point out the pairing and grouping in the illustrations.
3. Odd and Even Math Games
Once you’ve introduced the concept of even and odd numbers, you’ve got to give your students meaningful low-stress practice. I love using these math games because they are a routine in our classroom. Plus, they encourage meaningful discussions about mathematics naturally. These games give students opportunities to work on this skill in pairs or groups. They can even use these game cards to work individually.
There are several ways you can use these game cards so that you can revisit them in a fresh new way throughout the entire school year.
For more math game benefits, check out my post here!
4. Odd One Out
Now that students have a basic understanding of these numbers let’s play a whole group game! Choose one student to be the odd one out. Give all other students a die and have them stand at their desks. Students roll their dice and determine if their number is even or odd. The odd one out makes the call, EVEN or ODD. If the odd one out calls their number type, then the student must sit down. The last student standing is the winner.
I like using the die because students can easily see that they can pair or group the dots to make an even or odd number. It makes a nice visual and helps them to memorize which numbers (between 1 – 6) are odd or even.
5. Odd And Even Practice With Technology
Once students have had various opportunities to work with even and odd numbers, it’s time to give them opportunities to explore this skill independently. Using these self-checking games is not only fun, but it rewards correct answers and encourages students to try again if they answered incorrectly. This game reinforces the skills and concepts students learned in class privately and with no grading.
Using low-stakes games like this helps students to problem-solve independently. When you teach your students problem-solving skills, you’re providing them with skills to adapt to other areas of their lives.
6. Odd And Even Writing Prompts
Writing is equally important as literature in math. This is the highest in bloom’s taxonomy for students to demonstrate their understanding. I love using these writing prompts to assess how my students understand and think about the new concepts they’ve learned.
It also gives them opportunities to use the vocabulary they’ve learned. Through their writing, you’ll be able to determine if they have mastered the concept, if they need support in understanding the vocabulary, or if they are struggling to understand the concept altogether.
These writing samples provide valuable information when understanding how students are thinking about math strategies and vocabulary.
What are your favorite ways of teaching this subject? Let me know in the comments!