Hands-On Math: Even and Odd
My son understands math best when the teaching is hands-on. I was working on math concepts with him today and trying to explain odd and even numbers. I was using a number chart but didn’t see the light bulb going off. The bowl of cough drops on the counter (can you tell a cold and flu have gone through our house?) caught my eye and I grabbed a handful.
“Let’s divide these between us,” I said. And for each word in silly sentences I made up we each took one cough drop and added it to a pile in front of us.
Oh, look! One is left over. We can’t divide it evenly so it’s an odd number!
This time we both get the same amount! It can be divided evenly so it is an even number!
It’s ridiculously simple. I’m noticing that even though I tend to look for more complicated procedures first, many things that work are simple (like how he learned coin recognition). The concept and vocabulary clicked in his head, and he thought it was fun and asked to play again and again. We took turns grabbing handfuls of cough drops and guessing if it would be odd or even.
Have you stumbled upon any simple hands-on math teaching strategies I can use with my first grader?