Odd and even numbers can be difficult for second grade children to understand. Use hands-on activities and songs to help students stay focused, develop a better understanding of math concepts and give them a better attitude about learning. Create interesting lesson plans that will help motivate students to learn about odd and even numbers.
Use technology to help reinforce mathematical concepts. There are a multitude of online games and activities that help students understand the concept of even and odd numbers. Try an activity where students listen to a short lesson before painting by numbers at netrover.com. Another interactive game is to have students attempt to identify which of the passing balls from the EZ School website are labeled with even numbers. Students enjoy working on the computer and are self-motivated to improve in order to advance to different levels.
Another idea for second grade teachers is to take advantage of graph paper. Give each child a a sheet of graph paper. Ask a student to stand up and announce a number less than 20. Ask students to shade in that number of blocks in pairs using two columns. Explain to students that if there is a block with no pair when you finish, that number is odd. If every block has a "buddy" then that number is even. Continue to ask students to choose numbers while the rest of the class shades them in.
A good way to review the concept of even and odd numbers is to help students commit the idea to memory using literature. There are many books that help students identify the two kinds of numbers. One teachers' favorite is "Even Steven and Odd Todd" for its ability to capture students' attention and its lighthearted incorporation of important math concepts. The teacher should read the book aloud to students, pausing as needed to review this important mathematical concept.
Another interesting way to practice identifying even and odd numbers is to use pairs of dice. Begin by dividing the class into groups of three or four students. Give each group a pair of dice. Tell students that they will take turns rolling the dice. Explain that they must add the two numbers together and announce the sum. Finally, they must tell the others whether the sum is an even or odd number. The teacher should constantly monitor students to make sure they are able to consistently say the correct answer.
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