The Odd One Out
The students in EY1 are learning about odd and even numbers, and those in EY2 are revising them. To help them understand the language behind these words, we talked about being “the odd one out”.
To introduce the concept, I taught EY2 a fun irish dance, where everyone stands in two “even” lines with each dancer waiting across from their partner. Then one by one each couple takes a turn holding hands and skipping up the line and back.
We had some fun with the dancing, then the class was called to attention and everyone was given a number and asked to “arrive” in sequence to the “ball”. As head game-maker, I announced all guests at the door. One came first, but she couldn’t dance by herself so we all agreed that she felt a little odd just standing there, she did a superb job of acting out of sorts. When Two arrived there were two dancers, they were evenly matched so they could dance and enjoy themselves. When Three arrived at the ball, being the third dancer, she was the odd one out, she made a sad face. As soon as Four came, everyone had a partner, they were even. And so the party progressed with some oddness and lots of giggling until ten dancers were skipping excitedly about the yard.
The students all understood how to find the odd, pairless counter in a set of counters in order to determine whether the number represented is odd or even. And while that will take out some of the guesswork used in identifying numbers, I also want to encourage students to think of even numbers as multiples of two, i.e. made up of pairs.
I was thinking of other kinds of pairs; shoes, and socks seemed the most obvious. To help students understand visually the deal with the pairs, I made these flash cards and worksheets. You can download the PDF file, right here.