A Must Do before Teaching Multiplication

Before you can jump right in and teach students multiplication, you have to make sure they have a strong basis of odd, even, and arrays. But where do you start? It can be quite overwhelming, but if your students don't have a strong grasp on these concepts, results to teach them to multiply will end miserably.

But don't worry, I have some tips that worked for me, and I thought I'd share so more students could benefit from these ideas!

 My first tip is to incorporate literacy into your math block. These books are perfect for teaching odd and even and the beginning of arrays.

Day 1 and 2 we are building conceptual understanding, so I do not have any literacy text those days.

Day 3 of my Odd and Even activities, we read Even Steven and Odd Todd. After reading the text, students work with a partner to sort items from the text on their recording sheet. We then meet back to discuss why different items are odd or even. I finish off by giving them an exit ticket.

Day 4 we read One Odd Day by Doris Fisher. Afterwards students used the 20 sided dice mentioned below to shade in 4 different towers, and then wrote about what makes a number even.

Day 5 we read My Even Day by Doris Fisher. Students then used the square tiles to scoop and complete the chart on the number of tiles they scooped. 

Other great titles are Two of Everything and A Remainder of One. Both great for introducing leftovers when in groups and groupings of 2.

 We used these square tiles the first day to create rectangles that were 2 squares wide with different amounts. We noticed that some numbers were not truly rectangles because there was always one square that didn't have a partner (resulting in being odd because there wasn't two equally divided groups).

We used the snap cubes, also known as unifix cubes, for a few different purposes. We created chains up to 20. We choose a number card (1-20), but you could also use the 20 sided dice to roll to get a number. The students built a chain with that many snap cubes, and they would attempt to break the chain in half, or as close to half as they could. If the number was even, the splits would be equally halved, but if the number was odd, one chain would always be one more cube than the other. We wrote our even numbers in the even circle, and our odd numbers in the odd circle. Then they answered what is always true about even numbers, and what is always true about odd numbers.

I love these 20 sided dice! The standard in 2nd grade is telling odd and even up to 20. So we rolled dice, and then colored in the towers on our sheet and determined if the numbers were odd or even!

We used these square tiles again to scoop and determine odd or even! We wrote the amount, circled Yes or No for can I get to this number by counting by 2s, and then we determined how many leftovers there were. (which they figure out that it's always going to be 0 leftovers for an even number, or just 1 leftover for an odd number).

All the activities I've referenced above, along with the lesson plans, are included in this Odd and Even Pack.


From here, we will be starting arrays, so stay tuned for what we do for that in my classroom!!

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