Like people all over the world, I have been grappling with my newfound kindergarten homeschooling position after telling myself for many years that I could never teach another human being how to read. But here we are, reading, writing, learning sight words and doing lots of math. School has been great about sending activities and ideas and I've filled in with things found online and resources I make based on questions that arise.

I let my daughter take the lead by asking what she'd like to learn (often I get an "I don't know" but sometimes she'll give me something) and build on places where she's had questions. This has been one great benefit of this time in quarantine. Especially as an only child, she is especially missing her peers but this time together as her teacher has allowed us to sort of bond over math.

In this post I want to share a hands-on investigation into even and odd numbers that we worked on together.

I snapped this photo of my daughter showing how an odd+odd+even+even=even. She came up with this configuration on her own. As crazy as this time has been, there have been a lot of bright spots like this one.

**The setup is easy:**Two L shaped "odd" paper cutouts and two I shaped "even" paper cutouts. I chose green for the odd and yellow for even. From there, kids can explore what shapes they can make with the cutouts. Can you make a rectangle? Is your shape jagged?

odd + even = odd |

This picture shows dd + even = odd. The shape above is not a rectangle.

odd + odd = even |

This picture shows odd + odd = even. The shape above is a rectangle.

even + even = even |

This picture shows even + even = even. The shape above is a rectangle.

odd + odd + even = even |

This picture shows odd + odd + even = even. The shape above is a rectangle.

This activity is so simple but really works. A couple days ago my daughter was working on a math coloring sheet I found online. The problem was 6+__=15. She accidentally got 8 after counting up. We were able to discuss how even+even=even so 8 must not be right. she went back and quickly revised to 9. As an aside, I know that 6+ __=15 isn't exactly age-appropriate for kindergarten. I am trying my best over here (and maybe sneaking in some algebra since I love it so much). She understands.

**Related posts:**

Hands-on prime vs. composite number investigation!

Can we really teach number sense?

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