Wednesday, November 27, 2013


We played a group game called Odd Bean today.  This was really a "just for fun" activity filler but ended up having some learning points!

Since I have 5 students ranging from 4 years to 10 years, we first reviewed what an odd number is.  This is my favorite little poem to use because they seem to really "get it" after listening to it.  

Odd and Even
If you are an even number
You always have a pair
So if you look around
Your buddy will always be there.
If you are an odd number
There's always a lonely one.
He looks around to find his buddy
But he's the only one.
Marg Wadsworth

I had provided a bowl with 12 beans, one per child.  I didn't tell them there were twelve.  Their first job was to put them in an organized line in groups of two.  This was mainly for my youngest 3 students.  I REALLY push organization.  Then they skipped counted by 2 to see how many they had.  We talked about how it was an even number....each one had a buddy...and how we could turn it into a number with "an odd one out".  Then we played.

One student scoops a few beans out of their bowl and into their hand.  With hand closed, asks the student to their right if they think it's odd or even.  (This was a good time to reinforce that this was a game of chance!)  The student to the right responded with either odd or even and the first student opens their hand and lets the beans out on the table. Then the other student arranges them in a line, in groups of two to see if they were correct and to find out how many beans there were.  If they were correct, they added those beans to their own bowl.  If they were incorrect, they had to GIVE the exact same number of beans to the other player.  If their bowl becomes empty, that child drops from the game (I had a tray of fidgits for them to work with while we finished the game).  The student with the most beans at the end of the game is the winner.  

It was PERFECT this morning because it ended up being between myself and the 2nd grader...who benefited very much from this activity... from the fine motor control, organization reinforcement, skip counting by 2s, to odd vs. even.  I "took a chance" and had him guess on my whole bowl of beans.  :-)  So he took the time to organize the whole bowlful in a line along the table and skip count into those bigger numbers.  Tee hee!  So glad that he actually WON....made all that extra "work" I required of him, worthwhile.  Ha!  He had to organize and skip count to 56.  Definitely good practice.  

I thought the game would take "forever" so I set a time limit of 10 minutes...but that round was done in about 10-12 minutes on its own so that's a perfect time filler game!