Identifying even and odd numbers begins in the first grade. It is an important math skill to master, as it will be built upon in the academic years to come. You can find great Tips and Tools for Teaching Even and Odd Numbers here but by third grade students will be expected to identify even and odd sums when adding even and numbers. As with any skill, the textbook may work for some children but some students may benefit from another way to look at math. Whether you are a parent looking for homework help, homeschool parent looking for a lesson plan or a classroom teacher looking for an alternative way to explain adding even and odd numbers, these math tutor tested tips can help.

**Read this important teaching tip for adding even and odd numbers.**

There are rules that apply to adding even and even numbers, odd and odd numbers and even and odd numbers. Memorizing the rules is one thing but some practice discovering that the rules always work is very beneficial. Even more helpful is to understand why the rules always work.

After a while kids should notice that two even numbers added together always total another even number.

2 + 2 = 4

18 + 18 = 36

6 + 6 = 12

Why?

This is fairly simple. When two even numbers are added together the sum is always even because if each of the two numbers could be divided by two without a remainder, then this is still true when the two are added together.

Let kids try this with odd numbers too.

1 + 3 = 4

7 + 7 = 14

5 + 3 = 8

Two odd numbers will equal an even number as well.

Why?

If we think of odd numbers as being an even number with one “extra” or “odd” number, then when we add the two odd numbers the two “extra” combine to make the number even.

What happens when we add an odd number and an even number?

8 + 1 = 9

6 + 5 = 11

10 + 3 = 13

When one number is odd and another number is even, then the sum will always be odd.

Why?

The odd number has an “extra” or “odd” number that doesn’t have a partner to make the sum even. There’s still an odd straggler.

When teaching adding even and odd numbers, whether in the classroom or at home, encourage kids to come up with the equations. Challenge them to make crazy big math problems for you to solve together and test these theories.

Here is an example.

2, 999, 532 + 4, 995, 904 = ?

Work this problem (or their own problems) together to confirm that the sum of these two numbers is in fact even. Now teach them that they can simply look at the last two numbers, 2 and 4, which are both even and conclude with certainty that the sum will be even without doing any math.

Educational research studies can be a dry read but never the less can be helpful to teachers and parents in understanding and predicting what tendencies and challenges students may have in learning skills such as adding even and odd numbers. If interested, you can find one page study result here in Conversations about Even and Odd Numbers.

Teacher tip:

Combine skills. Whenever students are doing worksheets for adding multiple numbers, have them highlight, underline or circle the last numbers in the problem and the answer and identify them as even or odd for a two for one math lesson.