Even and odd numbers are an important math skill beginning in first grade math. Having a strong understanding of even and odd numbers is an important foundation for division, dividing fractions and finding prime numbers further down the math path. Instruction, hands on activities, games and worksheets can all help grasp and retain the concept of even and odd numbers.
Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Evens! Evens!
This easy little cheerleading cheer is a great way to get started with remembering the even numbers.
Here are the simple definitions for odd and even numbers.
The definition of an even number is a number that is divided by two with a remainder.
The definition of an odd number is a number that cannot be divided by two without a remainder.
Try another way to explain even and odd numbers.
Even numbers end in 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0.
Odd numbers end in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9.
The question of zero can be confusing.
Because the technical definition refers to “natural” numbers and zero and is not a “natural” number, some texts and teachers teach that the number zero is neither odd nor even.
Others include zero as an even number because there is in fact no remainder when it is divided by two. Because of the importance of recognizing numbers ending in zero as being even, I fall into this camp of including zero as an even number to make it easier for younger children. By middle school, the technicalities can be uncovered.
Cure this common mistake students make with even and odd numbers.
Even and odd numbers start out fairly easy for most students as long as they are dealing with single digits. Common mistakes occur when students begin dealing with double and larger digits.
For example, students will often look at the number 30 and identify it as odd because of the three. It is critically important that students understand that it is the last digit in the ones place that is key for identifying whether or not a number is even or odd.
I like to give students a few crazy long numbers to help make this point. For example,
999, 777,555, 332 is still an even number because there is a two in the ones place, even though this number is full of odd numbers.
A great exercise to reinforce this idea is to give students a worksheet of double and triple digit numbers and have them highlight or circle all of the last numbers in the ones place before they decide if it is an even or odd number.
Try these free online resources for practicing even and odd number identification.
Kids can play a free online math game for selecting even and odd numbers at SoftSchools.com.
If you need free printable even/odd worksheets, you can find several ranging from easy to more challenging here at SuperTeacherWorksheets.com.