Introducing Even and Odd Numbers

Some kids really struggle with understanding even and odd numbers. This concept is important because it helps the student see a pattern within the numbers. It is a precursor for skip counting, division, and prime numbers, so making sure kids understand this early on is important.

Steps in teaching even and odd

  1. Have children color in a 100’s chart using 2 colors, one to represent even the other odd (visual). Talk about the pattern that emerges from coloring in the chart. You can also have them count together as a class, whispering the odd and shouting the even (auditory). For those kinesthetic learners you can have the kids sit for odd and stand for even (kinesthetic).
  2. Now get some manipulatives. Put out 5 and ask them, if they think it is even or odd. Ask them to justify their answer. Show them that all even numbers have “partners.” Tell them to partner up the 5. Explain to them that when there is one left over, that is an odd number.
  3. By now, they will probably understand what makes an odd or even number.

If you have gotten to this point, without any misunderstandings you can introduce the math center Even or Odd Ski Sort. They will be sorting the numbers 1 to 30 in to the even or odd column.

  1. Introduce zero. Show them that zero is an even number because there is nothing to pair and nothing is left over so that it means it is even. They should memorize, 0,2,4,6,7,8 as even and 1,3,5,7,9 as odd.
  2. When the student can successfully sort numbers 1 to 30, you can introduce larger numbers. Count by 10’s by looking at the 100’s chart that the students colored in. They can see that 10’s are always even. You also know it is even because the zero in the ones place is an even number. You can look at any large number and tell whether it is even or odd by looking at the ones place.
  3. Write a massive number out on the board and have the students tell you whether it is even or odd.
  4. Reteach if necessary.

I hope this post was useful to you. If you have tips or tricks for teaching odd and evens please comment below and join our discussion. Till next time!