Odds and evens

8 - 10 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Small children playing with an abacus and number puzzles

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 3-4 curriculum include:

  • identifying and describing trends in everyday patterns
  • describing, continuing and creating number patterns using addition or subtraction
  • exploring and describing patterns of odd and even numbers.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Notice number patterns

Help your child become aware of number patterns and odd/even numbers with ideas such as these:

  • notice arrangements of numbers when you are out and about
    Did you notice the building numbers along this street. What pattern are they in?
  • when numbers are arranged in rows and columns, look for patterns. Are the numbers increasing or decreasing? What can be added or subtracted to make the pattern?
    Look at the numbers on the lift buttons. Are they in a pattern, or are they jumbled?
  • look for patterns where something is missing. For example, some tall buildings don't have a 13th floor, or sometimes the odd and even numbering on buildings along a street doesn't continue as expected
  • talk about whether a number is odd or even, and what it means
    If the cake has an even number of slices, we can divide it fairly between two people. If there’s an odd number, there’ll be one piece left over.
  • create decreasing number patterns by skip counting backwards:
    Choose a small number (eg 4)
    Count backwards from 50 by repeatedly subtracting the small number (eg with 4, the sequence is 50, 46, 42, 38, 34, 30, 26, 22, 18, 14, 10, 6, 2).

Go online

For online reinforcement, Musical number patterns: odds and evens will give your child practice at:

  • making patterns of odd and even numbers by skip counting (eg counting by twos)
  • seeing what happens when you start from a different number, or count by an odd number, or count by an even number.

Music maker will give your child practice at:

  • creating patterns using different skip counting patterns (such as counting by twos or counting by fives).



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Last modified
7 April 2020