More Homeschool Laziness
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I hope my readers can help.

Is "zero" an even number?

I had learned that an even number is something that you can divide in half evenly, without a remainder. Zero doesn't exactly fit that category. So you can see why, when my son came to me with his math book, and I was busy cruising WFMW's, waiting on hold for our prospective landlord, and making a list of kitchen items *not* to pack on the U-Haul, I couldn't be bothered to look up the answer in the book.

Merriam Webster defines "zero" as:
a: the arithmetical symbol 0 or denoting the absence of all magnitude or quantity
which would make it neither odd, nor even.


The teacher's guide (Lab Sheet Annotations) explains it like this:
odd + odd = even
even + even = even
odd + even = odd

2 + 0 = 2
(even) + (?) = (even), therefore 0 must be even.


5 + 0 = 5
(odd) + (?) = odd
since we know that odd + even = odd, therefore 0 must be even.

They also have this secondary explanation
"an even number lies between two odd numbers. 1 and -1 are odd. Therefore, zero must be even"

Except the second grade child is supposed to work that out for themselves, and indeed, Mr P did think 0 was even.

In case anyone was wondering, we're using Miquon Math, and this was the Blue Book.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 4/23/2008 10:15:00 AM | Permalink | |