The number zero will be the first number in our number bonds worksheets series.
A good way to start teaching kids about the number zero is with hands on play that will help them understand that zero is nothing. I found this to be a very easy concept to teach:
Adding and subtracting zero was the next logical math skill to teach. We played with different objects and toys to add or subtract zero from them. She understood the concept pretty quickly. So then I could ask her questions like, there’s 4 dolls in the doll bed plus zero dolls on the floor, how many dolls are there total? Then to play around, I asked her bigger numbers – zero, or zero + a big number, any number. Once the concept is grasped, the answers come easy.
Perhaps some were wondering why last Monday’s lesson included counting by 2’s. Well, the reason for that is, if your child knows at least “2, 4, 6, 8, 10”, then teaching them even or odd numbers is much easier. I told my daughter, any number that ends with 2, 4, 6, 8, 0r 0 (the last number in 10) is even, anything else (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) is odd. You can use the number pattern from the .pdf from last week to help explain this even / odd skill.
The free printable for this weeks lesson on zero can be downloaded by clicking here or on the image below. You could also pin it for later.
The original reason I created these printables was to help teach my daughter in a fun way the Grade 1 skill “Writing Numbers In Words“. And what could be more fun than colouring fun looking letter characters!
And repetition for emphasis always being good, after she had fun colouring ZERO, I asked her to tell me how to spell it. Then she got to do some cutting and pasting. Ok, I cut the letters out for her, but she was very happy to find the correct letters and glue them in the right spot.
You can download the free lettered tiles here. It will include all the letters that will be used till the end of the lesson on “TEN”. So after cutting them all out, perhaps put the letters in a little ziplock bag, or other container, for future lessons.
Another option for added repetition, if your child is able to write their letters, you could let them write the correct letters in the squares before gluing the letter tiles. That would allow for at least 4 different ways of learning how to read & spell the number zero.
I wanted this to be as kid friendly and fun as possible, while still teaching solid math skills. So in that goal, I tried to limit the worded instructions wherever possible, so parental explanation might be needed at times. In case it’s not clear, the rounded square after the tracing “0” section is for your child to try and write a zero without any tracing help.
Mental Math Option
As an option, you could also introduce mental math to your child using a Japanese abacus. I found exposing my daughter to the concept has only been a benefit to her. Certain math equations she was able to remember quite easily due to “seeing” the answer in her head. And certain concepts were more easily explained with the use of the abacus. Much easier than it sounds, I invite you to try it out. You will need to have a iPad or an iPhone tho or an actual Japanese abacus if you have one. As this lesson is about the number zero, we will simply learn what zero looks like on the Japanese abacus. The best app I found for this, is a completely free app called “Talking Abacus”. If you have an iPad, you can download it here, an iPhone here.
A bead only gets counted when it is touching the beam in the middle. So if there are no beads touching the middle beam, then that would be zero on the abacus. For this week, simply let your kids try the app, moving beads around, and show them what the number zero looks like on the abacus.
Hope your kids have fun learning, and when they’re done this lesson, they can move on to the number one.