Abacus Mysteries that were prevalent during that time. Historically that is the first Abacus to be used. The framed beads Abacus that is in use today was founded after several computations and permutations were conducted on the initial sand tray counting device that was in use ages ago. Today the Abacus is considered to be a powerful tool for teaching arithmetic since it is said to:
- Increase understanding of the number placement value and
- It enables students to gain far better knowledge of the numbers themselves.
Typical look of an Abacus
Typically made to look like a counting device, the Abacus is made from hardwood and comes in a variety of sizes. A series of vertical rods containing the different number of beads is placed within this frame. The beads are able to glide along the vertical rods freely. There is also a horizontal rod which divides the Abacus into the upper short portion or the upper deck and the lower larger portion or the lower deck. In order to make it ready for use, the Abacus is placed flat on a table and the beads of both the decks are moved away from the horizontal bar.
Counting using the Abacus
The beads present on both the upper and the lower decks have value. Each bead on the lower deck is valued at 1 individually while those on the upper deck are valued at 5 individually. In order to count the beads, they are moved towards the horizontal frame separator. Thus all beads which are present absolutely near this horizontal separator are considered to be counted.
The process of counting involves the following steps:
- After counting 5 beads on the lower deck, the result gets carried forward to the upper deck.
- Again the result of these two beads is taken over to the column situated at the extreme left.
- Columns situated on the right are the ones column while those adjacent to the columns on the left represent the 10s column, the next adjacent of the 100s column and so on.
- While it
is easy to do normal addition and subtraction, floating calculations can only
be done by:
- Assigning the decimal value to the space present between 2 columns,
- Rows placed to the right of this space are said to represent the and
- Whole number digits are represented by all the left rows.
The correct way of using the Abacus involves the thumb to do the lower deck counting and the index to do the upper deck counting. It is a very interesting device for performing mathematical calculations and making children learn the Abacus basics makes it so easy for them to fall in love with it.