The Abacus in Northumberland | The Abacus in Norfolk | Supermaths

Abacus Mysteries that were prevalent during that time. Historically, that is the first Abacus to be used.  There used to be an initial sand tray counting device that was in use ages ago. The framed beads Abacus that is in use today came into existence after several computations and permutations done on the initial device . Today, we know  Abacus as a powerful tool for teaching arithmetic since it :

  • Increases the understanding of the number placement value and
  • It enables students to gain far better knowledge of the numbers themselves.

Typical look of an Abacus

Abacus is like a counting device. It is made from hardwood and comes in a variety of sizes. A series of vertical rods containing the different number of beads are placed within this frame. The beads are able to glide along the vertical rods freely. There is also a horizontal rod, which divides the it 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, It 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  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 in 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.

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