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What is the Abacus?

Posted by Sarah Rutzler on September 23, 2017


An abacus, also known as a counting frame, is a calculating tool with beads that slide across on wires or rods. The most common abacus is split into two rows:

  • The top row (upper beads) is for the “fives”
  • The bottom row (lower beads) is for the “ones”

The upper beads are located in the upper deck and the lower beads are located in the lower deck. 

Besides the rows, the abacus has different columns. Each column represents a place value such as tens, hundreds, and so on. The amount of place values varies depending on the size and design of the abacus.

The abacus is used to teach children arithmetic. An abacus tool allows children to perform basic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. As children progress in learning the abacus, they can learn long division and using the operations with negative numbers.

Besides enhancing the overall comprehension of mathematics, the abacus offers other important benefits. 

What are some other benefits of the abacus?

  • A great visualization tool
  • Enhances better and faster calculating skills
  • Improves problem solving abilities
  • Sharpens focus
  • Teaches clearer logical reasoning
  • Enhances photographic memory
  • Provides a solid learning foundation for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Math Genie’s main tool is the abacus. The teachers focus primarily on teaching children operations using this tool because it helps develop the student’s abilities to complete mental math.

To see an example video, click the link below:



“Abacus Math.” FasTracKids- Sandton. Web.

“Abacus.” Math is Fun. Web.

Topics: Abacus, Math Tools, Academic Success, Math Tutoring, Arithmetic

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