Abacus is the ancient tool used for the purpose of calculations. It is the first external aid used to computing math- a calculation device. While Abacus is an interesting tool that one of the very initial uses of beads comes under the topic of Mathematics. Abacus is used but throughout the timeline and it has proved to be a significant instrument of the economy.
Abacus is a Latin word that has its own origins in the Greek words abax or abakon - which means table or tablet. This tool is, in turn, originated from the Semitic word abq, means sand. The abacus is one of many types of counting devices which are used to count large numbers.
The modern Abacus?
Abacus has been invented In China some 2500 years ago; and it has been later spread through countries like Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Russia, and Africa, etc. Abacus is still widely used by many merchants and clerks to visually articulate and teach mathematics. However, you can see the modern abaci made usually with wooden beads. Each country has its own way of using it and if you see the people of Japan use bicone beads to facilitate ease of movement.
While the Chinese name for abacus is Suanpan, it is used for functions other than counting. Unlike the simple counting board used in elementary schools, the Suanpan can do multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, square root, and cube root operations at high speed.
However, the modern abacus is not that old-fashioned tool. On November 12, 1946, a contest was held in Tokyo between the Japanese Soroban, used by Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, which is an electric calculator, operated by US Army Private Thomas Nathan Wood. While the basis for scoring in this contest was based on accuracy and speed of the results. There were four basic arithmetic operations and a problem solving that combines all the four. The soroban won 4 to 1 with the electric calculator existing in multiplication purpose.
Abacus helps you to:
• Learn Math with ease and overcome your fears about mathematics by making arithmetic calculation easier.
• Activate the nerve cells by providing- stimuli like moving fingers and talking out loud.
• Practice counting and simple addition, which gives the students awareness of the groupings of 10 which are the foundation of our numeral system.
• Make your 6 - year olds to count 100 by rote, where a slight awareness of the patterns involved.
The name for the Abacus in Japan is known as Soroban, it is taught in primary schools as a part of lessons in mathematics as the decimal numerical system can be demonstrated visually. When teaching the soroban, a song like instruction is given by the teacher to the students. Regardless of the initiation of handheld calculators, some parents send their kids to private tutors to make them learn soroban because of the proficiency in soroban calculation can be easily transformed to mental arithmetic at a highly advanced level.
However, the abacus is not only a visual learning aid but, it is also quite tactile. You see the Cranmer abacus is in common use by individuals who are blind. One can simply imagine that the bicone bead would be the perfect tangible bead to use. This is been proved as an imperative learning instrument for blind students who learn multiplication, addition, subtraction, square root, division, and cubic root. The thinking process will be taught to blind students cannot be replaced by the talking calculator, and equals the speed of the sighted student with a pencil and paper.
Need of Abacus
We may think or there may arise a question in one’s mind that why do we need abacus or what is the need of teaching abacus to your children? or many questions like such. or why is it very important to teach them solving arithmetical problems using an abacus?
But the fact is that even if there are many advancements made in the recent technology, which is making it possible for human beings to perform complex calculations very easily today; and they can even explore new dimensions in the field of knowledge, the mind of the child is totally blank and it is to be written on. While it is proved that a child’s mind could grab some things with difficulty and some very soon. But it again has the tendency of forgetting learned topics after some time.
However, with the help of abacus a simple to simple arithmetical functions are easily learned; especially multiplication which may seem easier to an adult to perform but difficult for the juvenile to understand. Abacus help your child to easily Visualize - Concentrate and Recall.
History and Origins
We know that abacus was first used in 2400 BC by the Babylonians; Do you know that they made it with sand and pebbles. Thereafter it came into existence in the first century in China and slowly spread over many countries. While in India abacus it is used with beads and was recorded; it also had the use of the abacus at this time. Sometime in the 3,000 years between those two times the abacus was first used with beads. This was possibly in Mesopotamia or Ancient Egypt; and it is estimated to have been in Rome or in Greece at around 300 BC. It is believed that during the Achaemenid Empire, around 600 BC the Persians first began to use the abacus. While there is no clear evidence on when Indians started using abacus.