Abacus Teacher Resources

Find Abacus educational ideas and activities

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Create an abacus! Use problem solving as a way for learners to visualize the act of addition and subtraction. They design and construct an abacus to use as a visual representation of various mathematical procedures. Web links are included.
Explore the many mathematical uses of the Suan Pan or Chinese Abacus. Learners use the abacus to demonstrate the commutative, associative, and distributive properties. They also use it to  demonstrate place value. A great way to mix math and history!
In this math information worksheet, learners read one page factual accounts of the early math inventions of the abacus, the calculator and early computers. There are 40 questions to answer about the reading.
Ever wonder how to use an abacus? Take a step back from the electronics and learn the basic elements with this short video. A student from Annunciation Catholic School explains how to express a number on the abacus. Note: Dialogue may be difficult to understand, however, subtitles are provided for a majority of the clip.
Students explore the various uses for the abacus. After a brief discussion of Chinese culture and the invention of the abacus, students practice using an abacus to display numbers and mathematic operations. They identify numbers demonstrated on an abacus.
The class reads an explanation of the how the ancient calculation tool, the abacus, works. They examine four abacus images and record the number shown on each of them.
Students listen to a teacher read aloud of two books about Chinese inventions. They examine some items that were invented by Chinese inventors such as dominoes, an abacus, a silk scarf, or kite. Next, they determine how a compass works before making and using a simple compass.
Students study an abacus while counting marathon runners.  In this place value lesson, students watch a video segment on how counters keep track of marathon runners to reinforce the idea of place value.  
In this abacus worksheet, students use abacus pictures to determine 5-digit sums. In this fill in the blank worksheet, students write eight answers.
In this math enrichment worksheet, students discover how the abacus was used to keep place value. Students respond to 5 questions using the pictures provided.
Students study the abacus as a way to represent whole numbers and build their own. They build an abacus using beads, pipe cleaners, and cardboard and solve problems using the fewest beads. As a reflection, they write in their notebooks how they can use abacuses in the future to represent whole numbers.
Students investigate the Food Pyramid by constructing a creative project known as a Food Pyramid Abacus. They correlate the color beads withe each food group and the number of recommended servings from each. The abacus is a learning tool and reminder for better health.
Students examine the importance of eating a healthy balanced diet. They read and discuss an article about the Food Guide Pyramid, and construct a Food Pyramid Abacus.
An abacus may be old, but it's still a great visual tool. Young mathemeticians look at, study and analyze 8 abacus images. They look at each image to determine how many beads are in each place value. They work with thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones places to construct four digit numbers.
Organization is of the utmost importance when teaching orientation and mobility to learners with visual impairments. To help keep everything in order and provide independence, use these instructions for making a desk organizer. The organizer is easy to construct and can accommodate everything your learners need to complete their work; a three-ringed binder, braille book, abacus, and whatever else. Tip: Incorporate a bit of self-expression by having each child use three-dimensional objects to decorate their organizers.
Young scholars examine how a pebble calculator works and compare it to an abacus. After a discussion on the abacus and pebble calculator and how each works, they construct their own pebble calculators. They determine how to represent specific numbers and discuss as a class how computers have impacted and transformed their lives.
Students work with hundreds place value, create and manipulate three-digit addition problems, and add three-digit numbers.
Fourth graders label the countries that border China and the physical features of Asia. They discuss the physical features of Asia and label them on the other map.
Learners use an abacus as well as a calculator for calculations to bring multicultural awareness and appreciation to this lesson. They discuss the history of the abacus. Students compare/contrast the abacus to the computer.
Learners rotate through three classroom stations and identify similarities and differences between machines with and without memory, such as typewriters and computers, and illustrate how machines with memory fit into their world.

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