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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
In this math enrichment worksheet, learners 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.
In this math information activity, students 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.
Students 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.
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.
Students work with hundreds place value, create and manipulate three-digit addition problems, and add three-digit numbers.
Interpreting pictures of an abacus, learners write 2-digit numbers. They read and transcribe abacus beads in the tens and ones places. For extension, they draw pictures to represent the numbers 9 and 90. Really bring it to life using a real abacus or other bead counting system, so little hands can be actively involved in math learning.
Using their knowledge of patterns, mathematicians can simulate working on an abacus in this worksheet. First, students study the patterns created in numbers 1 through 14, and then apply this pattern to higher numbers, ranging from 2 to 5-digit numbers. Critical thinking skills are on display in this innovative worksheet. If you have an actual abacus in the room, that would make a great assessment at the end (have students come up to show the class various numbers).
For this math worksheet, students investigate how to use an abacus to build, write and read numbers. Students construct their own abacus out of graham crackers, gumdrop, round cereal pieces, marshmallows and coffee stirrers. Students solve the problems according to directions.
Fifth graders examine an abacus. They describe the usage of an abacus for addition and subtraction. Students perform a series of calculations using an abacus. They practice using their abacus to solve a variety of problems in addition and subtraction.
Students explore the history and current uses of the abacus. In groups, students develop their own abacus. Students practice adding and subtracting using the abacus. They participate in activities determine which is more efficient, the calculator or the abacus.
In this math activity, students discover the abacus as a counting device. Students look at 14 pictures of the abacus and tell how it is used for counting. Then students analyze 10 abacus drawings and indicate the number that each shows.