It seems incredible that in full apotheosis of technology, where the use of tablets, computers and digital whiteboards is introduced in the classroom, one of the best applications for learning mathematics is the abacus . Invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago, it is still the main tool to ca
It seems incredible that in full apotheosis of technology, where the use of tablets, computers and digital whiteboards is introduced in the classroom, one of the best applications for learning mathematics is the abacus.
Invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago, it is still the main tool to calculate in many towns; but not all abacuses are the same, but there are different types; the Japanese adapted the Chinese to be able to do basic operations more quickly, and nowadays it is the most effective abacus; whereas Russian is the one we usually meet more often and with which we see children playing.
How the abacus can help children with mathematics
- The abacus not only helps us add and subtract more fluently, but we can also solve more complex operations such as multiplying, dividing, calculating roots and powers. En - Several recent studies have shown how children who had been trained to use the abacus had "significantly increased their cognitive abilities" in the same period of time as those who had used traditional Western methods of calculation. The children had started working with the abacus from age 5 to 12, and the results were surprising since they had increased all their cognitive abilities, not only those related to the calculation.
- The abacus had helped them to face the problems with new perspectives to the rigid classical algorithms, had increased their creativity and their calculation speed . They were able to deal with more complex problems because they felt more confident about themselves, and they had greater confidence in their learning.
- During the training courses the students developed a greater mental resistance and concentration, since it requires full attention at every moment. They had reinforced their auditory and visual memory, since they thought about images, and were able to remember a greater number of calculations.
- The speed of the movements they made with their fingers to move the chips had influenced a better fine motor skills una and a better spatial orientation. It also allows to develop a greater interhemispheric integration, that is, a working collaboration between the two parts of the hemispheres of the brain; both the right that manages creativity and imagination, and the left that processes logic, analysis and method.- The use of the abacus
increases the reasoning capacity , and is suitable for children with visual problems and help in the treatment of ADHD and dyscalculia. Its use is not simple, we will need a few classes to learn it correctly, but it has revealed itself as a promising tool in the current classes.