The Abacus kit is a great active learning activity! Kids can create a tool that they can use to practice their basic math skills. The abacus is designed to be easy to take apart and then put back together so it can be used over and over.
Topics for discussion:
- History of the abacus as an ancient calculator
- How to use an abacus
- Design and build the abacus using different bead patterns; for example, group colors by two to practice counting by 2's
- practice basic math facts
Abacus History Overview
The earliest counting device was the human hand and its fingers, capable of counting up to 10 things. As larger quantities were counted, natural objects like pebbles, sea shells and twigs were used to keep count. Until numbers were invented, counting devices were used to calculate. The abacus is one of many counting devices invented to help count large numbers. Abacus is a Latin word that has its origins in the Greek words abax or abakon (meaning “tablet”).
- Learning Numbers 1 To 19 On Abacus by Periwinkle (grade 1)
- Subtract on the Abacus by Periwinkle (grade 1)
- The History of Math by TeacherTube Math
- 5 Smiles by Steve Songs (preschool)
Other Related Links:
- Numbers and Counting by PBS.org (preschool)
Build An Ancient Calculator - Abacus Kit
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