Abacus is a traditional tool that has been used for centuries to perform arithmetic calculations. Although it has been replaced by modern calculators, the abacus is still popular in some parts of the world, especially in Asia. If you’re interested in learning how to use an abacus, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to do an abacus step by step.
Firstly, let’s understand the different parts of an abacus. An abacus is a rectangular-shaped instrument that consists of an outer frame, value bar, rods, lower beads, upper beads, and pointers. The value bar is located in the center of the abacus and runs from left to right. Above the value bar is the upper deck, also known as heaven, while below the value bar is the lower deck, also known as earth.
The rods on the abacus can vary in number, with the most common sizes being 7, 13, 17, and 23. The center point on the value bar is usually used as a pointer, which we call the unit rod or one rod. The rods to the left of the unit rod are known as whole number rods, while the rods to the right of the unit rod are called decimal rods.
The value of the lower beads on the abacus is one each, while the value of the upper beads is five. Moving the beads toward the value bar is called addition while moving them away from the value bar is called subtraction. The beads are moved using fingers, and there are specific finger movements for adding and subtracting different numbers.
To add the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4, use your right-hand thumb finger to move the lower beads toward the value bar. To add 5, use your right-hand index finger to move the upper bead towards the value bar. To add 6, 7, 8, and 9, use your right-hand thumb and index finger to move the lower and upper beads toward the value bar.
To add and subtract the numbers 10, 20, 30, and 40, use your left-hand index finger to move the beads towards and away from the value bar. For adding and subtracting 50, use your left-hand middle finger. To subtract the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, use your right-hand index finger to move the lower beads away from the value bar. To subtract 6, 7, 8, and 9, use your right-hand thumb and index finger to move the lower and upper beads away from the value bar.
To subtract the numbers 60, 70, 80, and 90, use your left-hand index and middle fingers to move the beads away from the value bar. These are the basic finger movements you need to know to use an abacus.
Learning how to use an abacus can be a fun and rewarding experience. With regular practice, you can become proficient in performing arithmetic calculations on an abacus. Remember, the key to mastering the abacus is practice and patience. So, get your abacus and start practicing today!