Abacus is a counting tool used for early learners of math. It is also called as adding machine. It is a belief that this adding machine was used by early Aztecs in 300 BC. It is helping us in acquiring the ability to calculate accurately as well as rapidly. It is helping us to improve our ability to calculate mentally in more efficient manner. It provides concrete understanding of counting such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
This tool will be looking like a toy which contains beads or discs which can be moved up and down, or in sideways. Even though it does not do the calculation, it allows the learners to manipulate the beads or discs according to the given calculation to get the correct answer.
Today most widely used abacus has two basic rows. The top row stands for 5's and the bottom row stands for 1's.
Top row contains two beads and bottom row contains five beads. The following images shows us commonly used abacus in our daily life.
In the above image each column represents different digits; ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, and hundred thousands.
We can do many calculation using the above beads.
It is useful in finding many combinations of 10: 1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6, 5+5 etc.,
We can also find the combinations up to hundred thousands.
We can not only do addition, we can do subtraction, multiplication and division also using this tool accurately and speedily.
Since this tool contains colorful beads or discs young learners found it more attractive. So it is more effective for the learners from 2 to 7 years of age.
Today, calculation is being done through calculator, computer and other electronic devices which are specially designed for calculation work. Today, in many business firms, there are lost of calculations to be done in their day to day operations. If those calculations are done manually, it will consume more time and also there is chance for error in the calculation. In order to avoid the above mentioned difficulties, calculators are being used by the people.