Working on abacus: Seeing and Doing

For visual and manipulative (kinesthetic learners): 

Abacus MathsWhen children work on the Soroban abacus by manipulating beads, theysee how the numbers are related in the form of beads. This is a boon for the kinesthetic learner. Children get a concrete picture of numbers this way. Numbers are not an abstract value anymore. They have a real quantity and quality to them. 

When they manipulate the beads to add and subtract they see what they are doing.

The understanding of a number’s value and relation by seeing and doing on an abacus cannot be compared to the tradition paper and pencil calculation system.

Anzan (Mind Math):

Here, children see the numbers on paper and visualize them as beads on the soroban they have learned to build in their mind. Children first read a number and set it on their mind abacus. While visualizing and remembering it there, they have to focus on the next number, take it to their mind abacus and perform the operation (add, subtract, multiply, or divide) as per the command on their paper. Then they have to hold this new intermediate answer in their mind while they read the next number and follow the necessary operation once more.

This exercises their left brain hemisphere for logic, math, order, and fact rules while also stimulating the right hemisphere of the brain which is involved in imagination, spatial understanding, and more.

Anzan Helps Children Develop:

        Visual memory (photographic memory)

        Increased memory power

        Immense levels of concentration

        Analytical skills

        Confidence in self-achievement (confidence in oneself)


    In this area of learning, the teacher calls out a series of numbers and operations while children listen and follow by working on the abacus they have built in their minds. To fully understand and appreciate the effort and ability a child displays during dictation, ask someone to call out random numbers to you and try to solve them using regular arithmetic. See if you can compete with them!

    Dictation Aids Children in These Ways:

          Listening skills skyrocket

          Ability to focus on the task at hand reaches new levels

          Comprehension of basic math and rules increases

          Confidence in oneself increases

          Performance in school and beyond increases; an excellent side effect of learning to play on the soroban

      Disclaimer: Every student is different, his/her capability is different, his/her learning style is different, and, hence, his/her achievement level is going to be different too.