Math Concepts

Discover Addition and Subtraction using Spike Abacus


Jan18, 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes


What is Spike abacus?

Spike abacus has many iron spikes on a wooden base. The spikes may have globules having wholes. The spikes are named as ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc. respectively from extreme right to the left.

The number of globules in the concerned spikes expresses the place value of the digit of the number.

Addition and subtraction are basic concepts that are taught to children from a very young age. These are two concepts that we use throughout our lives, so it is important to make children understand the underlying concepts from an early age.

 In most cases, these concepts are taught using mechanical processes.

abacus 85

This method ensures that children learn how to perform calculations but they don’t usually understand why the algorithm really works?

Even if they are curious to know, their doubts are probably dismissed when they ask questions in their classes.

In order to explain why it is best to make use of learning aids. The spike abacus is one such recommended tool to explore and explain the concepts of addition and subtraction. Let’s learn more about it.

Discover Addition and Subtraction using Spike Abacus-PDF

If you ever want to read it again as many time as you want, here is a downloadable PDF to explore more.

📥 Discover Addition and Subtraction using Spike Abacus-PDF


Also read:

Let us Understand How the Spike Abacus Really Helps

1. Addition using an abacus

We can for example represent 12 as 2 disks in the ones’ place and 1 disk in the tens’ place. Similarly, 25 is 5 disks in the ones’ place and 2 disks in the tens’ place. 

We know that addiction is a combination of numbers. On combining the two numbers, we get 7 disks in the ones’ place and 3 disks in the tens’ place and this can be read as 37.

2. Subtraction using abacus:

Let’s consider subtracting 12 from 25 as an example. In this case, we take away the second number from the first, which is the basic definition of subtraction. So we take away 2 discs from 5 and are left with 3 discs.

Then we take away 1 disc from 2 to get 1 disc. This number is 13.

The spike abacus is a part of Cuemath’s Matchbox along with many other learning aids used for learning various concepts. Cuemath suggests the use of such learning aids for the following reasons:

  • Students get hands-on experience in calculation

The spike abacus is an adjustable manipulative that students can experiment with. Once they learn to calculate with this, the process of adding and subtracting becomes much simpler.

  • It promotes the understanding of the why behind the what

With the spike abacus, children don’t just learn what ones, tens, and hundreds are but also visually experience what they are. The concepts of carryover in addition and replacement in subtraction become clearer when students see the discs being moved from one rod to the other.

  • It is more attractive and interesting to work with

What makes the abacus popular among Cuemath students is the fact that it is friendly and fun to work with. Unlike textbooks, the spike abacus is more welcoming and easy to understand.

Expose your children to the why behind a process at a young age so that they understand the basics from the beginning. It becomes difficult to unlearn a process that has already been ingrained in them since their childhood.

Is Abacus really helpful?

Abacus is an age-old way of learning math and doing calculations. It helps the kids to do faster calculations and even boosts their confidence. Boosts confidence: Children eventually learn abacus and solve the sums faster. Abacus increases their confidence, sharpens their skills, and makes their math skills superb.


In this blog, we talk about how you can use Abacus in addition and sibraction. Spike abacus is very helpful to understand the concept of magnitude and name of a number. We know that the spike-abacus represents the number of multi-digits where the digits are represented by the spikes of the abacus.

5 Great Reasons Why Children Should Learn Math Using an Abacus

  • Number Sense and Basic Numeracy
  • Internationally Standard Base 10 Numbering System
  • Visual or Mental Math
  • Concentration and Focus
  • Confidence

About Cuemath

Cuemath, a student-friendly mathematics platform, conducts regular Online Live Classes for academics and skill-development, and their Mental Math App, on both iOS and Android, is a one-stop solution for kids to develop multiple skills. Understand the Cuemath Fee structure and sign up for a free trial.

Frequently Asked Questions on Abacus

How many levels are there in Abacus?

There are all 8 levels in the abacus.

What are the benefits of the Abacus?

  • Improves Concentration.
  • Improves Listening & Observation.
  • Improves Imagination & Visualization.
  • Strengthens Memory.
  • Enhances Accuracy & Speed.
  • Promotes Creativity.
  • Boosts Self-Confidence.
  • Lays down a Strong foundation for Academic Achievement.

What is the best age to start an abacus?

Age of 5-6 should be good to start learning Abacus

External References

To know more please click the link below:

What are the advantages of learning the abacus?

Why Your Child Needs the Abacus

Related Articles
Access Personalised Math learning through interactive worksheets, gamified concepts and grade-wise courses
Learn More About Cuemath