The next operation which you will learn is, how to use an abacus in a step-by-step method to perform subtraction?
Subtraction is just the reverse process of addition. All you need to do is borrow the digits from the previous column instead of carrying them over. For example, if you want to subtract 867 from 932.
After entering 932 in the abacus, start subtracting column by column from the left. If you subtract 8 from 9 you will receive 1, so you will leave a single bead in the hundreds place.
Now move to the tens place. You can't subtract 6 from 3, so you will have to borrow 1 in the hundreds place leaving it with 0. Now you have to subtract 6 from 13 making it 7.
Now move on to the unit's place. Repeat the process. Because you cannot subtract 7 from 2 you have to borrow 1 from the tens place, which will convert 7 present in the tens place into 6. Now subtract 7 from 12 so you will obtain 5.
So our final answer will be 932 - 867 = 65.
A regular practice will make things easier to perform. Abacus is like training for the mind. Therefore, it requires patience and regular training.
How to Use Abacus for Multiplication?
Now let's move on to the most important basic mathematical operation which is multiplication. How to multiply with an abacus?
In order to multiply small numbers, for example, 6×4, we can ask the students to follow the process of addition. All they have to do is enter 6 in four different wires.
Then follow the strategy of five, as mentioned above. So now they have to perform 5+5+5+5 = 20 and 1+1+1+1 = 4. Finally, they will have to add 20+4 = 24.
Well, but the above-mentioned strategy can only be utilized in case of numbers that are small. There may be situations wherein the student confronts large numbers. In those cases, we will follow a different approach.
For example, if you're multiplying 34×12.
Step 1 - Assign one letter into each column. So it will become "3", "4", "X", "1", "2", and "=".
This makes us feel the first six wires. Leave the rest of the columns to the right as it is for the answer.
Remember, “X” and “=” will be represented by blank columns.
Step 2 - Multiply 3 with 1 and then 3 with 2. Next, you will multiply 4 with 1 and then 4 with 2.
Understand the pattern. This is the part which we will apply for all kinds of numbers.
Step 3 - Record the results of the products in the correct order. Start recording the first product i.e. 3x1 = 3 in the seventh wire.
Next, 3×2 = 6, record it after the column in which you recorded 3 i.e. eighth wire.
Step 4 - When you multiply 4x1, add the result i.e. 4 to the previous multiplication which we did i.e. 3×2 = 6. Now 4+6 becomes 10.
Carry one to the seventh wire which was 3 and now it becomes 4 and the eighth wire becomes 0.
Step 5 - Perform the last multiplication which is 4×2 = 8. Recorded in the ninth wire. So our answer is 408.
The above mentioned were some of the most basic operations which can be performed using an abacus.
An abacus is a tool that can also be used for performing higher-level calculations and operations.
There are designated abacus videos and classes that are available on various platforms, both online and offline.
With such strong benefits of using an abacus, more and more schools are imparting this training and education, especially in the lower classes.
Therefore, we encourage you to start understanding the basic fundamentals of an abacus.
If you liked this post, feel free to share it with your friends who can also benefit from learning abacus.
Cuemath, 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.
Check out the fee structure for all grades and book a trial class today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an abacus?
An Abacus is a manual aid for calculating which consists of beads that can be moved up and down on a series of sticks or strings within a usually wooden frame. The Abacus itself doesn't calculate; it's merely a device for helping a human being calculate by remembering what has been counted.
Where was Abacus first used?
The Abacus (plural abaci or abacuses), also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool used in the ancient Near East, Europe, China, and Russia, centuries before the adoption of the written Arabic numeral system. The exact origin of the Abacus is still unknown.
What are the advantages of learning how to use an abacus?
Mathematical skills lay a secure foundation for higher classes.
Abacus education improves the skills of
Visualization (photographic memory)
Self-Reliance resulting in Whole Brain Development
How to use an abacus?
It is a simple device used for counting, much beneficial for the visually impaired, once you
know the basics of counting on an abacus, you can easily perform various operations on it .
Following are the basic steps to be followed:
Assign each column a place value.
Start counting with the beads in the lower row.
Complete the "4/5 exchange.
Repeat the pattern for the higher numbers.
How to learn abacus?
We can easily learn abacus. Start with learning the basic structure and bead placement of the Abacus. Then you can move on to learn the basic operations of Abacus.