The History of Abacus
Abacus is a Latin word which has its etymological origins in the Greek words 'Abax' or 'Abakon' which means 'table' and 'tablet' respectively. The abacus was invented as a counting device to help calculate large numbers around the period known as the early middle ages.
The roots of the first abacus can be traced back to the ancient Mesopotamians. In time, with due advances made in constructing a universally accepted numerical system, the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mayans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and even Russians brought forth their own versions of the Abacus.
In ancient times the abaci's were constructed using readily available materials like stones, pebbles and beans on frames or tablets that were usually made with wood, stone or metal. The most popular form of the abacus however is a wooden frame board with sliding beads on set on thin metal wires. People who use an abacus are called 'Abacists'. The 1930's saw the Japanese abacus, called 'Soroban' modified into the modern abacus we use today.
Even with the improvement of technology involving calculators, students of the Soroban Abacus remain more skilled in mental math, not to mention enhanced skills of concentration and focus in other areas
The Instrument - Soroban
A soroban is made up of a frame with vertical rods on which beads move up and down. Dividing the upper and lower portion of the soroban is a horizontal bar called a beam or reckoning bar.
The Soroban/Abacus is increasingly being seen as a valuable mathematical tool in a technological age.
The Right Brain vs Left Brain
When children first encounter the experience of learning, grasping or comprehending information or knowledge, their brains go on autopilot to decide which side of the brain would be in a better position to handle the subject at hand.
The side which is chosen in that first learning experience then becomes dominant in all learning and comprehension activities that follow.
The left side of the brain governs all things related to language, logic, reasoning, objective and analytical thinking whereas the right side rules intuition, cognitive abilities and subjective matters.
Brain Gym was created in the 1960's by Paul and Gail Dennison. Brain Gym is a program of 26 physical movements that enhance learning & performance in all areas. Brain Gym can be used to improve a wide range of learning, attention and behaviour skills. The whole body movements activate the whole brain promoting integrated, joyful learning.
The benefits of Brain Gym
- It is about whole brain learning
- It increases the learning blocks
- It energises the brain
- It improves child cantered independent learning