March 2019 Newsletter

Sucaba. It sounds even more Japanese…

Hello fine people

How are y’all?

So here’s a blast from the past: in the 1980s mini-series “If Tomorrow Comes” (that’s the era of “Dallas” and “Dynasty”), two con artists are conning another con artist. They sell him a new wizard of a computer called the Sucaba. When he opens it up, he realises that “sucaba” is “abacus” spelt backwards. LOL!

Well, we know that the abacus IS actually a wizard of a computer, and we’re here to tell you why it’s an important element in the foundational phase of a child’s Maths ‘literacy.’

The device represents the decimal system in its simplest form. Kids understand groups of five and ten, because they can see and feel them on their fingers (it reminds us of the song from Four Weddings and a Funeral: I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…). This experience of units of one, ten and one hundred is automatically transferred to their use with the abacus, because they already understand it.

What Abacus Maths does is teach students how to grasp figures and amounts really quickly, because the abacus represents in a concrete and visual way the abstract world of numbers (we know that accountants would disagree – there is nothing abstract about numbers, they say!).

Well, that’s all for today. In our next newsletter, we will expand a little more on the technique used with the abacus, to unlock your child’s genius. Soon they will be saying to you, “Really mom, dad? You don’t get it? Sigh!”

Till next time, happy counting!

The Abacus Maths Team