Hundreds of years before the calculator was invented,
people in China discovered they could add and subtract quickly by
sliding beads back and forth on strings. They put seven
beads on a string and mounted several of these inside a wooden
frame. This counting device is called an abacus.
This device became a great time-saver. People in other parts
of the world began to use them too. The Russians wanted more
beads on their abacuses, so they put ten beads on each string.
Many people in China and Japan still use
abacuses today. The strings stand for place values (1s, 10s,
100s, etc.). They are very fast. In contests between
people using calculators and people using abacuses to add and
subtract, the abacus users usually win! Some Japanese and
Chinese shopkeepers don't even need a real abacus. They just
move their hands in the air, sliding imaginary beads back and
forth on imaginary strings.
Answer the questions below.
The abacus was invented hundreds of years ago by people
The abacus is a great time-saver because
and subtract quickly by sliding beads.
its fun to play with.
it has imaginary
The Russians put
beads on their abacuses.
The strings on an abacus stand for
People in China and
still uses abacuses today.
The strings of an abacus are mounted inside a
The abacus is a
In contests using calculators and abacuses
abacuses usually win.
there is a tie.
Japanese and Chinese shopkeepers don't need a real
they use pencil and
they use an imaginary
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