The Abacus

  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 in





The abacus is a great time-saver because 

you add and subtract quickly by sliding beads. 

its fun to play with.

it has imaginary strings. 


The Russians put beads on their abacuses.


The strings on an abacus stand for value.


People in China and still uses abacuses today.


The strings of an abacus are mounted inside a frame.


The abacus is a device.

In contests using calculators and abacuses 
calculators usually win. 

abacuses usually win.

there is a tie. 

Japanese and Chinese shopkeepers don't need a real abacus because

they use calculators. 

they use pencil and paper.

they use an imaginary abacus. 



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