How the Abacus Can Help Students Learn Math

The abacus predates the alphabet and the invention of glass, but its use can help modern day students increase their math proficiency and understanding. Ulrich Boser, the author of Learn Better, studied how the abacus requires decomposition — a way of thinking about numbers and their pairs — that is included in the common-core standards. Using an abacus helps students foster a mind-body connection, utilize their short term memory, and grow their confidence, all which help kids learn better. In this video, Boser, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, challenges his daughters to solve math problems using a Japanese abacus.