RightLobeMath Blog

Share ideas about education, math, and all things abacus...

What Abacus Should You Buy?

​To get started with the RightLobeMath.com online platform, we need an abacus or preferably a Japanese soroban which can be purchased at anytime on Rightlobemath.com. We highly recommend in the beginning of a student's abacus training that they use a "physical" abacus and not a "digital" abacus. The reason for suggesting the use of a phys...
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How many beads are there on an abacus?

The answer to this question is it depends on the type of abacus you are considering. The Japanese version of the abacus, called a Soroban, has 5 beads per rod. Each rod of the Soroban can represent a digit from 0 to 9 making it ideal for our modern base 10 system. The Chinese version of the abacus, called a Suan Pan, has 7 beads per rod. Each ...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Skill Training Lesson 1 - Counting 1 to 5

​Learning to use the abacus or soroban is learning to transform every arithmetic problem to a single digit operation similar to the four standard math algorithms taught in elementary school. By reducing problem complexity to just single digit operations, abacus users quickly gain both speed and accuracy. The RightLobeMath online...
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Mental Math, We All Need It But How To Teach It?

​We all remember our teachers asking us to do math calculations in our head but not knowing really how to do it? Teachers offered us various mental tricks and strategies but it always posed the additional question which strategy to chose. Faced with each problem we had to decide on a strategy without any way of knowing if the strategy chosen was th...
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Math More Than Reading Is the Best Predictor of Future Academic Achievement

​You might, as I did, find this article surprising if you have a young learner just about to enter kindergarten. According to research conducted by a group of university professors called "School Readiness and Later Achievement", math skills entering kindergarten are the best predictor of future academic success more so than reading skills, attenti...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Skill Training Lesson 4 - Simple Addition and Subtraction Multiple Digits

​With the basic abacus or soroban movements learned in the first 3 lessons on a single rod, we are now ready to apply our knowledge to more than 1 rod. If you have not looked at the first 3 lessons or are new to abacus math, I suggest you take a look at Lesson 1, Lesson 2, and Lesson 3 first which will make your progress easier and faster...
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What is an online abacus math program?

The rightlobemath online abacus math program is a comprehensive self-guided, self-paced early math program. Students, pre-K to 6th grade, advance through a multi-level math program starting with basic numeracy, simple addition and subtraction, through to advanced large number multiplication and division including decimals and negative numbers....
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How is the abacus used today?

​The Japanese in the 1930s truly modernized the ancient abacus by reducing the number of beads per rod to 5, called the Soroban. The soroban is a modern base 10 counting device. But the Japanese also recognized the modern soroban is an excellent teaching tool for early math learners. Students learn basic numeracy and complex arithmetic all usi...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Lesson Level 6 Division

​Level 6 division introduces division with a 2 digit divisor. If you are new to abacus math or division on an abacus or soroban, please take a look at some of the earlier levels of division such as the introduction to abacus math long division (Level 8 Division) or 3 and 4 digit dividend abacus math division, (Level 7 Division). With 2 di...
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Online Abacus Math and the Foundations of Basic Numeracy

​The RightLobeMath.com online math program for K-8 mathematics provides a deep foundational understanding of our base 10 numbering system. Our mathematics Skill Training Program guides students step-by-step through the principles of numbers and arithmetic. The abacus, especially the Japanese version the Soroban, is an ideal tool for teaching studen...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Lesson Level 9 Multiplication

Lesson Level 9 Multiplication introduces abacus math multiplication. The abacus is very well adapted to handle very large number multiplication problems. The technique used to preform multiplication on the abacus requires that students memorize their multiplication times tables through 9x9. Lessons 1 through Lesson 11 taught students...
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Thoughts and Tips for Effective Mental Calculation Training

​To develop strong mental calculation skills, i.e. mental math, we first need to learn the required bead movements on the soroban. The entire concept of mental calculation is based on the knowledge of the soroban bead movements needed to solve the problem. But knowing how to move the beads to solve a problem is not enough for fast and accurate...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Skill Training Lesson 3 - Simple Addition and Subtraction

​In abacus math lesson 3 we are ready to look at combining numbers by adding and subtracting numbers from a single rod on the abacus or soroban. If you are not sure about how to enter or remove any of the digits 1 through 9 on the abacus, please take a look at abacus math lesson 1 for counting 0 to 5 and abacus math lesson 2 for counting ...
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Practice Every Soroban Bead Movement in One Exercise - The Nine Times Challenge

​This challenge requires a Level 10 or higher skill because all the Skill Training bead mechanics are needed to do this exercise. This is a great way to practice all your soroban skills in a single exercise.
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Online Abacus Math Program - Skill Training Lesson 2 - Counting 6 to 9

​Now that we know how to enter and remove the numbers from 1 to 5 on the abacus, we will continue with the remaining numbers 6 to 9. From this point we will be able to represent all 10 digits, 0 through 9, on a single rod of the abacus or soroban. As a reminder, in abacus math we learn to reduce all arithmetic problems to single digit operatio...
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Soroban Introduction Counting 0 to 9

​This video covers the basic construction of the Soroban, usage, and introduction to counting showing the numbers 0 to 9.
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Online Abacus Math Program - Skill Training Lesson 5 - 10 Pair Complement Addition Part 1

​In this abacus math lesson, lesson 5, we will introduce the concept of 10 pair complements or just 10 pairs. If you are new to abacus math, we suggest that you start from lesson 1. This abacus math lesson will use the 10 pair complement method for addition but as we will see in a later lesson the 10 pair complements are also used for sub...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Lesson Level 9 Addition

​Lesson Level 9 Addition will continue from Lesson Level 10B but instead of adding 4 numbers we will add 5 numbers 3 of which will be 2 digit numbers. Remember as you work through problems continue to practice consistent fingering and bead movements. Accurate and consistent practice is the fastest way to gain calculation speed.Let's consider the fo...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Skill Training Lesson 9 - The 5/10 Pair Combination Part 1

​So far in Lesson 6 and Lesson 7 we introduced addition and subtraction with 10 pair complements when the operation requires more than 1 rod. In Lesson 8 we introduced the addition and subtraction with 5 pair complements when the operation is done on a single rod, i.e. no carry or borrow is required from another rod. Now here in Lesson 9 we will co...
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Online Abacus Math Program - Lesson Level 5 Addition Part 1

In Lesson Level 6 Addition we added 7 numbers, 5 were 3 digit numbers and 2 were 2 digit numbers. Here in Lesson Level 5 Addition we continue to increase the size of the numbers so we will now add 3, 4 digit, numbers and 4, 3 digit, numbers. Since there are a significant number of bead movements to solve these problems we will not show each individ...
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