Math Exercise on the Abacus
(“Suanpan” in Chinese) • Teachers’ Introduction • Student Materials Introduction Practicing Basics Exercises Answer keys Learning: “Up,” “Down,” “Rid,” “Advance” Exercises: Addition Cards 18-28 Advanced Addition Cards 29-30
(the numbers 1-9)

Cards 1-7 Cards 8-11 Cards 12, 14, 16 Cards 13, 15, 17 Card 18

Exercises: Subtraction
(the numbers 1-9)

Cards 31-39

Acknowledgment: This unit is adapted from A Children’s Palace, by Michele Shoresman and Roberta Gumport, with illustrations by Elizabeth Chang (University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, Center for Asian Studies, Outreach Office, 3rd ed., 1986. Print edition, now out of print.)


Teachers’ Introduction:
Level: This unit is designed for students who understand p1ace value and know the basic addition and subtraction facts. Goals: 1. The students will learn to manipulate one form of ca1cu1ator used in many Asian countries. 2. The concept of p1ace value will be reinforced. 3. The students will learn another method of adding and subtracting. Instructions • The following student sheets may be copied so that your students have individual sets. • Individual suanpan for your students can be ordered from China Sprout: Product # A948 or ATG022 Evaluation The students will be able to manipulate a suanpan to set numbers, and to do simple addition and subtraction problems. Vocabulary suanpan set beam rod c1ear ones rod tens rod hundreds rod


Card 1

Suanpan – Abacus
The abacus is an ancient calculator still used in China and other Asian countries. In Chinese it is called a “Suanpan.” It is a frame divided into an upper and lower section by a bar called the “beam.” The abacus can be used for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.


Card 2 Clearing the suanpan: • Before you begin work on the Suanpan you must clear it. • This is done by moving all of the beads in the upper section to the top of the frame and all of...