The Soroban is the Japanese abacus. It enables you to add, subtract, multiply and divide much faster and more confidently than you can with a paper and pencil - and with practice, as quickly as a calculator. It is part of the Japanese national maths curriculum, and used in several other nations that achieve high numeracy levels.
Any number can be visually represented by simply changing the positions of the one upper and four lower beads in each row.
Benefits for children
- Improves numeracy skills, developing maths and mental calculation abilities
- Understand the process of calculation visually, helping children to follow the calculation at every step and to clearly understand any size of number
- Gives confidence with maths and numbers by making concrete the concept of numbers - takes away the 'fear factor' of maths
- Improves memory and concentration
- Engages the visual and motor aspects of the brain, giving children a powerful ability to visualise and use their minds more effectively
Wakamatsu Soroban Club
The club aims to give children the confidence and ability with numbers that provides a solid base not only in mathematics but to help their early stage development overall.
The first step is to establish number concepts, build confidence and learn calculation on the soroban - moving the beads around to produce the answer, and giving a concrete understanding of how numbers interact and combine.
The next step is to use a mental visualisation of the soroban to do calculations completely in the head - and the 'flash anzan' method can be used to further build calculation speed and power.
The club is run by Tomoko Hoult. Tomoko's family have run several soroban schools in Japan for over 50 years. Whilst her passion is soroban, Tomoko has a professional background in banking, finance and technology.