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The AL Abacus


AL Abacus front

AL Abacus, reverse side

In a previous post I talked about the Right Start Level C math program Bruce has been using, and its core component, the AL abacus.  I explained about how even though I think the abacus is totally amazing, Bruce hasn’t been too keen on it yet, which made following the specific lesson plans in the Level C teacher guide difficult.  He still benefited a lot from the other parts of the program however.

For those of you unfamiliar with the abacus, here’s a cool and (free) link that let’s you explore it online: http://www.alabacus.com/pageView.cfm?pageID=321

Here are also some pictures of two ways to represent 57.


Pretty cool, hunh?  Hopefully Jenna will be much more interested in using it when she is ready.


  1. Claire H. says:

    My 2 y.o. will “count” as she moves beads on the abacus. The numbers she’s saying aren’t yet corresponding to the numbers of beads being moved (and get very random after 6, LOL!) but she has grasped the basic premise of the abacus.

    My 5 y.o. is working on using the abacus for addition and subtraction within 20.

    • jenbrdsly says:

      That sounds great! We just got the book “Yellow is the Sun”. It’s pretty flimsy, but the corresponding CD has a song on it that I’m hoping will help Bruce with backwards numbers.

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