June 27, 2008
The name of the article is Mastering Times Tables with Fun by Dhaval Shrimankar. This article talks about how hard it is to learn the time tables and uses the abacus as the best tool to learn the time tables. It explains how pictorial memory is certainly better than rote memorization and with the use of the abacus it is not only proved by test to be effective but also a fun way to learn the time tables according to Shrimankar. The facts stated in this article are backed by the results conducted by a group of children, and it concluded that the group of children that used the abacus were free of the phobia created by rote memorization and were less confused than the other group.
Learning the times tables during the first years of elementary school is crucial for a better understanding of mathematics in the future. I concur with Dhaval Shrimankar’s analysis that the abacus is a good way to learn the times tables. I personally remember using the abacus back in elementary school but I also remember using rote memorization and I honestly can’t tell how I learn them but now as an adult I can see the advantages of the abacus and if we go back in history we can find that the use of the abacus was a good resource used by ancient cultures.
Ancient abacus was used primarily by Asians, then there was a German abacus, Indian abacus, African abacus etc. Now we have one called the school abacus and that’s the one used in elementary schools as an aid in teaching the numeral system and arithmetic. That was a small history of the abacus you can read the rest in Wikipedia but there is one ancient culture that I have always being impressed by because of how smart and advanced they were in math, they actually invented the number zero, you provably already guess it… yes the Mayans. Mayan numbers for example are formed by dots and sticks and they have a sequence that requires no rote memorization to learn them got to love that.