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The Soroban in P'titCREF

The Soroban in P'titCREF

The soroban is an abacus developed in Japan. It is derived from the Chinese suanpan, imported to Japan in the 14th century. The soroban is still used today, despite the proliferation of practical and affordable pocket electronic calculators.The soroban is taught in Japanese primary schools as a part of lessons in mathematics because the decimal number system can be demonstrated visually. When teaching the soroban, teachers give song-like instructions. Primary school students often bring two soroban to class, one with the modern configuration and the one having the older configuration of one heavenly bead and five earth beads.

People who become proficient in use of soroban almost automatically become adept at mental calculation, known as anzan ("blind calculation") in Japanese. As a part of soroban instruction, intermediate students are asked to do calculation mentally by visualizing the soroban (or any other abacus) and working out the problem without trying to figure out the answer beforehand. This is one reason why, despite the advent of handheld calculators, some parents send their children to private tutors to learn the soroban.

It is now certain that Soroban teaching helps children to develop an active approach to learning, and greatly increased their powers of mental calculation. The development of logical thought processes and powers of concentration flow from the pleasurable disciplines involved in Soroban/Abacus study.

It is easier for children to understand for themselves the calculation process step by step. Practicing the Soroban develops children's ability for mental calculations.

Our classes strart on the 15th of April and will be taught by Sayaka, our Japanese teacher. Soroban is for children from 5 years old.