Abakidz in the News
November 27th, 2014
Englewood Public School District introduces Abakidz as a new pilot program at the Dr. John Grieco Elementary School.
Add It Up: How One Small Teaching Adjustment Boosted Achievement 8 Percent (Center for Childhood Creativity)
September 30, 2014
Research shows children trained on the abacus scored, on average, 8% higher than children who only received standard math training.
August 7, 2014
Master Lee attempted and broke three mental calculation records on July 31 during the last day of the EPSD Summer Bridge Program at Dwight Morrow High School.
August 7, 2014
Tactile Brain’s Abakidz class at Bayside’s New York Academy teaches advanced math skills to 5-10 year olds, using one of the oldest calculation tools: the abacus.
August 1, 2014
On July 31, 2014, Master Lee had 10 chances to beat the world record in adding ten sets of ten 10-digit numbers. She shattered the record on her first try, setting a new record of 1 minute and 40 seconds. The previous record, set in 2013 by Naofumi Ogasawara of Japan, was 2 minute and 51 seconds.
July 31, 2014
Master Jeonghee Lee ran an Abakidz course during the Summer Bridge program at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, NJ.
주판을 배울 때 아이들은 3가지의 감각을 동시에 사용하게 됩니다.
시각 - 주산을 배우는 학생들은 숫자를 볼 때 단순 숫자로만 보는 것이 아니라, 시각적으로 인식하여, 더욱더 빠르고 정확한 계산을 할 수 있습니다. 또한 플래시 암산을 통해 아이들은 눈앞에 보여진 숫자를 머릿속으로 재빠르게 인식하는 능력을 갖추어 보다 더 좋은 시각 인식 능력과 빠른 독해 능력을 가지게 됩니다.
청각- 청각이 발달된 아이들은 호산을 하였을 때 특히 더 효과를 볼 수 있습니다. 호산을 통해, 학생들은 선생님이 불러주는 숫자를 듣고 재빨리 주산/암산을 하도록 훈련되기 때문에 아이들의 청각능력이 매우 향상됩니다.
촉각- 아이들은 주산을 통해 숫자를 단순히 머리로만 익히는 게 아니라, 손동작과 같이 계산하기 때문에 훨씬 더 효과적으로 숫자를 이해할 수 있습니다.
보통 수학은 언어와 논리를 담당하는 좌뇌를 발달시키는데, 주산은 위의 3가지 감각을 자극시킴으로써, 좌뇌 뿐만이 아니라, 예술적, 감각적 능력을 담당하는 우뇌도 발달시켜, 아이들의 두뇌 발달에 큰 도움을 줍니다. 좌뇌, 우뇌를 동시에 발달시키는 이 방식은 단순히 아이들의 수학 계산 능력만 향상시키는 것이 아니라, 아이들의 집중력, 기억력, 이해력 등을 향상시켜, 아이들이 더욱 더 좋은 공부 습관을 가진 우등생이 되도록 도와줍니다. 또한 이 정희 선생님의 오랜 경험에 의하면, 주산은 매사 수업에 집중하기 힘들어하는 아이들에게 특히 도움이 됩니다.
Mental abacus training can be associated with an improved ability to store visuo-spatial information. (Chen, 2011)
“These findings demonstrate that enriched experiences (e.g. mental abacus training) may improve basic cognitive capacities and possess utility for learning and education” (Chen, 2011)
“Abacus experts utilize visuo-spatial representations of digit sequences during digit span memory tasks and this strategy increases their digit span memory capacity” (Tanaka, 2002)
Knowing two ways (conventional and abacus) to represent arithmetic concepts gives a child a more abstract and flexible understanding of numbers, in the same way that knowing two languages leads to higher levels of metalinguistic knowledge. (Stigler, University of Chicago, 1986)
“Abacus skill has statistically significant correlations with grades in mathematics and reading” (Stigler, University of Chicago, 1986).
Chen, Min-Sheng, Tzu-Chang Wang, and Chih-Nan Wang. "Effect of Mental Abacus Training on Working Memory for Children." Journal of the Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers 28.6 (2011): 450-57. Web.
Du, Fenglei, Feiyan Chen, Yongxin Li, Yuzheng Hu, Mei Tian, and Hong Zhang. "Abacus Training Modulates the Neural Correlates of Exact and Approximate Calculations in Chinese Children: An FMRI Study."BioMed Research International 2013 (2013): Web.
Frank, Michael C., and David Barner. "Representing Exact Number Visually Using Mental Abacus." Journal of Experimental Psychology 141.1 (2012): 134-49. Web.
Kim, Teng Siang. The Modality Factor in Two Approaches of Abacus-based Calculation and its Effects on Mental Arithmetic and School Mathematics Achievements. Thesis. Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2007. Web.
Stigler, James W., Laurence Chalip, and Kevin F. Miller. "Consequences of Skill: The Case of Abacus Training in Taiwan." American Journal of Education 94.4 (1986): 447-79. JSTOR. Web.
Tanaka, Satoshi, Chikashi Michimata, Tatsuro Kaminaga, Manabu Honda, and Norihiro Sadato. "Superior Digit Memory of Abacus Experts: An Event-related Functional MRI Study." NeuroReport 13.17 (2002): 2187-191. Web.
Tanaka, Satoshi, Keiko Seki, Takashi Hanakawa, Madoka Harada, Sho K. Sugawara, Norihiro Sadato, Katsumi Watanabe, and Manabu Honda. "Abacus in the Brain: A Longitudinal Functional MRI Study of a Skilled Abacus User with a Right Hemispheric Lesion." Frontiers in Psychology 315th ser. 3 (2012): Web.
Wu, Tung-Hsin, Chia-Lin Chen, Yung-Hui Huang, Ren-Shyan Liu, Jen-Chuen Hsieh, and Jason J. S. Lee. "Effects of Long-term Practice and Task Complexity on Brain Activities When Performing Abacus-based Mental Calculations: A PET Study." European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 36 (2009): 436-45. Web.
What is Abakidz?
Abakidz is a program that uses the abacus as a tactile learning tool to provide brain training to students of all ages. Guided by Master Jeonghee Lee, the world’s first and only 11th degree abacus master, any student can learn the art of Jusan (abacus math) and Amsan (mental math). The goal of an abacus education, however, is not to create human calculators, though that may be a notable benefit. Our real goal is to transform the way students think about numbers, and to develop parts of the brain often untouched by conventional math learning. Research over the years has shown that abacus learning positively impacts working memory and concentration skills, leading to improvement in not only students' math scores, but also across all subjects.
What is the abacus?
The abacus has been used for over 5000 years as an arithmetic calculation tool. It was a fundamental part of the core math curriculum in Asian schools until the popularization of electric calculators. The rise of personal computers also led to a shift in preference towards electronic devices as primary learning tools. More recently, however, there has been a resurgence in abacus instruction throughout east Asia due to a renewed appreciation of the unique cognitive benefits of learning with the abacus.
Our curriculum has been carefully developed by Master Jeonghee Lee over the past 10 years and includes comprehensive workbooks, as well as cumulative review and testing. We also distinguish our approach by emphasizing mental math, “Amsan,” from the beginning by training students to visualize the abacus beads moving in their heads. This visualization eventually leads to rapid and accurate calculations without the use of an abacus. Classroom instruction also includes auditory math, “Hosan,” which features the teacher calling out a sequence of numbers to be calculated by either abacus or mental math, which significantly engages auditory skills and working memory. “Flash Amsan,” in which numbers are flashing briefly on a screen before being mentally calculated, also strongly engages visual perception. The Abakidz program also includes several collaborative and competitive games, such as calculation relay races that involve the entire class and reinforce material learned from teachers and the workbooks.
Master Jeonghee Lee (이정희) is the first and only 11th degree abacus master in the world. She obtained the 11th degree at the age of 15, and she has since made it her life’s work to spread the art of Jusan. She hopes to give students young and old the confidence they need to approach numbers and challenge themselves further in mathematics. But despite being one of the world’s foremost mental mathematicians, she prides herself on having started out with no special talent for mathematics. She attributes her success to the time she has dedicated to Jusan and its simple, intuitive nature, which lends itself to true mastery.