My mental arithmetic learning experiences

by Joshua Tso

I have been taking abacus lessons ever since third grade. I was taught by Hsieh teacher. She has helped in all my hard times in mental and abacus.

I first started to learn abacus because I wanted to improve my times tables. In third grade, one of the standards was to memorize all the times tables from one to twelve. I was having a pretty hard time studying. It was just a month later that I had to start the times table tests. Tom, a friend of mine, told my mom that Hsieh teacher taught you about the times table and helped you memorize it. Now I know why you need to know the times table to do abacus and mental (you need it in multiplication and division). After a few weeks at the abacus class, I memorized the times table and passed all the tests in school easily.

Last year, I nearly failed mental level one. My teacher told me that level two to level one is a big jump. At the last few weeks, I improved a lot and passed by about thirty points. Abacus is all about concentrating.

Learning abacus and mental also helps you a lot in school. Our teacher tells us to do really long addition and subtraction problems. Since I have learned mental, doing addition and subtraction problems seem much easier. Mental can also help you in finding answers to multiplication and division problems. Sometimes, our class plays math games that require a counter or a recorder. These people are the ones who calculate the scores and remember them. I am usually picked as the recorder because I do math problems very quickly.

Clearly, learning abacus is a great help for me in many different ways. Some people might think it is weird to learn abacus because they think it is a waste of time. What they think is a waste of time is valuable for when you grow up. I do not regret learning abacus in the first place!

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