s illustrated below, the Soroban/Abacus is calculating instrument with a number of counting beads that slide back and for th along rods.
- The four lower beads all have a value of ONE.
- The upper bead has a value of FIVE.
- The columns to the LEFT of any other column is ten times bigger, and the column to the RIGHT has a value ten times smaller.
- You always use the thumb and finger of your strongest hand to move the beads up and own. Always keep the three unused fingers tucked into the palm of the hand, but lightly.
- Always use the thumb to add the one value beads.
- Always use the forefinger to add the five value beads and to take away any of the beads.
Here is an easy way to clear the Soroban/Abacus and make it show zero before operations.
- Before starting to calculate on the Soroban/Abacus, hold the Soroban/Abacus with the left hand on the left hand side of the Soroban/Abacus, if you are right-handed, and the opposite way if you are left-handed.
- Gently lay the Soroban/Abacus down flat on the desk.
- Move your right forefinger from left to right along the upper edge of the bar gently pushing the 5 beads with your forefinger finger nail. This will push up all the top beads. When all the top beads are up and all the bottom beads are down, the Soroban/Abacus shows zero.
- Look at the images below. These show you the numbers 1 to 9 as they would appear on a Soroban/Abacus.