# Unleashing the Power of the Visual Abacus & Mental Arithmetic

UCMAS promotes whole brain development, using the Abacus as a tool and Arithmetic as a medium.

##### Abacus: Takes Learning to the Next Level

At UCMAS, students harness the power of the Abacus and mental arithmetic to boost their brainpower. The Abacus has been a trusted teaching tool for thousands of years and is still used today in parts of Asia and Russia. (Click here for more on the Abacus and its history). UCMAS uses the Japanese Abacus, called the Soroban, to help students visualize numbers on a base-10 system. Students learn to manipulate the countable beads to perform arithmetic calculations such as addition/subtraction and multiplication/division.

Over the last 25 years, several internationally noted research papers explored the secondary benefits of Abacus learning for children. These benefits include enhancements in: mental capacity, intuitive thinking, problem-solving and mental endurance. UCMAS students have fun using the world’s oldest calculator and see their math ability and overall confidence grow!

##### Visual Arithmetic: Students Rethink Maths by Thinking in Pictures

Manipulating the beads of the Abacus helps children develop an ease with numbers and gives them a new perspective on how math works. Once students become adept at performing on the Abacus, they are trained to visualize the Abacus and ‘picture’ the beads moving as they swiftly solve problems in their mind. This emphasis on seeing in pictures is what sets the UCMAS approach apart.

Visual Arithmetic is the essential building block that replaces the physical Abacus in the child’s mind. Using snapshots of a virtual Abacus enables students to engage their right brain and solve questions much more quickly than they could before. The figures that are to be calculated are visualized as beads on the Abacus, as opposed to numerals.

This crucial concept of thinking in pictures and using the right brain leads to clearer thinking, improved memory, faster calculation speed and greater efficiency and accuracy. By the end of the UCMAS mental arithmetic program, students will have stored over 450,000 Abacus images in their memory.