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Saturday, March 3, 2012

DIY Abacus

I love abaci (abacuses?). They can be used for so many things. My only problem with abaci is that they are pretty expensive, especially for a first-year teacher. I have five wooden abaci in my class and have tried to have the kids use them in groups and it just wasn't working.  I had to figure out a way to get one in every students' hands.  One trip to RAFT later, I figured it out.

 What you need:
1 Sheet of Corrugated Plastic
10 Pipe Cleaners
10 Drink Stirrers
100 Pony Beads

Start off by putting the pipe cleaners in the middle of the drink stirrers.

  Put one end of the stirrer/cleaner combo into the corrugated plastic and bend at a 90 degree angle.
 Thread 10 beads on the drink stirrer and bend the other end.
This part can be a little tricky, but put the other end of the pipe cleaner into the other side of the corrugated plastic. Make sure to hold the end that is already in and not to pull too hard.
 Front view. 
Side view.
Repeat until you have 10 rows. 

I made two different sizes:
 5.75" x 7"
 5.75" x 3.5"

I think I'm leaning towards the smaller version.  What do you think?

Oh, and you all have my permission to pin anything from my site, as long as you provide a link.  Thanks!


  1. I like the smaller one as well. I can't believe how ingenius this idea is! I had this giraffe one I loved until the kiddos broke it.

    Mrs Poland
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  2. Hey I just awarded you the Lovely Blog Award!!! Come on over to my blog to receive it!
    See you soon! Andrea ...and such a cool idea!!!

  3. Nice blog, i really appreciated but if anyone wants information about Mental growth with abacus