Tag Archives: number

145. Soroban counts

I found this really useful book set on a second-hand market stall in the summer. I felt it was worth a look for £3.


It is Aba-Conundrums by Evelyn B. Christensen, published by Fat Brain Toy Co. The set includes a soroban, 120 number puzzles (& solutions) on spiral-bound dry-wipe card and dry-wipe pen.

The problem solving elements of the tasks are really good for improving basic number skills.


After boring four generations of my family with it, I did a bit of web-searching and came across the Soroban Cymru website – don’t worry if you don’t ‘siarad Cymraeg’, it’s in English.


I think proper use of sorobans  could be a really useful tool for developing the understanding of number in low ability Year 6/7. I know they are used by all abilities in Asia, but pupils here don’t generally know how to use a soroban correctly and it could be a way to make numbers more interesting for those who disconnected from maths at a young age. I’m certainly going to try it out this term.

You can get basic sorobans on Amazon from about £2.50.

135. Book (& Website) of the week 2

If you are on Twitter, you may have heard of the perfectly titled @MathsBookClub. If not, let me explain.

People were asked to nominate their favourite Maths related book (Fiction or Fact).

People voted and the most popular was chosen.

The winner was: ‘Alex’s Adventures in Numberland’ (‘Here’s looking at Euclid’ USA) by Alex Bellos.

Just like a “meet down the pub bookclub” there will be an online discussion on Wednesday 23rd October. Except with this bookclub, the author has offered to join in! Very cool!

To join in the mathematical literary fun either follow @MathsBookClub on twitter, visit the mathsbookclub website or do both!

(Support your local Library. If that’s not possible then click on the book for a link to the paper version on Amazon.co.uk; ebook also available)