Hearing that some colleagues were getting together to share knowledge and expertise around abacus skills, I asked Trish, one of the teachers involved to share her thoughts from the day.
“In March, 2 BLENNZ colleagues from Wellington came to our BLENNZ Palmerston North centre for the day. Cathy West, and Diane Glynan, both with extensive knowledge and experience in working alongside learners in Maths, came to visit myself, two teacher aides and two young learners (Maia and Maide Pearl ), all keen to start using the Cranmer abacus.
Before Maia and Maide Pearl arrived, I spent an intensive hour or so, learning and discussing how to use the abacus. It seemed like such a simple tool, but involved embracing lots of new knowledge. I had a mini abacus made by our very kind school caretaker to use, but it was also really useful to practise on Cathy’s iPad, loaded with an abacus app.
When the girls and teacher aides arrived, Diane worked alongside the girls. She demonstrated finger positions and little activities and challenges was really helpful to see. Cathy’s activities with the teacher aides were received really positively. The teacher aides are looking forward to supporting the girls as they extend their new skills.