Students are introduced to place value into the ten-thousands by use of an abacus. The rods in the abacus represent ones, tens, hundreds,thousands, and ten-thousands. This Cyberchase activity is motivated by a For Real segment in which Bianca counts the runners in the New York City Marathon using an abacus.
Keeping Track of the New York City Marathoners QuickTime Video
Part I: Learning Activity
1. Read the following to the students: "Consider how someone couldcount each of the runners in a huge race like the New York CityMarathon in which participants number in the tens of thousands. Whatrecord-keeping device, instrument or tool would you use?"
2. Tell the students that they will watch a video segment fromCyberchase For Real in which Bianca and a friend devise a plan tocount the runners using a very old-fashioned and effective device.
3. Show the Keeping Track of the New York City Marathoners QuickTime Video .
4. Distribute the Counting on the Abacus handout .
5. Ask the students to complete the handout.
6. Discuss the numbering system and the conventions used incounting with the abacus with primary attention to the concept ofplace value in our base 10-numeration system.
Part II: Assessment
Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students are asked to write the numeral representations of large numbers written out in words.
Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students are asked to draw beads to representlarge numbers on an abacus diagram. The numbers represented are chosento help students solidify their understanding of place value in largenumbers.