### Visualizing numbers

Recently I added another math curriculum to the list of math curricula; it's called RightStart Mathematics. They are using a little different abacus from the usual to help children visualize numbers: the abacus has five beads one color, and the next five another color. Their idea is that using such abacus, children will eventually learn to recognize the amounts on abacus with a single glance, without counting the beads. They will then form a mental image and learn to 'see' seven as five and two. After checking their website, just a few days later, when checking dead links, I stumbled upon this same abacus in electronic form on another website. (However you can only do a few things with the applet, so it's not nearly as good as a real physical abacus.) This Ten frame tool uses a similar idea - kids are supposed to recognize amounts 0-10 visually, without counting. Obviously another tool for this is just a die, or dice. Great ideas, great tools.