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April and May Newsletter – 2014

Dear Fellow Teachers,

Welcome back to the second term (IEB teachers hang in there – we are nearly at the end of your first term). I hope the next three months are productive and that you find new and exciting ways to teach a fabulous subject. We would also like to wish our Christian teachers a very happy Easter season – and to anyone travelling over all the long weekends, please travel safe.

The mathsatsharp website has been updated with a couple of new articles and worksheets. If you would like to know the answer to the patterns challenge question check out the solution here. The question was a test of logic and thinking ability, and the use of mathematical terminology.

Seartec represented SHARP at the Inspired Teachers conferenceon the 27th of March. Many teachers were able to see our amazing interactive whiteboard and scientific calculators at the conference. And, for our Cape Town readers – Inspired Teachers is looking at doing a conference in August. We will keep you posted.

Seartec also represented SHARP at the South African Basic Education Conference. We met many interesting exhibitors with many fantastic education resources. Check out the article on mathsatsharpto find out what we thought was exciting.

If you want to make sure that your students remember everything from the first term, there are revision worksheets with memos for grade 10, grade 11and grade 12 Mathematics. Please remember you need to either log-in or register before you can access these worksheets (Login is free – you simply have to use your email address). We have also started adding printable postersfor teachers to download in A4 and A3. The website currently has a poster on straight line graphs, parabola graphs and the properties of quadrilaterals. Please let us know what other posters you would like to see. Also check out our new challenge question about volume on the home page for students – the first student to get the question right will win one of our super Awesome SHARP EL535 calculators.

There are several conferences that are coming up in the month of May. The weekend of the 10th and 11th of May is the Mpumalanga AMESA conference at Hoerskool Lydenburg and the theme is “Demystifying Maths through Play”. You can contact Nonhlanhla (082 806 8408 – Ehlanzeni), Edna (072 236 4644 – Bohlabela), Mabushe (082 407 7713 – Gert Sibande), and William (076 947 5572 – Nkangala) for more details. Look out for Nicole at the SHARP stand. The Gauteng AMESA conference is tentatively proposed for the 17th of May, but currently there are no details available. The Kwa-Zulu Natal AMESA conference is happening on the 24th of May at the University of KZN, Edgewood Campus in Pinetown from 7.30 (registration). Contact Thembelihle Madondo at 035 9011 409 or 083 437 1442 for more information. Look out for Tal and Clive at the SHARP stand.

For those teachers in the Western Cape, there is a SAPA conference taking place at Hillsong Church in Century City on the 16th and 17th of May. Look out for Tal and Andre at the venue to see what new and exciting things Seartec and SHARP have in store for you.

Also happening the weekend of the 24th of May is the VAW (Afrikaans teachers association) conference in Bloemfontein. If you would like more details about this please contact Valentyn from Helpende Hande for more information (084 599 9215 or valentyn@helpendehand.co.za).

We have just completed an article on study methods: what works best and how to study more effectively. The article breaks down the different types of study methods and what we as students (and teachers) can do to study (or teach) more effectively.

One of the great things we came across on the web this month is a website that gives exciting ideas for teaching mathsin the classroom for high school students. Some of the ideas included using sloping letters to teach about gradient and straight lines, or varonoi diagrams to explain where midpoints are used in real-life. Benford’s law is a maths law that is applied to forensic accounting – but you have to know maths to apply it. Pretty cool!

This month’s calculator trick is how to convert marks using a short-cut on the calculator. If you have a set of test marks all out of 80 and you want to convert them to a mark out of 25 then we have the solution for you: simply type in what you want to convert to first (25) then press the fraction key (a/b) then type in what you are converting to (80). Then press the right arrow key to get out of the fraction and press times (x) and the first students mark (e.g. 45). Now press equals (=). You should get 14 and 1/16. Press change to convert between mixed number fractions, improper fractions, and decimal numbers. Now simply type in the next students mark (e.g. 28) and press equals (=), you should get 8 and ¾. You continue like this until all your marks are entered.

I leave you with a riddle to keep you busy until next time:

In Germany there are calendars made of wooden blocks for very bright kids.  There are two six sided dice, and by choosing which face is displayed for the two of these, all possible monthly dates (from 01, 02, …, to 29, 30, 31) can be displayed; note the single digit dates must start with a 0.

Your job is to write one digit (from 0, 1, 2, …, 8, 9) on each face of the two dice so that this can be done. Good luck!

Until next time,

Tal, Nicole and the SHARP Team

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