July and August Newsletter – 2014

Dear Fellow Smart-Solvers

Welcome back for term 3! I hope the long holiday was restful and that the only math you did was counting sheep to help you fall asleep JAnd to the IEB teachers, hang in there, not long to go before you get to have a break too.

To all our Muslim readers: best wishes and happiness for Eid Mubarak. We hope you have a wonderful time of celebration with your family.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us here at Seartec; we have re-launched with a new look and feel. The staff at Seartec were treated to an amazing week of surprises to show us and those around us what the new Seartec looks like. To see all the wonderful surprises that happened over the first week of July, click here.

From the 7th to the 11th of July, Seartec, proud distributor of SHARP, attended the national AMESA conference in a very chilly Kimberley. This was the largest conference that Seartec has had the privilege of attending.  To read all about the AMESA conference and to see the presentations done by Seartec at the conference click here.

From the 4th to the 8th of August, Sci-Bono is hosting a Maths and Science week for all high school students. If you are in Gauteng and would like to take part in the maths and science week please check out their website for event information: www.sci-bono.co.za

The following week from the 11th to the 15th of August, Seartec will be at the Sasol Techno X expo in Sasolburg. Visit their website to find out more about this science and maths career exhibition, or contact Rianelle Van Niekerk on 016 976 1999 for more details.

The 16th of August is the Atteridgeville local AMESA conference between 8:30and 14:00 at Bokgoni Technical High School. Please contact Caroline Long (0823782392) or Trevor Dube (0827964245) for more information about this regional AMESA congress.

The following Saturday, the 23rd of August, there are three different events happening. If you are in Welkom the Eskom Expo is being held at Welkom High School between 8:00 and 13:00. Please contact Anina Nel 083 257 0639. In the North West Province at the Northwest School for the Deaf the local AMESA conference will be taking place from 8:00. Please contact Ms G.E. Hebe on 018 596 9200 or email ghebe@nwpg.gov.za for more information.

Finally, on the 28th and 29th of August is the 2nd Annual Technology in Education Conference happening at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways. The conference’s objective is to explore the role of technology in improving results in education, particularly in mathematics and science. For more information take a look at the attachment.

Some fun maths ideas for the classroom:

  • Explaining the concept of algebraic expressions – what are variables, and what are constants? On your SHARP EL-W535HT scientific calculator go to table mode (press mode and choose 3: Table). On the screen that says Function? Choose any number (e.g. 5) and type it in. Press the equal button 3 times (leave start and step) at 0 and 1 respectively. Look at the table that has been generated. What happens in the ANS column? If you use your up and down arrow keys to scroll up and down the table you will see that the 5 remains 5 no matter where you go in the table and no matter what the value for x is. This is because 5 is a constant. It never changes.
  • Now press ON/C twice and type in X by pressing the RCL button twice. Press the equal button three times again. This time as you scroll up and down the table you will notice that the ANS column changes as the X changes. This is because X is a variable. It changes when the input changes. It doesn’t have a constant value – it varies. That is why it is called a variable.

Maths can also be yummy: Check out this post all about perfecting a pancake by entering different variables such as the number of pancakes needed, the thickness desired and the pan size. I hope it is a fun maths lesson for all involved.

Another great place for students to practice their maths is http://www.thatquiz.org/tq/teacher.html. This website asks questions on all topics in the syllabus. The student can also choose the level of the questions, how many questions they want to answer and whether or not they want feedback about questions that are wrong.

I was recently reading an article by a teacher who was looking for ideas for prizes and rewards for her classroom. One of her thoughts was that if a student was correct and she was wrong, she would call that student “your majesty” for the rest of the lesson. What kinds of forfeits and prizes do you use in your classroom to challenge and encourage your students? ? Send me an e-mail and let me know and maybe you could be featured in our next newsletter.

Last month’s riddle’s solution can be found here. And here is July and August’s riddle:

The police rounded up Jim, Bud and Sam yesterday, because one of them was suspected of having robbed the local bank. The three suspects made the following statements under intensive questioning:

  • Jim: I’m innocent.
  • Bud: I’m innocent.
  • Sam: Bud is guilty.

If only one of these statements turns out to be true, who robbed the bank?

On, a closing note, several new worksheets have been added to the Maths at Sharp website: an Algebraic Expressions worksheet for grade 9 term 3;  measurement notes for grade 10 maths learners, a maps, plans and representations for grade 10 maths literacy and a grade 12 maths worksheet on the fundamental counting principle.

We hope you have a superb week and wonderful Women’s day,

Tal and the Seartec Team

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