Maths @ Sharp Newsletter July 2021

July 2021 Maths news letter from Maths @ sharp

 Hello Friend of Maths @ Sharp,

Happy term 3! (already ;)) I hope that you enjoyed your holidays despite all the crazy going on in July. I was so sorry to hear about the 139 schools that were damaged and destroyed in the riots. If our schools are not taken care of, and not treated with the respect they deserve our country is going to suffer for it. Many of the schools across South Africa are some of the only safe havens a child has access to.

our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered tragic loss over this period

But while there is much to dishearten us,

there are also some great shining beacons of hope too. Last week I received an email from Muzi who works at COSAT in the Western Cape. He teaches grade 8, 11 and 12 maths students. When the lockdown started in March last year, Muszi started creating his own worksheets. But with the different grades to focus on it became too much, so he started using the Maths @ Sharp worksheets. His 2020 matrics received 12 distinctions for maths with the highest mark being 94%! This is the highest number of distinctions they have ever gotten! It is such an inspiring story to hear how, despite what was a crazy year, these students and Muzi have managed to shine so brightly! Congratulations to Muzi and his maths team – you are truly an inspiration to us all in July 2021.

This has also inspired me to start my own personal maths blog – The Maths Journey.

This blog will also have worksheets, but will focus more on each basic element of a topic and they will be shorter. There will still be fully worked out memos for each worksheet, and the same style you’ve come to know and love. I will also start a series of grade 8 and 9 how-to topics for term 3, so be sure to sign up for the newsletter so that you can stay up to date with all my new content.

On the 20th of July, I had the privilege of attending the STEMI conference.

One of the workshops was conducted by Professor W. Olivier from the Nelson Mandela University. He did a workshop which showed the versitility of Geogebra applets. Applets are mini “programs” that can be used to demonstrate a single maths concept. These applets are only kilobytes big (in other words they use a very small amount of data) and are based on Geogebra software. They have applets available for grade 11 and 12 maths students, and some for the younger grades as well. I highly recommend doing a Geogebra course with the Govan Mbeki Mathematics development centre – it will benefit you and your students immensely, especially when we are unable to connect with them in person. All the applets can be viewed on a basic smartphone.

The following day I joined Steve Sherman’s session on apps that you can use (that are all free) in the classroom.

It was an incredible whirlwind tour of mostly maths apps that made an hour simply fly by. Steve hosts a weekly Facebook live Session on fridays at 16.00, called Flexing Fridays.  In these sessions he shares helpful apps for teaching and working both online and in the classroom. These sessions are all free and about half an hour long. You will thoroughly enjoy Steve’s style – he will help you engage even the most introverted learner 🙂

Steve has graciously agreed to conduct a webinar on using various apps in the classroom which will take place on the 25th of August at 10 a.m. You can register for the webinar on Maths @ Sharp . I will send a reminder again next week 😉   

Term 3 is here and we will, of course, be starting our term 3 prep webinars soon (registration will open next week Monday). But before we do, please could you help us out by completing this survey and letting me know the best day and time for the webinars and what content and support you would like with it. Please complete the survey here .

The AMESA 2021 national conference took place from the 14th of July to the 16th.

It was so lovely to see (via Microsoft teams) so many familiar faces. And so lovely to chat to the team who put the entire conference together – the entire process was so easy and smooth. Well done to both the National and Local organizing committee on a well run conference. Congratulations to the winners of our competitions over the 3 days.

Remember to sign up for Sharpies and score points for doing all the things you are already doing as an amazing
teacher! (Including points for joining the webinars).  Remember to send me your new stationery lists (I need a picture of 2021’s stationery list, and a picture 2022’s list for you to earn 100 Sharpies points). 🙂

The answer to the last riddle:

To answer this question, you need to start with the fact that a pack of cards has 52 different cards. Then you find multiples of 4 that are close to 52 that also work for the other two multiples and their remainders. The answer to the question is 47 cards.

Here is this month’s riddle:

This question comes from our AMESA Day 2 competition.
Nombulelo can answer 5 mental maths questions in 35 seconds. It takes Muzi 15 seconds to answer 2 questions.If it takes Muzi an hour to answer a set of questions, how much faster will Nombulelo answer the same questions?

I would love to hear more of your positive lock down stories.

If you have changed something for the better please share this with me – I will create a page on Maths@Sharp and share these stories with all the teachers and students who visit. Let’s start sharing something good and chase this negativity away. South Africa is a beautiful country and its time we started sharing this with each other.

Have a great day,
Tal and the Sharp team,

Ps. I’m feeling this cat right now 😉
cold cat on heater

Found this here

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