Maths @ Sharp Newsletter October 2019

rounding off poster

Dear Maths @ Sharp Reader,


Welcome to the fourth term! Sunshine and happiness and 53 days to summer holidays! (Here’s a countdown to help you keep track [edit: April 2024 – this countdown timer is very old. But, a kind reader shared this great website which does countdowns, timers, and world times – which made think of all the math literacy teachers out there and howhelpful it is]😊 ). I really love this time of year – spring always signifies a sense of newness and excitement and holidays, the end of the old and the start of something even better.

Today I decided to make a Christmas countdown calendar for the office because sadly there are no more public holidays between now and the December holidays and everyone needs something to look forward to 😉


It was a busy term 3 here at Seartec with Sharp.

I got to visit lots of exciting places including the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History with the grade 4 – 7 national prize winners for the Science and astrology quiz through SAASTA. We also spent the day with the Eskom Expo International Science Fair finalists. Everyone there had lots of fun as they shared their projects with the judges. One project in particular caught my eye. Atlehang Tsotetsi, a grade 10 learner from Harrismith High School in the Free State, did a project entitled “Why is Maths So Difficult?”.  He decided to teach the failing grade 8 maths class using colour, visual methods, word problems, real life situations and included the learners’ home language. His theory was that learners were not being taught the way that they learn (remember the theory of multiple intelligences?) What was really exciting to hear was that the class that did not receive his intervention got an average of 5 out of 10 for their task, while the class that received his teaching got an average of 8 out of 10!

Atlehang and myself at the Eskom Expo (yes, I’m pretty bad at selfies 😉)


We were also invited to do some workshops around Johannesburg with various education districts. I particularly enjoyed being at Rhodesfield Technical High School which has been turned into the first technical aviation school. I parked next to a fighter plane of some kind, and on the stage in the hall was a mini version. So cool! (Shout out to those Rhodesfield Tech maths teachers – thanks for hosting us! 😊 )

plane on a stage at Rhodesfield technical school

This term also saw many Olympiads taking place across the country. I was lucky enough to be involved in some around Gauteng (and sponsored some Sharp EL-W535SAB scientific calculators as prizes to areas as far as the Eastern Cape). I always enjoy seeing the excitement on students faces as they do their best to prove that they are the best! This particular gentleman won a calculator for being one of the luckiest students in the hall 😉

competition winner at one of the olympiads


We also got to hang out at Sci-Bono at the end of September for the Technical Subjects’ Indaba.

It was so interesting to see all of the various technical subjects available to students and to hear how the various subjects include maths as well. I loved seeing the different wood working projects that were on display and the wonderful talent that these projects displayed.


As we head towards the end of the year, there are times when you need to be doing other things. How about getting your students’ to bring decks of cards to school and teaching them these cool card games. I particularly like the integer game version, where one colour (e.g. red) is negative and the other (e.g. black) is a positive. This is a great way to build up practice with integers – a concept that always confuses those grade 7 and 8 learners – while also having fun 😊


We’ve just added some new posters to Maths @ Sharp – you can download them here. Below is our latest poster which shows you how to round off using the Sharp EL-W535SAB scientific calculator.

rounding off poster

I recently had the privilege of meeting Jonathan. Jonathan runs an accounting firm and wants to help students to do their best in maths. He has created an app, called Grow, that students and teachers can use to practice their maths. The app is still quite new and we are looking for your help. We’ve loaded the grade 8, term 4 revision worksheet onto the app. There are also grade 11 trigonometry identity questions. Please ask your students to download the app and try out those questions. You can find the questions by clicking on the  icon on the top right-hand corner on the green bar. We would love to hear their feedback, and yours. You can download the app here. All new registered students will go into a draw to win a calculator!


With the new school year around the corner

and the need to sort out stationery lists and other items, Seartec would like to help you with all your calculator requirements. You can now open an account with Seartec with a credit limit of R25 000 (that’s approximately 150 Sharp EL-W535SAB’s or 350 S25s or 200 EL-W506s). We will give you 30 days to pay from order. This means you can sell the calculators on to your students and collect the money from them first, before you need to pay for them 😊 We have decided to keep running the specials on the EL-W535SAB (R180), the S25 (R70) and the EL-W506 (R230 – buy 1 get 1 free) until the end of January.


Speaking of collecting money, we were recently at the Edutech conference, where we came across the D6 communicator app. This app allows schools to communicate directly with parents. Now you don’t need to worry about students losing their newsletters because everything is sent directly to the parents. They have recently added a wallet to the app. This means that parents can load funds to the app and pay for things like civvies days, excursions and even calculators 😉


Now that you’ve heard all our news, and perhaps found something helpful, it is time to sign off.

Remember there are only 53 days until the end of the term, including weekends! Matrics have started their finals, and the end is in sight!

Stay positive and remember to have fun 😊

Yours in maths education,

Tal and the Sharp team


Ps – for those of you who have been asking, here is my mini me. She is now 10 months old! She has 4 teeth and more attitude than her father (which is a lot 😉 ) *photo removed for privacy purposes*

Pss, don’t worry, just because I added a picture of Mini Me doesn’t mean I forgot your funny maths cartoon. 😉 Send us any funny exam answers you may get this year and we will include them in next year’s January newsletter 😊

funny maths answer


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