January 2018 Maths At Sharp Newsletter

Dear Fellow Smart-Solvers,


Happy 2018! Wishing you a wonderful and exciting year ahead filled with interesting classes, great maths days and maybe a visit or two.

happy maths new year


I have really been enjoying my colouring in over the holidays (I even found a calendar for 2018 that I can colour in – Yay! 😊). Although you may not believe it, colouring in is very good for the brain – even in high school, or as an adult! There are some really great colouring in websites out there, including a Mr Men Maths colouring in book. There are some never-before-heard-of shapes in here (at least in South Africa), but there are plenty that you can use in class as a fun introduction to shapes (or on your wall if you are feeling creative 😉 ).


If you want something more crafty, try out this 3D 2018 calendar. I had a lot of fun testing it out 😉 It does require some fine motor cutting skills, as well as folding and gluing precisely. I would recommend this activity for grade 4s and up. Check out my pictures below:

dodecahedron calendar

a calculator word crossword puzzle



If you want to beef up your students’ basic calculator skills (grades 4 – 6), I have designed a calculator word crossword puzzle. You can download it here. You can also extend the activity by getting your students to come up with their own calculator words and codes. We recommend that you use a 10-digit calculator like our new S25.




Exciting news! We have launched the #FutureFund! What is it? Well, every month, I get requests to help students with donations of calculators. I would love to help every one that asks, but as a company our CSI budget is not that big. That’s why we decided to launch the #FutureFund. We aim to raise up to R2 million so that we can give 10 000 EL-W506 scientific calculators to grade 10, 11 and 12 students, who cannot afford to purchase their own.

We’ve also decided to create a competition: The school that collects the highest donations will receive a set of 40 school calculators of their own choice, as well as an R-77 microwave with grill function for the school staff room. All donations can be paid into the CASME account with your school name as your account reference. You can also pass this email on to your friends and family. Companies that make donations will receive a tax certificate and can nominate a school to be given calculators.

According to SAMF, 128 000 matriculants got less than 30% in 2017’s maths exam results. That is a very scary statistic. And the only way to change that, is to give students the right tools and the right training to use those tools.

Help us make a difference to students today:


#futureFund scan to donate with Zapper

Or through direct EFT:

BANK: Standard Bank of South Africa
BRANCH: Glenwood
BRANCH CODE: 04 25 26
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 051 193 132

REFERENCE: Future Fund, School name

Or lastly through payfast : https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/casme


If we each pass this mail on to two people and they pass it on to two people (apart from a great patterns question), we will reach lots of people in no time at all (if 1 000 people pass this email on to two people each, how many iterations would it take? – how’s that for maths in real life? 😉 ).


If your school is in Gauteng and you would like to see what the new Sharp calculator range has to offer you (primary schools – S25, High Schools -EL-W535SAB, or technical schools – EL-W506), reply to this email and arrange a free calculator workshop. Each maths (and math literacy) teacher that attends the workshop will also receive a free calculator.


Finally, the answer to the riddle in August: can you find 4 consecutive prime numbers that add up to 220? I started by writing down all the prime numbers in consecutive order (I used my prime factorisation button for help with this). 220 divided by 4 is 55, so I guessed that the prime numbers might be somewhere in this region. When I reached 61, I figured I had the consecutive numbers, so I added, 47, 53, 59 and 61 together and viola, they gave me 220.


Your riddle for this month is:
Find a 10-digit number where the first digit is how many zeros in the number, the second digit is how many 1s in the number etc. until the tenth digit which is how many 9s in the number.


So, here is 2018 and to a successful year. Looking forward to a new beginning and an exciting and challenging year ahead.

Happy maths-ing

Tal and the Seartec team.

Ps – if you find anything missing on www.mathsatsharp.co.za that you would like to see, let me know so that we can develop it for you.

Ps again –

oh yay back to school

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