The mathematics curriculum at South African schools provides valuable skills in dealing with numbers and studying geometrical objects using graphs, trigonometry, coordinate geometry and so on. However, for various reasons, teaching and assessment are inclined to treat many fundamental ideas superficially, so much so that non-routine problems are largely downplayed. The major function of mathematics is to make deductions and conclusions from pieces of information that are provided. How best to use the information in order to make conclusions, especially, a desired conclusion, requires a plan, a strategy and an approach. This is what problem solving is all about.
The South African Mathematics Foundation has several publications available to not only assist learners and teachers to prepare for the different rounds of the Olympiad, but also to incorporate problem solving in the classroom and to improve learners' higher order thinking skills - solving non-routine problems.
The questions and model answers of all three junior rounds from 2001 to 2012 have been categorised and complied together to form this book. Learners and teachers can easily navigate from a question to the model answer.
The manual is especially be useful for those who want to prepare for Round 1 and 2 of the South African Mathematics Olympiad. The book is divided in to three sections: Problems, Lessons and Solutions. An attempt is made in the lessons to cover the theory that is required for the solutions of most of the problems. The solutions are represented in such a way that most of the learners would understand them. The publication is available as an eBook (on CD).
The books represent an attempt to categorise the problems that have appeared in the Mathematics Olympiad into curriculum topics. Additionally the style of the book makes it accessible both to teachers and learners. The idea is that when teachers teach certain concepts they have an immediate source of problems in that area. It is envisaged that this tool will help stimulate greater interest in problem solving.
Working through old question papers is one of the best ways to prepare for the Olympiad. Our annual report booklets consist of each year's question papers with a complete set of solutions.