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An overview of the chapter contexts of the Siyavula Grade 10 Maths textbook.

Chapter contexts

Functions and graphs

Functions form a core part of learners’ mathematical understanding and reasoning processes in algebra. This is also an excellent opportunity for contextual mathematical modelling questions.

Number patterns

Much of mathematics revolves around the identification of patterns.

Finance, growth and decay

The mathematics of finance is very relevant to daily and long-term financial decisions learners will need to take in terms of investing, taking loans, saving and understanding exchange rates and their influence more globally.


Algebra provides the basis for mathematics learners to move from numerical calculations to generalising operations, simplifying expressions, solving equations and using graphs and inequalities in solving contextual problems.

Products and factors

Being able to multiply out and factorise are core skills in the process of simplifying expressions and solving equations in mathematics.

Equations and inequalities

If learners are to later work competently with functions and the graphing and interpretation thereof, their understanding and skills in solving equations and inequalities will need to be developed.

Estimating surds

Estimation is an extremely important component within mathematics. It allows learners to work with a calculator or present possible solutions while still being able to gauge how accurate and realistic their answers may be. This is relevant for other subjects too. For example, a learner working in biology may need to do a calculation to find the size of the average human kidney. An erroneous interpretation or calculation may result in an answer of 900 m. Without estimation skills, the learner may not query the possibility of such an answer and consider that it should rather be 9 cm. Estimating surds facilitates the further development of this skill of estimation.


Exponential notation is a central part of mathematics in numerical calculations as well as algebraic reasoning and simplification. It is also a necessary component for learners to understand and appreciate certain financial concepts such as compound interest and growth and decay.

Irrational numbers&Rounding off

Identifying irrational numbers and knowing their estimated position on a number line or graph is an important part of any mathematical calculations and processes that move beyond the basic number system of whole numbers and integers. Rounding off irrational numbers (such as the value of π) when needed allows mathematics learners to work more efficiently with numbers that would otherwise be difficult to “pin down”, use and comprehend.

Rational numbers

Once learners have grasped the basic number system of whole numbers and integers, it is vital that their understanding of the numbers between integers is also expanded. This incorporates their dealing with fractions, decimals and surds which form a central part of most mathematical calculations in real-life contextual issues.

Differential calculus: average gradient

The central aspect of rate of change to differential calculus is a basis to further understanding of limits, gradients and calculations and formulae necessary for work in engineering fields, e.g. designing roads, bridges etc.


This topic is helpful in developing good logical reasoning in learners and for educating them in terms of real-life issues such as gambling and the possible pitfalls thereof.

Euclidean geometry and measurement

The thinking processes and mathematical skills of proving conjectures and identifying false conjectures is more the relevance here than the actual content studied. The surface area and volume content studied in real-life contexts of designing kitchens, tiling and painting rooms, designing packages, etc. is relevant to the current and future lives of learners.


Trigonometry has several uses within society, including within navigation, music, geographical locations and building design and construction.

Analytical geometry

This section provides a further application point for learners’ algebraic and trigonometric interaction with the Cartesian plane. Artists and design and layout industries often draw on the content and thought processes of this mathematical topic.


Citizens are daily confronted with interpreting data presented from the media. Often this data may be biased or misrepresented within a certain context. In any type of research, data collection and handling is a core feature. This topic also educates learners to become more socially and politically educated with regards to the media.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Mathematics grade 10 teachers' guide - siyavula webbooks. OpenStax CNX. Aug 10, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11341/1.1
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