I teach chess, so why should I worry about branding?
Imagine that you are a school administrator. You have specific policies on how the students at your school should be taught, disciplined and treated in general. You find a chess coach who fits with your approach. However, as the coach’s business expands, they end up hiring another coach to teach at your school. That coach doesn’t use the same approach. As a consumer, this feels almost like a bait and switch. You ‘bought’ one thing, but got another.
Imagine that you are a parent. You’ve hired a chess coach to teach chess to your child. Perhaps you are happy with the coach, but they occasionally send substitutes that you don’t like. Perhaps the substitutes don’t have the same teaching philosophy, sometimes repeat material, or skip ahead.
Alternatively, you sign your child up for a second chess class with the
same provider, but the second class seems to jump in at a different point than where the first one ended. You don’t know if your child is getting a well-planned chess education. Maybe you are uncertain whether the material has already been covered. When you talk to your child, it might sound like material is being repeated. Does it need to be? Is the coach is delving deeper into the topic or is it poor planning on the coach’s part? How can you tell?
In each of these scenarios, the likelihood of continued enrollment and referrals is jeopardized. We have heard each of these complaints about service providers many times. As service providers, we often don’t think of ourselves or our company as having a brand, but whether or not we plan and cultivate a brand, we do have one. Continue reading “Chess Business Tips ~ Branding for Chess Coaches”
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In honor of the release of the Kindle version of our Pawn Mower Combo Edition puzzle book, here is a brain teaser for your day ~ a rook puzzle with 20 pawns to capture. If you are not familiar with Pawn Mower, you can find instructions and some easier puzzles on which to cut your teeth here.
Please do not post the answer in the comments section so that everyone who visits can play. Thanks!
We are pleased to provide four free chess posters for chess teachers and coaches who work with beginners. They are free to print as long as you do not alter them. They are 18 x 24 inches. Simply download and save the file. From there, you may upload it to a printing service. Continue reading “Chess Coach Resources ~ Free Printable Chess Posters for Beginners”
When new coaches initially see the make-your-own chess set activity in our chess curriculum, their reactions are quite varied. Of course, many, particularly primary school teachers, immediately see the benefits of this craft activity. Understandably, to some it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. It does require planning, some supplies that may not be on hand, and some mess. Others see it as a distraction from the goal of learning about chess. However, we have been including this activity in our programs for over seven years and it never disappoints, particularly for students in primary grades. Here’s why we think it is worth the time, trouble and mess – all of which can be minimized (more on that in our upcoming how-to article): Continue reading “7 Benefits of Student-Made Chess Sets”
Teach your students how to take short algebraic notation. You can use the image below as a reference. Once your students are familiar with the basics, it’s time to practice.
One great way to reinforce what they have learned is by reviewing famous games. You can start with one of the most famous chess games of all time, The Opera Game (scroll down for the moves), but more are easy to find via a quick internet search. You can even find games that are analyzed/annotated by strong chess players to help you guide discussion as you play through games. Play through the chosen game on a demonstration board or projector while your students notate the game. This allows them to practice notation without having to simultaneously think about their game. It also makes it easy for you, their classmates or volunteers to check their work. As a nice side effect, they will be exposed to the kinds of moves made by strong players.
Continue reading “Easy Ways Use Algebraic Notation to Boost Learning in the Classroom”
Chess notation is like a music score for chess. When a game is recorded using chess notation it is forever saved for review by the player, friends, coaches or future generations. Thanks to notation, we can replay games from as far back as two or three hundred years ago. We can relive the moment, imagining how the great players of the past thought and felt as they played the classics that would stand the test of time. We can experience the highs and lows of a game and vicariously feel the impact of each thrilling victory, crushing defeat or fighting draw. The game score is like instant replay in sports, allowing the student to dissect the game down to its smallest detail. This can be very exciting, but, most importantly, it is also a phenomenal learning tool. Continue reading “How a Simple but Powerful Chess Tool Can Teach Independent Learning, Game Improvement & More”
Teachers often ask how they can use chess in their classrooms to address subject matter objectives in an engaging manner. Likewise, schools and parents report similar goals for involving their kids in a chess program. Specifically, they hope that playing chess will improve academic performance and develop important cognitive skills. The challenge then, is how to do it in a way that is fun for kids and effective.
Activities that integrate subject matter content into chess lessons are a great way to address these goals. The hands-on, competitive nature of the game increases engagement by providing immediate relevance and feedback. At the same time, the subject integration increases the assimilation of academic learning by the kids. Continue reading “Chess and Math Series ~ Using Chess to Practice Basic Counting and Graph Theory”