Top 10 MATCH Chess Curriculum Blog Posts of 2016

MATCH Chess Curriculum Top 2016 Posts

  1. Domination: Our top post in 2016 shares a skill building game that teaches students to see the board at a glance. This post includes video instruction by GM Maurice Ashley and ideas for making the game more challenging (hint: play the “mean way” and use a clock). If you like Domination, you might also like Quibs, a skill building game using queens and bishops.
  2. Managing Varied Skill Levels in the Chess Classroom: Our second most popular post highlights creative ideas for making a class engaging when you have students with varied skill levels in the same class. If this is an issue for some of your classes, you might also find our post on using learning stations helpful.
  3. Continue reading “Top 10 MATCH Chess Curriculum Blog Posts of 2016”

Academic Connections: Boost Learning and Develop Context for Chess Games through Chess-based Unit Studies

How to create chess unit studies to help make academic connections

In a previous post, we discussed how integrating other subjects into chess lessons can be beneficial. The idea is that the more you integrate other subjects into your chess classes, the more likely what they learn will be applicable to academic performance and increase motivation to succeed in subjects outside of chess. This is particularly the case if students have some choice in what they learn (learn more here and here).

In this post, we share an integrated lesson from the MATCH Chess Curriculum on chess history. We have researched and planned a history unit that includes many famous players for our curriculum, but the concept is simple and can be replicated. Continue reading “Academic Connections: Boost Learning and Develop Context for Chess Games through Chess-based Unit Studies”

MATCH Chess Curriculum Highlights and FAQ

MATCH Chess Curriculum Highlights

What is the MATCH curriculum?

The MATCH curriculum is a comprehensive chess program based on the training methods Grandmaster Maurice Ashley has been using effectively for over 25 years with the students in his classes, camps and private coaching. If you’ve seen Maurice teach, then you know that he keeps his classes moving and entertaining as he instructs with dynamic interaction and fun activities. We’ve taken all of that and crammed it into a curriculum that includes not just the content, but the activities and games that make his teaching so engaging. It is all provided in a digital presentation format so you can easily focus on teaching your students. No more hustling to pull together puzzles or other activities. The lessons are planned out and waiting for you to bring it to life. If you would like, you can also purchase the hard copy student manuals or simply print out the specific resources you want to incorporate. Continue reading “MATCH Chess Curriculum Highlights and FAQ”

De-Escalating Confrontation at Chess Club

How to De-escalate Conflict in Chess Class

By Guest Blogger Coach Jay Stallings

It’s going to happen. A child will be embarrassed about losing to a younger player. A student will accuse another of cheating and you of allowing it. You will offend a student without even realizing it.
What you do next is critical!

First…What NOT to do:

  1. Lose control.
  2. Give the teacher glare
  3. Talk, talk, talk.

If you lose control of yourself, you will lose control of your class, and you will lose the respect of many of your students.

Giving the teacher glare challenges the student and the class and demonstrates that you don’t have the ability to do anything more than that. Continue reading “De-Escalating Confrontation at Chess Club”

Differences in Teaching Chess for Academic Success

Chess instruction for schools

In recent years, interest in chess as a tool for improving the lives of youth has grown. At last year’s London Chess Conference, presenters discussed chess as a therapeutic tool, the value of chess for improving academics, training teachers to teach chess, and more. Increasing numbers of schools are adopting chess as a way to develop cognitive and academic skills based both on the compelling intuitive case and years of accumulated research. Yet, overall research has been mixed (learn more here and here). Factors such as duration, frequency, particular aspects of instruction, instructor chess and teaching skills, coach-student relationship, teacher stereotypes and expectations, parent involvement, student confidence and environment (e.g., classroom space, how well resourced the school is, temperature, time of day) make consistent and comparable experimentation challenging. In addition, the studies conducted rarely implement the same thesis or seek the same outcome (e.g., chess as an intervention for substance abuse versus to improve math skills). Continue reading “Differences in Teaching Chess for Academic Success”

Chess Teacher Shares Her Experience Using the MATCH Curriculum

Krystal Thomas was an undergraduate student with minimal experience with chess when she started teaching chess. She taught for several years as a part of a collaborative research project (learn more about that here and here) that used our curriculum. Continue reading “Chess Teacher Shares Her Experience Using the MATCH Curriculum”

Classroom Tips for Chess Teachers ~ Managing Varied Skill Levels

Classroom Tips for Chess Coaches Managing Diverse Skills

Teaching a class with children with different skill levels can seem quite daunting. Chess coaches facing this challenge have devised interesting tricks over the years to stimulate inexperienced students while keeping the advanced ones focused. Here are some ideas and activities that you can use to keep your classroom buzzing.

  • Focus on activities that allow those of different levels to learn different things (e.g., the Pawn Game and Domination – In the pawn game, beginning students focus on how the pieces move and capture and advanced students learn about pawn structure. In Domination, both groups improve their board visualization skills).

Continue reading “Classroom Tips for Chess Teachers ~ Managing Varied Skill Levels”

Chess Business Tips ~ Branding for Chess Coaches

Business and Marketing for chess coaches

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.  

Marketing and Branding for Chess CoachesAlternatively, 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”

Chess and Math Series ~ Using Chess to Practice Basic Counting and Graph Theory

MATCH Chess Curriculum Chess Math Series

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”

Liven Up Your Chess Class with Learning Stations

Use Learning Stations to Manage Staff and/or Differing Ability Levels in Chess Classes

A common challenge for chess teachers is finding ways to manage students with different levels of skill or learning speeds in one classroom.  Another challenge is how to make the most of help offered by volunteers and others who may not know how to play chess and may change frequently.  Luckily, both of these problems can both be addressed with the same solution: learning stations.

Stations are often used in preschool and early elementary school, but can be used effectively at any age. Each ‘station’ or ‘learning center’ is designed to facilitate a particular activity. Many times, the activities at each station are completed independently (e.g., completing a chess puzzle) while the teacher works with a small group of students (e.g., covering lesson material).  Sometimes students are allowed to pick and choose among activities; other times, they must complete all offered fare.

Continue reading “Liven Up Your Chess Class with Learning Stations”