​    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​         "Chess is a Life Master that offers me tools to succeed, and helps me to improve in every aspect of my life."



​Research says the game of chess offers tremendous advantages for the kids, but here I am going to focus what specific skills my curriculum provides.


      Cognitive skills:


  • Visuospatial Perception (visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to resolve problems) Activities using the chessboard favors the development of this critical skill. (See Chpts. 1 and 6.) 


  • Pattern Recognition (Chapter 7 is dedicated to Patterns, also through the book, students will find patterns around to recognize.)


  • Memorization and recall of number values associated with symbols. 


  • Decision making (During the lessons, it is important to assist the students but always give them the chance to think and choose their solution of the problems, reinforcing the decision making. Plenty activities in this book encourage the work of this skill).


  • Reasoning skills and Problem-solving (analyzing information, evaluating solutions, critical thinking, forming arguments, using logic, deductive and inductive reasoning, etc.) The curriculum is rich in activities and games that develop this set of skills, and this is one of my critical ideas for this whole project. Promote challenging activities that will make students to "STOP & THINK," reaching a MINDSET that will help students to solve critical situations in their life.            


  • Strategically thinking (the game of chess itself is full of strategically thinking, and all the activities offer the opportunity to create this mindset.) 


  • Use of data (evaluation, understanding structure, interpretation, etc.). Through all the activities is required for students to evaluate and interpret the problems, defining first the numbers that the chess pieces represent. 


  • Calculation (thinking ahead). There is a particular game that we play that I invented with the intention to work this critical skill and others as time management; developing goals; prioritizing tasks, etc.) The game is called "Capturing the Knight." Click on the title "Capturing the Knight," to learn more.             

 

  • Academic skills. During the process of developing and teaching this curriculum, I realized that the activities have a relationship with other academic subjects such as Reading & Language Art and Science. 


      
Non-cognitive skills:


  • Self-control (control impulses). The specific environment created by the chess pieces will force students to "STOP & THINK" to work on the activities. 


  • Concentration (attention). The students will engage in the activities, showing a better level of attention.


  • Persistence (Perseverance). As the activities are designed to be challenging, some students will need extra help, this is your opportunity as a teacher to guide them, not to give answers, you will instead help them to make sense of the problems.


  • Resilience. This is actually, a skill that is acquired when you practice chess regularly, but you can still apply to the curriculum, especially in moments when students don't get the correct answer on activities. But, it is essential to clarify that the most critical part is not the results obtained on individual exercises, on the contrary, the mental work and the mindset created are the ones that are going to show the results in the future.


  • Optimism; courage; self-esteem; self-motivation. These are also critical skills that we work. Facing challenging activities and learning to stop and think, will help students persevere, and will incorporate the mentioned skills in their character. 

      

  • Creativity is one of the skills that refers more to the entire curriculum. The activities are designed to create a perfect environment for creativity.


  • Teamwork/collaboration skills. The activities and games are set up to work individually or in groups. Working in groups will help students to understand the concept of teamwork, and learning to set common goals.


  • Communications skills. Apply the 3rd Standard for Mathematical Practice will help students to develop this critical skill. I always encourage students to communicate each other, while working in groups, sharing their thoughts and later presenting their ideas to the entire class.


​​These are the main set of skills that we are going to be working in this curriculum. It is important to mention that teachers or students do not necessarily need to have chess knowledge to understand the activities. Students that already know how to play chess do no have an advantage compared to other students, since this is not a "competitive" curriculum, making the curriculum fair and applicable to all. Although, I had to admit that if the students opt to learn and practice the game of chess, they will develop a lot of skills that a competitive curriculum offers. 


FM Ramón Miguel Lorente Pupo.



 

 Parent Opinion about chess:


Chess helps promote a child’s overall intellectual growth and academic performance.
 
Playing the game of Chess on a regular basis during childhood improves the learning, thinking, analytical power, and decision-making ability of the child.

Chess makes the child learn how to strategize aspects of the game, which transfers to life. In addition, a child can also learn the importance of foresight, and planning.

Playing the game of Chess on a regular basis teaches the importance of being disciplined in life.

Practicing Chess regularly also aids in improving the self-confidence of the child.

In the game of chess, a child learns perform analysis, research, and assessment of the situation, before making any decision. Such exercise provides mental clarity to the child. Mental clarity and mental dexterity is required for solving everyday problems, including analyzing consequences and formulating future tactics.

Children that play chess from an early age exhibit extraordinary memory skills.

Chess also helps to improve concentration and academic performance of the child.

In short, playing the game of chess will give your child the upper-hand in transforming into a responsible, disciplined, independent, problem-solving individual.


​      Michelle James, 

​     4/11/2016.