So Frankly...

So Frankly...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recalibrating

The past couple of chess years have been a little rough.  In reality, I am not a natural grade school teacher.  As a result, we adopted a chess curriculum for the club a few years ago.  This is the year we try again with another.

I am not going to mention the name of the curriculum the school previously purchased.  I don’t want to give the impression that it’s bad, because it isn’t.  It really is several different courses.  One focuses on openings, one on end games and the like.  However, to take kids who have never played at all before and bring them along requires a little bit of everything.  There is a plan for that in the material, but it requires physically reordering the lessons.  It’s a little like taking my wife to a restaurant.  Rather than missing out on something good, we cut up a little from everyone’s plate to spread around.  It makes for a fantastic experience, but there is some work involved.

So, while I am more than happy to take a few minutes to divide up a meal, I just don’t have the time to do the same sort of thing with the chess curriculum.  I have looked at several, but I ended up finding one right under my nose.

At the end of last year, I tried to get the kids to use the children’s online chess site chesskid.com.  We had started late, and I wanted to keep them going over the summer.  As I thought, not a single game was actually completed, and only a couple of them actually even tried the site.  However, while exploring the site I found their scholastic lesson plans.  The goods folks there have broken things up into 20 lessons in five sections, plus an introduction which is largely aimed at parents and teacher-coaches.  Things are organized largely the way I would order them, though the middle few sections (endgame, openings, and tactics) could probably be done in any order desired.

Actually, the larger worry is probably how my schedule will work.  Once I land my next job, it may force a change in our chess club time.  We’ll have to deal with that if it comes to pass.

We will be starting to play chess in just a few weeks.  I’m told the 4th graders are chomping at the bit.

It’s Your Move!


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