Title

Implementing Chess in Your School Program

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

Research evidence from across the country and Canada has shown that the systematic study of chess has far-reaching benefits for students. Chess can provide puzzles and problems that will enhance cognitive outcomes — visualization, thinking ahead, thinking concretely and abstractly, weighing options, focusing and planning. Fun and motivational, chess turns problem solving into a game and encourages students to use patterns and logical deductive reasoning to solve problems. Chess also develops self-esteem, builds team spirit and increases concentration.

Brief Program Description

This interactive workshop uses PowerPoint slides and chessboard demonstrations to introduce chess concepts and strategies as a means to meet children’s creative, social, academic and developmental needs. Participants collaborate to solve and share chess problems that address specific cognitive outcomes and, in guided discussion and brainstorm, discover ways to implement chess programs.

Summary

Studies show chess improves math, reading and problem-solving skills, increases concentration and boosts creativity, and chess is already making a strong contribution to children’s learning in schools across the country. Using a curriculum designed to correlate with state standards in general, including standards that meet some STEM objectives, Steve Schneider, Director of Championship Chess, will discuss positive benefits chess can offer students. He will also introduce successful methods he has developed over the past 30 years to help children learn to play chess. This interactive workshop uses PowerPoint slides and chessboard demonstrations to introduce chess concepts and strategies as a means to meet children’s creative, social, academic and developmental needs. Participants collaborate to solve and share chess problems that address specific cognitive outcomes. In guided discussion and brainstorm, participants discover ways to implement chess programs. Handouts provide puzzles and activities, guidelines for developing chess programs, and scholastic chess resources. Presentation Objectives  Demonstrate teaching tools and strategies that enhance and accelerate learning and improve problem solving, expand math and reading skills, increase self-esteem and develop concentration and focus  Illustrate scholastic studies that have demonstrated significant benefits  Illustrate ways chess addresses cognitive outcomes — visualization, thinking ahead, thinking concretely and abstractly  Illustrate ways chess addresses life skills — weighing options, focusing and planning  Provide tips for implementing an effective scholastic chess program that develops a lifelong learning pursuit for children and opens the door to the world of chess  Participants will gain the information they will need to quickly and easily enable them to implement chess in their program The goal is to convey how and why chess is more than a game. Studies conducted over the last 30 years show that students’ IQs increase and test scores improve after less than a year of systematic chess study. With its benefits for improving students’ cognitive skills, social development and self-esteem, chess is making a strong contribution to children’s growth and learning in schools, clubs, and community programs across the country.

Evidence

Over the last 30 years, studies in the U.S. and around the world have proven the positive impact of chess on IQ, standardized tests, problem-solving abilities, concentration, creativity and self-esteem. • Chess improves math and reading scores. Studies in New Brunswick, Canada (1989-1982) show that chess results in increased scores on standardized tests for both reading and math, proportionate to the amount of chess in the curriculum. • In New York City (1980s), a study showed higher classroom grades in both English and Math for children involved in chess. • In a Texas study (1994-1997), elementary students who participated in a school chess club showed twice the improvement of non-chess players on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. • Chess improves scores on creative and critical thinking tests. Studies in Houston, Texas and Bradford, Pennsylvania showed that chess leads to higher scores on the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. • Chess influences family life positively. In Aberdeen, Scotland (2005), researchers found that the introduction of chess in the school environment infl uenced family life, involving parents and grandparents in bonding activities. • Chess benefits an entire community. Ronald Cope, NJ After 3 Program Director, saw his Paterson, NJ, community come together— supporting the chess program by transporting students to tournaments, acting as ushers, supplying refreshments and extolling the benefits of the program for their children and the community at large. • Chess improves classroom behavior. Quantitative analysis shows a significant difference in classroom behavior, particularly in students who exhibited poor behavior prior to adding chess into the school day. • Chess improves academic skills for students at risk of failure. A recent study (Hong and Bart, 2006) on the cognitive effects of chess instruction on students at risk for academic failure correlates improved chess skills with improved cognitive performance. These higher level thinking skills gained in chess are transferable for academic success across the curriculum (Gobet & Simon, 1996).

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Steve Schneider taught in Atlanta, Georgia, schools for 12 years, where he introduced computers into the curriculum and developed after-school and summer classes in higher math and curriculum for high school computer courses. Author of five books, four videos and two interactive game disks on scholastic chess, Schneider works with and supervises coaches and teachers using chess as an educational tool in class and in clubs. For the past 30 years, he has been the coach of state/regional chess championship teams, including current Primary, Elementary and Middle School State Teams, and has developed several local, regional and national tournaments.

Keyword Descriptors

games, puzzles, achievement, self-esteem, decision making, critical thinking, fun, empowerment

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Implementing Chess in Your School Program

Harborside Center East and West

This interactive workshop uses PowerPoint slides and chessboard demonstrations to introduce chess concepts and strategies as a means to meet children’s creative, social, academic and developmental needs. Participants collaborate to solve and share chess problems that address specific cognitive outcomes and, in guided discussion and brainstorm, discover ways to implement chess programs.