March 20, 2013 was the last day for St. Vincent’s School chess club for the 2012-2013 academic year. Two students at a time visited me, for about 8 minutes per pair, for me to review their notated games with them. Each pair visiting brought a game that they had played against each other. The student who had played White sat on the White side of the board.
The student who had played Black sat on the Black side of the board. I sat on the sidelines. The students made moves for their own sides, following the notation on their score sheets. Sometimes, score sheet errors were noticed and they corrected those. During their replay of the moves of the game, I stopped them when I noticed a position that needed deep thought. I said to the person who would be showing his or her move next, “You have not yet showed me what you played, but what might be a good move for you here?” Another time I would pause the replaying of the game is after a student replayed a move that was clearly a mistake (such as queen takes pawn, where another pawn could recapture the queen for no compensation). In that case, I asked, “If you had this position to play over again, what would you do instead?” As they replayed moves, I also gave compliments (for developing, for castling, for noticing a tactic, etc.). The day ended with a meeting with parents. I told parents about summer chess possibilities like the UT Dallas chess camps, where I will be teaching in July. My books Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy with Chess Activities; Science, Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving; and People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess were on display.
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