Friday, January 21, 2011

Chess Anyone?

Sulmi and Kristel are learning how to play chess. They are in our school's Chess Club. They were pretty frustrated because we don't have anyone to interpret for them during the club. (I have to teach a sign language club that meets at the same time, so I can't help them.) Last Friday they said they didn't understand and wanted to quit. I talked with Molly, the club leader, and tried to figure out how to make this work. I thought, gee, if they could just learn how to play the game with each other, they would not really need to have someone interpret. They could spend the club period playing together. That would relieve some stress on Molly. She has 29 children all trying to learn at the same time.

So we brought a mat and bag of game pieces home, learned the signs for the pieces and how they move...and then we played a game. It was fun. I was impressed how both Sulmi and Kristel were able to plan and think ahead sometimes, but it was hard to get them to understand the objective. No matter what I said they were focused on trying to get as many of their opponent's pieces as they could. Finally when I captured Sulmi's King and said, "Game over", they had an "aha!" moment. Immediately they wanted to play again and told me to go away and let them give it a go. This is a picture from their unsupervised game.

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