Q: What is a Kids & Chess class like?
Well, the classes are roughly one hour long and the material covered will necessarily vary according to what level is being taught. However, the basic structure of a Kids & Chess class is almost always the same. The first few minutes are spent doing a chess warmup exercise, designed to simply get our minds in gear. The warmup often incorporates a review of selected workbook material from the prior week to reinforce important concepts, and we always review all correct workbook answers before moving on.
Next comes the actual lesson portion of our class, which takes about 10-15 minutes on average. This is the time when students learn their new material for the week, examples are presented at the display board, questions are raised and answered, and knowledge is gained.
The rest of our time - always at least 30 minutes - is devoted to playing chess. Students are encouraged to incorporate all that they have learned every time they sit down to play, including time spent playing during this period. It is made clear that these are not idle games that should be played with little effort. Instead, the results are recorded and prizes can sometimes be won.
Instructors are there to answer questions surrounding rules issues and the like, but students should not expect nor will they receive any advice on what strategy to follow or what move to make in a given situation while they are playing. It is very important to understand that chess is a game between two players and receiving outside help under any circumstances is unethical and is usually considered cheating.
All of this is not to say that the environment isn't a lot of fun... It certainly is! When our students play they really understand what they're doing, rather than simply 'moving the men around.' The more they learn the more fun they have and the more they want to know! Needless to say, just about every kid's favorite part of our class is when we play chess.
Class size is limited to 12 students. Students will be grouped according to their level, not their ages, although when more than one class of a given level is offered every effort is made to keep kids within their approximate age groups.
Don't forget to check out the testimonials page to read what people who've sat in Kids & Chess classes have to say!