by Matthew Pepper
As work on the third level of the 12-level curriculum nears completion, we present the following refresher on the Instructional Standards the curriculum is built upon, and the vision for the curriculum’s value to instructors.
The Instructional Standards specify the expectations for what students in our chess classes should learn in our chess classes. They provide the answer to the question “What should my students be taught?” The speed at which the Standards are covered depends on student age and skill level, but they were designed so that a typical third grade classroom could complete a Level in a single semester within 10-15, one-hour classes. Ultimately, we expect our instructors to use their judgment on the appropriate pace for each class context.
The curriculum, on the other hand, attempts to provide an answer for the question “How is it taught?” To that end, the Club is producing a sequence of lesson plans that align with the 12 main levels and their corresponding sub-levels. The lesson plans are intended to be a resource at the instructor’s disposal. In our focus groups, experienced chess teachers told us they are finding diverse content and/or approaches that are useful to them. New instructors have thanked us for providing a turn-key document that empowers them to teach a class from start to finish.
Emboldened by the positive reception the lesson plans have received from our instructors, we are working to complete the third level by the end of this spring semester. These curricular resources will be available to our instructors to use at the start of the 2018-19 school year.