The two broad purposes of this academic area are to introduce and develop various thinking skills and enhance children’s social development. For example, thinking skills taught in chess class include categorizing information, pattern recognition, the logical sequencing of ideas, creative interpolations of moves within a sequence, visualizing possible outcomes, defining and solving problems, assessing and responding to danger, discovering short-term tactics, and/or sacrifices to achieve an advantage, and planning and executing long-term strategic goals.
In the domain of social development, chess helps children learn to follow the rules, take turns, accept responsibility for their decisions, respect tradition and show good etiquette in both victory and defeat. The program is responsive and carefully attuned to support a range of learning styles and gender differences.
Chess is a universal activity, calling on skills valued in every culture and civilization in the world. Simply teaching the history of the game shows its multicultural base. In addition, classroom references to great players of the past and present cut across every cultural, national, gender, ethnic and racial line.
The program uses many methods of instruction in teaching chess. Each lesson utilizes verbal, visual, and hands-on activities and each child has the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency or seek further guidance. Assessment is constant throughout as the teacher observes the students and asks and answers questions.
Formal chess instruction (curriculum chess) begins in Kindergarten and continues through 3rd grade. Opportunities for extension and development of a student’s passion for chess abound. The After School chess program offers instruction across all grade levels. Students participate in local, state, national, and international tournaments. We also offer Saturday group chess classes. The chess program at Dalton provides ongoing exposure to chess learning and allows all students to be well-served.