Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chess for Kids

Today we introduced the chess board and learned about Pawns.  Why teach kids to play chess? 
Chess makes kids smarter. It does so by teaching the following skills:
Focusing - Children are taught the benefits of
observing carefully and concentrating. If they don't
watch what is happening, they can't respond to
it, no matter how smart they are.
Visualising - Children are prompted to imagine a
sequence of actions before it happens. We actually
strengthen the ability to visualise by training them to
shift the pieces in their mind, first one, then several
moves ahead.
Thinking Ahead - Children are taught to think first,
then act. We teach them to ask themselves "If I do
this, what might happen then, and how can I
respond?" Over time, chess helps develop patience
and thoughtfulness.
Weighing Options - Children are taught that they
don't have to do the first thing that pops into their
mind. They learn to identify alternatives and
consider the pros and cons of various actions.
Analysing Concretely - Children learn to evaluate the
results of specific actions and sequences. Does this
sequence help me or hurt me? Decisions are better
when guided by logic, rather than impulse.
Thinking Abstractly - Children are taught to step
back periodically from details and consider the bigger
picture. They also learn to take patterns used in one
context and apply them to different, but related
Planning - Children are taught to develop longer
range goals and take steps toward bringing them
about. They are also taught of the need to reevaluate
their plans as new developments change the situation

We are learning to play on "Quick Chess" boards.

Check this awesome website out:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Who am I?

This week one of our activities focused on "Social Processes" which is one of the gifted domains.  "Social Processes" guides students towards a responsible philosophy of life through experiencing self and others.  We try to provide opportunities throughout the year which facilitate goal development, productive interpersonal techniques, a strong sense of self-worth and an appreciation for the ideas of others.
The "Who am I?" activity pictured here works on the following objectives from our curriculum:
~Identifying strengths and weaknesses
~Identifying personality traits of self and others
~Recognizing diversity of group members

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Have you Filled a Bucket Today?

Today we read a book called "Have you Filled a Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud.  This author has the idea that everyone walks around carrying an "invisible bucket."  You "fill" a bucket when you show love to someone, when you say or do something kind, or even just by smiling at someone.  A bucket "filler" is kind and treats others with respect.  You can also "dip" into a bucket and take out these good things and feelings.  You are a bucket "dipper" when you make fun of someone, say mean things, or even ignore someone.  A bully is a bucket "dipper."  The author says,"All day long, we are either filling up or dipping into each other's buckets by what we say and do." 

This year in our class we are working on becoming bucket "fillers."  So, have you filled a bucket today?