Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Level 2 training in Cayo

It was a great event, we had h6 participants, kids and teachers and even a principal of a school came to level 2 training. Very productive and fun at the same time. Training was conducted for teachers, future coaches as well as for the children, who will be assisting in the process of starting new clubs in their schools.
Guest coach from Toledo, Jose Teul, and one of his coaches,joined us. Thank you for coming all the way from Toledo! Chess family is growing,,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First time in Belize: tournament directors training

Jan 23-24-25th, Sibun and Caves Branch Jungle Lodge hosted Tournament Directors Training for chess coaches. Representatives of all the districts were present. Coaches who were invited for the training showed in the past exceptional enthusiasm and passion for teaching chess to the kids, as well as advanced understanding of the game. Training was conducted by the Special Guest Instructor: Francisco (Franc) Guadalupe, a native of Puerto Rico now living in the United States in the state of Texas, is a US Chess Federation (USCF) National Tournament Director and World Chess Federation (FIDE) Arbiter. During the past three years, Franc has been the Chief Tournament Director for more National events than any other director in the United States, including the 2006 US Junior Championship, 2006 Final Four US Collegiate Championship, 2006 National K-12 Championships, 2007 US Class Championships, 2007 National K-12 Championships, 2008 National Junior High School Championships, 2008 All Girls Championships, 2008 US Class Championships, 2008 National Youth Action, and the 2008 Pan American Class Championships. He was also the Assistant Arbiter in the 2006 US Championships and the Chief Arbiter for the 2008 World Cup Olympiad Selection for Nigeria, Zone 2. Franc is currently preparing for his next assignment as the Chief Tournament Director of the 2009 SuperNationals. That event, held every four years, will take place in April of this year in Nashville, Tennessee, and will have over 5,000 scholastic participants. Three weeks later, he will also be the Chief Tournament Director for the 2009 All Girls Championships. Franc, who is also a tournament organizer, is a member of the USCF Scholastic Committee and the USCF Tournament Director Certification Committee. His son, Francisco II, is a National Chess Master currently attending college on a full chess scholarship at University of Texas at Dallas. During the course of the 3 days training, Franc Guadalupe helped the coaches to not only learn the rules and best practices on how to run tournaments, but more importantly gave us a chance to apply the newly obtained knowledge. Coaches had a chance to conduct a mini tournament and experience how it feels to be a player, coach and a tournament director.

above:Jose Teul from Toledo district and Virgilio Ruiz from Corozal district practice to be Chief Tournament Directors...
while other coaches had a chance to be tournament participants...
and others learned and practiced how to use Swiss software...

Coaches worked in groups on studying the rules of chess ...
and learning how to apply them to the real life situations ...
during the short breaks in training, we... played chess
Instruction was provided on the best practices of the tournament space set up and each district developed a floor map of their future tournament sites and presented it to the rest of the group...

We learned a lot, we had fun, we bonded and went back to our homes after the training with great memories. Those volunteers are the ones who are shaping the future of this country. In addition to having full time jobs, they find time and energy to dedicate themselves to running the chess clubs after school, organizing chess days and local tournaments on the weekends.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Have fun learning chess!

All the workshops are open for school teachers, community volunteers, parents and any other individuals interested in teaching chess to children:

Level 1 workshop has the following purposes:

- teach the basics of the chess game

- show various teaching techniques

- create simple visual aids that will help students to learn the game and will help teachers to minimize preparation time for the club sessions

- introduce the chess curriculum and lesson plans for chess instruction

- learn hands-on activities that will be useful for the future club sessions

- help participants to understand how chess can be utilized for reinforcing basic concepts of math and language arts

All the pre-registered participants attending both days of the workshop receive the introductory chess kit, which includes the basic manual on teaching chess and a chess set, that will enable them to start practicing the game and introduce it to children in their classrooms.

Level 2 Workshops have the following purposes:

- teach more advanced concepts of chess and teaching techniques

- become familiar and practice teaching Life skills using chess positions

- receive additional booklets with checkmate puzzles and set of lesson plans

- learn some basics of how to run chess tournaments in your clubs

- receive introductory chess sets for starting the chess clubs( letter from the principal is required)

We give introductory chess sets to those teachers who attend both days of Level 2 workshop and have a letter from their principal, indicating the starting date of the club and principal’s signature.

Below please see pictures from different workshops conducted in 2007-2008: it will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Oct 24-25th, 2008 Mexican Embassy is the first one in Belize who embraced the importance of the chess program for children. They hosted BNYCF level 1 training in Belize city for 34 participants, which included principals, teachers, police officers who came to learn the game of chess and how to introduce it to the children. It was a high energy, fun and productive event and the follow up, level 2 of training, is scheduled for Nov 15th. Mexican Embassy not only generously offered their facility for the event, they are actually training their staff to start 2 chess clubs in the nearest future: one in Belize city and one in Belmopan!

Stann Creek Workshops:
We had excellent workshop on April 4-5th. 29 teachers, volunteers and community members attended 2 days workshop. We learned about the basics of the game and it's benefits, we had presentations made by BNYCF as well as by the Stann Creek Chess Association, and in the end of the event even scheduled the follow-up training on May 10th. Stann Creek is so far the ONLY district in the country that developed its' own Chess Association, the driving force behind newly organized clubs, local tournaments, weekly meetings and training of new volunteers. Please visit their page to see the calender of district chess events.
The workshop started from teaching the basics of the game: and as the day was progressing we were rapidly moving into much more complicated concepts, creating visual aids
and developing lesson plans by working in groups
and had some of the participants presenting their very first chess lessons to the rest of the group:

Cayo and Stann Creek chess coaches are leading the groups discussions on the lessons how to teach
Life skills through chess, utilizing specific chess positions:

Stann Creek Association members made presentations advising new coaches on how to organize new clubs in their schools:
AND.. since that date there were
10 new chess clubs organized in Stann Creek by the participants of the workshop. St. Matthew school, for example, not only started the club, but brought their players to the Chess Olympiad on May 3rd. Congratulations!
On May 10th, level 2 workshop was conducted to reinforce the material from the last workshop, go over additional lesson plans and worksheets and becoming even more confident coaches. Stann Creek Associations received extra chess equipment, books and demo boards for the new active clubs.
All the people who came to the second workshop have already organized the chess clubs in their schools or in the process of starting it. If you have time and passion of working with kids, please stop by their schools and offer help, or just thank them for the extra work they are doing:
Aaron Garbutt- Hope Creek Methodist, Abel Pop and Antonette Lorenzo -May Mopan Primary, Charlene Locario - Hope Creek Gov't , Clyde Martinez- Holy Family R.C., Eduardo Pop - St. Jude R.C., Jannine Rudder and Ora Rivas- District education center, Kimberly Thompson- St. Matthew's, Lorena Cruz and Sharlet Baide- St.Augustine R.C., Ofelia Chac - Red Bank Cristian, Pauline Khan - Hope Creek Methodist, Shalini Forman - Idependance Primary, Wayne Casimiro, William Lambey- Independance Primary and Mitchell Phillips from Barronco R.C.( Toledo).

Corozal, Level 1 ( Jan 11th and 12th)
19 teachers and volunteers participated. All participants had a lot of hands-on activities to get a real feel for what the game of chess is about and how to use it as an educational and motivational tool. Each participant was actively involved in learning and trying different activities that they can use in the chess clubs in the future. In the end of the workshop each participant received a chess set and a board, so that they could continue practicing the game and share it with other people, who can help them in the process of organizing their own chess clubs. The final moment of the workshop: Toledo workshops: Level 1 and 2
Toledo district definitely embraced the game! Thanks to the efforts of the Sports Coordinator, Mr. Teul, and Fairweather BDF camp support group, lead by Sgt Sho, we had an outstanding attendance of 27 teachers from different schools, 2 Scotia Bank volunteers, Peace Corps and 6 BDF members at the 2 days chess training workshop. The topics was "Chess as an Educational and Motivational Tool".Teaching the basics of the game, was only one of the topics of the workshop. The team of Toledo Teachers, community members, Peace Corps volunteers and BDF members experienced much more!
We knew that the kids love the game, and felt confident that there will be enough passionate adults in Toledo to keep the spark of chess interest alive. The workshop proved to be even more than we expected: all the participants were new to the game, but they came with the open mind to see fro themselves why this game fascinated the kids sooo much, and to see how they can use it for the benefits of the kids in their schools.
Within 2 days we had to cover the basics of the game and the teaching techniques of the game. We talked about the benefits of chess and how it will make kids smarter, how this game will help them to acquire discipline and focus, and make them better students, socially and academically.
The best thing about the workshop that every single participant was truly engaged and willing to try everything what the game can offer!See for yourself!

Participants learned about the history of the game and fascinating historical facts, familiarized themselves with inspirational chess quotes that chess coaches can use to promote sportsmanship and positive attitude towards learning.
On day 2 some of the school students stopped by. Elra, who accompanied Toledo kids to the summer camp as a camp counselor, challenged Mr. Teul for a game.
Teachers realized for themselves, that when they get engaged into the game, the room become silent, everybody is thinking and focusing on the game. They experienced themselves the power of chess as an educational tool....
It is never to early to learn the game! One of the teachers brought her daughter to the workshop.
Chess Across the Curriculum: use the movement of the Knight to spell out the name of the piece.
Participants had a chance not only to solve the puzzles, but also to discuss how they can be utilized in the classroom setting.
They were also asked to come up with different strategies of solving those puzzles and...
...share with each other ideas.
Some of the brave volunteers were experiencing the "magic power" of chess in developing visualization skills that help with math and almost any other subject! BDF member learning how to play chess blind folded.
It is not enough to explain the value of such activity as Chess Sculpture competition, you really have to try it, so that you could realize how much creativity and imagination, and patience, and team work, and persistence it requires! It is a lot of fun too to build a chess castle!

To win in the chess sculpture competition students are required to build a castle out of 32 chess pieces, and then calculate the total value of it. Since the pieces are all arranged in the sculpture it requires to use logical thinking and problem solving skills to find the way to calculate it correctly, since pieces have different values.

David Martinez, experienced chess player in Belize as well as abroad, shares his skills of not only a chess player, but a chess teacher. He shares the techniques that will teach kids to LEARN HOW TO THINK.
The participants experienced how good it felt to win this mentally challenging game.

They practiced ...
the knew skills with the help of Sgt Sho and Mr. Teul. Both of them learned the game along with the kids during the summer camp and now are ready to offer assistance with instructions to the new players.
Even a chess clock is not just a piece of equipment that chess players use. For us, educators, it is an excellent teaching tool. Learning how to

In the end of the workshop, Sgt Sho from Fairweather camp, made announcement about the upcoming Chess Practice Tournament at BDF camp, and invited the other participants to attend.

Day before the workshop, accompanied by Mr. Teul we went to see the kids who attended our summer camp, since we promised them by the end of the camp, that we will come to see where they live and help to organize clubs in their own villages, and town of PG.
We visited kids houses, talked to their parents and saw the chess excitement in the kids faces and felt parental support of the program. This is the reason we did the workshop: we wanted to share with other adults our knowledge and to help Toledo kids with further practicing of the game in their own schools.

In the end of the workshop all the participants worked in groups to develop workable plans of organizing chess clubs in their schools and communities.

Toledo level 2 workshop: Jan 18-19th . Toledo is still ahead of everybody in the process of starting new chess clubs in the schools! As the result of the level 1 workshop back in October, there are 5 active chess clubs and 7 are in the process of becoming active. This time, 18 participants came to the LEVEL 2 chess Workshop to get more advanced knowledge of the game as well as to get more hands-on experience on teaching chess and learning various activities.
Upon completion of the workshop, all the participants received 4 chess sets and a demonstration board per school. On the way home from the workshop: