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Day 2 Summary at the Prairie Chess Camp

posted Jul 18, 2017, 7:01 PM by James Hodina   [ updated Jul 18, 2017, 7:07 PM ]


Dear Prairie Chess Camp Families,


We had another great day.  Everyone is getting into the groove and we stayed on schedule with all of our lessons and afternoon tournament.


In yesterday’s update, I explained that we broke up into groups and that students rotated through instructors.  Each instructor has a specific area that they focus their lessons on throughout the week and with each group, they adjust the difficulty of the lesson to the level of the students.  We actually have this mapped out throughout the week, but in general: James takes on the middle game, Dan the endgame, Erik is the tactics (calculation) instructor, and Alex integrates it all with instructional games.



In the afternoon, we have been holding tournaments with the purpose to apply the learning from the morning lesson into practice over the chess board.  Of course we want all of the games to be competitive learning experiences and try to match up students equitably.  


  • On Monday, we had students play only others within their lesson group using a traditional tournament pairing system called “Swiss Pairings” where a player who wins their first game is paired against another player who won their first game and a player who lost their first game is paired against another player who lost their second game.  This process continues in the third round with players who are 2-0 play each other, those who are 1-1 play each other, and those who are 0-2 play each other.

  • On Tuesday, we built upon the results from Monday and make 16 groups of 4 and in some cases paired students across lesson groups.  This pairing system is called a Round Robin and is very popular with the top chess tournaments in the world.


Results of the tournaments are posted on the chess camp website.  A few results (primary our younger kids) were left undecided and the results are not fully shown (rest assured they did play).  All students are doing a great job with writing their moves down and reviewing them with the instructors afterward.


We did have food and recesses today :-).  Our friend, Jim White, brought his giant chess set, which was a big hit.  The weather continues to warm up but we were able to make the most of the outdoors.  We will continue to monitor the temperature and if it gets too hot, we may find ourselves in the gym later this week.  It was Taco Tuesday for lunch where we had tacos, bean burritos, cheese quesadillas, chips, and drink.  For the morning snack, we had GoGurt and Chex Mix and in the afternoon we served fruit snacks and Cheez-its.  Of course fruit was served again throughout the day including bananas, grapes, and apples (the apple slicer is a big help!)


I took more pictures in the classroom today.  Here is the link to the photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4mcqdbizv52034TJ3.  Enjoy!


As always, please let me know if you have any questions.


Take care,

Jim

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