American Go E-Journal

Future Teachers Learn About Go

Monday June 4, 2012

Chicago, IL, math teacher Xinming Simon Guo (at right in green shirt) introduced go to 10 pre-service teachers (teaching students) at  National Louis University on May 22. ”I began my introduction to go by  pointing out the geometric shapes of circles and lines on the go board, allowing teachers to see connections between go and Number Theory,” reports Guo.  ”Next I discussed the fundamental origin of go and the basic rules of the game, and then talked about the deep Chinese culture embedded in the game. These pre-service teachers started their first games on small 9×9 boards after they had learned two basic terms, “Qi” (“liberty”) and “Atari” (stones with only one qi left). After the games finished, we discussed how to integrate the game with Common Core State Standards of Math, which are internationally benchmarked standards and assessments to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.” Pre-service education is for student teachers, who have not yet taught in a classroom.   “Since I teach math, Chinese, and go, I am able to combine all of them in an approach to learning and problem-solving,” says Guo. “In my math classes I introduce go as a tool to cultivate number sense. Students can get an intuitive understanding of numbers, their magnitude, relationships, and how they are affected by operations. In my Chinese language classes, I introduce go with visual literacy, which helps beginners to learn numbers in Chinese. For advanced Chinese language learners, go can be one centerpiece to link the 5C standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. In my go class, math and Chinese language elements are threaded throughout the curriculum. The pre-service workshop was a very special opportunity for me,” said Guo, “because my students were teachers. If one teacher learns about go and is passionate about it, then his or her students will have more chances to touch this marvelous game,” added Guo. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor; photo: Guo teaching kids at Lake Forest Academy.

 


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