American Go E-Journal

Chicago Math Teachers Learn Go

Saturday March 17, 2018

IMG_20180210_105212038“As an educator, I have been advocating using go as a math manipulative in schools, and dreaming about the day that students in every classroom will learn go,” writes 2015 AGF Teacher of the Year Xinming Simon Guo. At the Metropolitan Mathematics Conference of Workshops, an annual event for math educators in the greater Chicago area, professor Xiuwen Wu and Guo organized a workshop for teachers in February. “Teachers in the workshop had never heard about go. We first showed teachers how to play, and then they explored how the game is related to math standards in schools. After several games on mini boards, I shared the most important conclusion from our prior research — about 60% of math content from kindergarten to third grade can be covered in just one game. I also showed some authentic classroom videos on kids learning and playing go for further discussion.”

“My co-speaker professor Wu shared her experience on how to use go in  teacher preparation methods courses, and shared pre-service teachers’ suggestions on how to integrate go in math instruction. Finally, she highlighted the benefits of this game-based learning method, including student ownership of learning, wide coverage of math standards, low cost and easy maintenance. Classroom teachers, especially in early elementary grades, are in the ideal position to implement this teaching method. We need to raise awareness among educators involved in making decisions about effective math learning tools and materials, including teachers, school administrators, district education directors and superintendents. As educators learn about go, they will come to see the ease with which teachers can use the game to teach every learner a multitude of math concepts and skills,” adds Guo. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photo by Xinming Simon Guo