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Chicago High School Runs First Tourney

Friday March 17, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 4.40.14 PMDisney II Magnet High School, in Chicago, IL, held their first go tournament on Feb 7th, to celebrate the Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year of 2017. More than 30 students from 7th to 12th grade registered for the 4-week single-elimination tournament. The final four winners were Calvin Huang, Edgar Venegas, Isaac Smith and Alejandro Hernandez, from 9th and 11th grade.

“We bring different cultural activities into our world language classrooms,” reports Ming Laoshi, Chinese teacher and tournament organizer at the school. “I chose this game from Go and Math Academy in 2015, and then my students fell in love with it. Nowadays, I even use go as the classroom activity when I need a substitute teacher.”

“Go can be used to support goals in the Chinese curriculum,” adds Xinming Simon Guo, of Go and Math Academy, “particularly to enhance understanding of Chinese culture and to reinforce learning language skills (numbers, colors, shapes, positions and locations, timing, etc). Research shows that nonlinguistic representation can have a powerful effect on students’ vocabulary development. Go has numerous vocabularies that can be visually represented on the board and playing go can be aligned with the five major language learning standards — Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.”

“Organizing a tournament in the school setting turned out to be really easy,” reports Laoshi, “it started with a small budget. After setting up, all I needed to do was email students a pairing notice every week and enter the results in a Google spreadsheet.” The school plans to organize another  tournament next year, when every student can have an opportunity to play in every round. -Paul Barchilon EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Xinming Guo:Disney II tournament winners and Chinese language teacher Ming.

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Go and Math Workshop for Elementary School Teachers

Saturday February 25, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 5.51.13 PMThirteen teachers from the National College of Education in Chicago, IL, participated in a 90-minute go workshop on Jan 26. The teachers, and their professor Xue Han,  learned the basic rules of go, experienced a couple of games themselves, and reviewed case studies of students playing go in elementary classrooms.  “After the workshop, one teacher said that she had decided to bring go back to her classroom of more than twenty 3rd graders” reports Xinming Simon Guo, of Go and Math Academy in Chicago. Guo has been providing workshops at schools, conferences and educational institutes in the Chicago area since 2008. The primary audiences for the workshops are teachers, both in-service teachers who have been teaching in the classroom everyday, and pre-service teachers who will start teaching after they graduate from the university. These hands-on workshops are always centered on one topic — go and math. “If you don’t know go, how can you know the relationship between go and math?” ask Guo, “but if you know how to play you will naturally employ  fundamental math skills in the game. It’s just that you won’t necessarily detect that relationship while you’re totally absorbed in the pleasure and pressure of playing.”

According to Guo’s research 55 out of 94 Common Core Math Standards from Grades K to 3 are almost naturally connected to go. “Teachers design many classroom activities. Sometimes they have to design several activities to meet the requirement of only one standard. For one game to cover almost 60% of core standards in the early elementary math curriculum is impressive,” says Guo. “Meanwhile, students learn math without even noticing it. Acquisition of math happens naturally as you play go. That’s the beauty of game-based learning.  Most of these teachers don’t know go, so I introduce it as an educational game, which removes the pressure for competition. Once they start to play, they are able to experience the subtle ways fundamental math skills are at work, and identify many learning opportunities embedded in the game.” For further reading see Northwestern University Exploring Go and Math. (E-J 1/31/17 -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Guo presenting at NCE in Chicago.

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Northwestern University Exploring Go and Math

Tuesday January 31, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 4.56.26 PMNorthwestern University in Illinois offered a new course on go last semester. The course was designed to help students build number sense, understand math concepts, and practice mathematical thinking, and was offered through the Center for Talent Development. The course evolved from a joint research project set up in November, 2015, by Xinming Guo, founder of Go and Math Academy, and David Uttal, a professor of Psychology and Education at Northwestern University. Guo has been advocating go for years, integrating the game as a math manipulative in the classroom. Each year thousands of students in Chicago and its suburbs have opportunities to make their first contact with go. After a demonstration of go and its connections to math education, Professor Uttal suggested Guo develop a course on go and math for the CTD program at Northwestern University. The new course was offered to students for the first time this past fall.

Professor Uttal leads a research laboratory of undergraduate, graduate students, and post-docs investigating spatial cognition and STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) education. With the help of Professor Uttal and his lab, the research now focuses not only on go and elementary math education, but also on go and spatial thinking. The project team is comprised of Professor Uttal, his doctoral student Yanning Yu, and Guo. “Once we have more research results, we are hopeful that a link can be established between go and fundamental cognitive skills of human beings,” says Guo.

“The course and research have generated rich data so far. Doctoral student Yu and another research assistant, who recorded the entire 8-week course, have made many surprising discoveries after just a preliminary analysis,” says Guo. Deeper analysis is continuing and will provide more supporting materials for the 2nd phase of the research. “Go is a gold mine for future researches, no, a diamond mine,” said Professor Uttal.

Guo shared his vision of bringing go to every school in his keynote speech at the US Go Congress in 2015. He continues to develop elementary go and math curricula to help students build solid math foundations, and also runs professional development seminars for teachers. “I hope that our research on the relationship between go and math can also make contributions to the history of go in the whole world,” said Guo. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Xinming Guo: Professor Uttal (l) and Xinming Guo (r) with the Northwestern CTD Catalog, fall 2016, which lists their go course under the math category.

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Chicago Schools Learn Art of Go

Thursday September 22, 2016

12742712_913577522095202_7328750880063231338_n“About 3000 students in the Chicago Public Schools, and another 2,500 students from suburban districts,  learned weiqi (go) during the last school year,” reports Xinming Simon Guo, 2015 AGF Teacher of the Year and founder of Go and Math Academy in Illinois. “Weiqi is not only an educational manipulative in the math classroom, but also a new way to extend the horizon of students in the language classroom,” adds Guo. September 17th was an Artist In Residence workshop day for Chinese language teachers in the Chicago schools.  “We organize this annual workshop at the beginning of every new school year, to bring culture into Chinese language classrooms, and enhance language teaching and learning, ” says Jane Lu, director of the Confucius Institute in Chicago and the coordinator of the CPS Chinese World Language Program. Local artists are invited to present and demonstrate different types of Chinese cultural activities, including Kung Fu, Chinese folk dancing, Chinese painting, paper cutting, and weiqi. Teachers in the workshop can apply to introduce these cultural and art activities to their classrooms if they want to. “Weiqi has been the most popular project among Chinese teachers in Chicago Public Schools since its debut in 2013,” says Guo, “during the last three years, about half of the Chinese teachers have chosen weiqi for their students. After the latest workshop, several new teachers also showed great interest and planned to apply for more classroom instruction.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor Photo by Xinming Simon Guo: students in Arlington Heights learn go.

 

 

 

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Uncovering the link between go and education

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Uncovering the link between go and education Go is a game, a hobby, a profession. It’s a competition, it’s a communication tool and it’s a way of life. But what happens when go enters home and school as an educational tool? Xinming Simon2015.07.28_simon-guo Guo, founder of the Go and Math Academy in Chicago, Illinois, will explore go’s impact in his keynote remarks at this year’s US Go Congress opening ceremonies this Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Imagine an era in which every student has opportunities to learn math through go and fall in love with both of them,” says Guo.

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Chicago Kids Compete in First Tourney

Thursday May 21, 2015

IMG_0015Students from Andrew Jackson Language Academy(AJLA), in Chicago, just finished their first go tournament for kids in the Chinese program, reports organizer Xinming Simon Guo.  “Students first played with opponents in the same grade, and then the winners in each grade competed for the school championship, which was won by Winston from, the 7th grade,” said Guo. A year ago, few students at AJLA had ever heard of go (weiqi in Chinese). “We started to introduce this game to our students in March of 2014. The kids loved this game. I still remember that they were chanting ‘Weiqi Weiqi’ while waiting outside of the classroom after the first lesson”, said Christina Xu, the Chinese language teacher at the school, who also ran the  tournament.

The weiqi class is part of the Chinese Artists-In-Residency Program, co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute in Chicago  and Guo’s own GoAndMath Academy. “We support teachers in integrating weiqi into language teaching classrooms,” says Guo, “participating and learning are more important than winning. Weiqi is also an innovative tool for teaching elementary math. Our research shows that there exists a natural connection between weiqi and the Common Core State Standards of math. During the game, students  experience numerous math concepts without even noticing them.”  The school is considering bringing more weiqi classes to the students, and planning to organize a 2nd weiqi tournament next year. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Semi-final between 4th and 5th graders at AJLA; photo by Christina Xu 

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Go and Math Workshop for Educators

Friday January 9, 2015

Xinming Simon Guo, a licensed Math teacher in Illinois and founder of Go and Math Academy, will organize an educational workshop at the 2015 Conference of MMC (Metropolitan Mathematics Club) of Chicago. The workshop will be  Saturday, January 24,  at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL. Guo has been advocating go and math in the educational world for many years. Math teachers, math educators, school administrators and even go amateurs are welcome to attend. Details are available at http://mmc2015conference.com.

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Weiqi Wows in Chicago Public School Cultural Event

Thursday November 6, 2014

Students, parents and educators from across Chicago gathered on November 1 to celebrate the Chicago Public Schools Seal of Bi-literacy 2014.11.06_Chicago-Biliteracyprogram, designed to help students to learn and understand more than one language, culture and art. Volunteers from the local community, the Go and Math Academy and the Confucius Institute in Chicago participated to promote Chinese language and arts. Visitors, especially young kids, were attracted by go, known as weiqi in China. “Some kids stayed at our booth and played weiqi for more than an hour,” reports Xinming “Simon” Guo. “They even called their friends over to learn the game together. Photographers and news video camera crew also circled around our booth and the weiqi board. The event organizer told us that our booth, with the weiqi game introduction and Chinese characters Tattoos activity, was the most popular one among all exhibitors.” photos courtesy Simon Guo; click here for more photos.

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Volunteers Wanted for Chicago GoFest

Friday August 22, 2014

The Go and Math Academy in Chicago is looking for volunteers to help to promote go/weiqi at a Chinese cultural festival on 2014.08.22_Go-and-math-chicagoSeptember 27. About 1,500 students are expected to attend the daylong festival. “We need volunteers to prepare some activities and interact with visitors,” says local organizer Xinming Simon Guo 2d. “Because we have promoted go in Chicago schools for many years (McCormick Elementary Students Learn Go (And Math))  7/29 EJ), probably some visitors already know the basic rules.” Contact Guo at simonguoxm@gmail.com for details on how to volunteer.
photo: Guo teaching at the LaSalle Language Academy

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McCormick Elementary Students Learn Go (And Math)

Tuesday July 29, 2014

Students at McCormick Elementary, in Chicago, IL, had the opportunity recently to learn to play go from Xinming Simon Guo 2d, a licensed math teacher and founder of the GoAndMath Academy. “Students were playing a simple game during the class, blissfully unaware that they were also working on math skills as they put every stone on the board and counted the result at the end of the game,” Guo told the E-Journal.

At McCormick, the go class is part of the Chinese Artists-In-Residency Program, co-sponsored by Confucius Institute in Chicago (CIC) and GoAndMath Academy. The Chinese language teachers at McCormick — where 99.5% of the students are hispanic and 50% are English Language Learners – Ms. Yeh and Ms. Huang, heard about the go program during the professional workshop organized by CIC last year. “Go is an ideal tool to achieve the goal of our Chinese curriculum–to enhance students’ understanding of Chinese culture, and reinforce their learning of language skills,” says Guo. “During the entire 2013-2014 school year, the go program offered more than 130 learning sections to more than 4500 students in Chicago public schools,”  said Jane Lu, the director of CIC and coordinator of CPS Chinese World Language Program.

“Go is not just a simple game,” says Guo. “Research by GoAndMath Academy reveals that there exists a hidden natural connection between math and go. Students can experience math concepts without even noticing them. More specifically, go helps students develop number sense, and three domains in Common Core standards: Counting and Cardinality; Operations and Algebraic Thinking; and Number and Operations in Base Ten. GoAndMath Academy designed the educational go program, which is appropriate for Pre-K through eighth grade, is aligned with the common core standards, and can be played with peers in school or around the world. This fantastic game combines math, science, art, and competition, as well as ancient oriental philosophy and culture. Go requires the highest level of critical thinking. It cultivates the abilities of observing, reflecting, imagining, reasoning, innovating, and decision-making,” says Guo.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Guo demonstrates the secrets of holding the go stone.

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