Thursday May 21, 2015
Students 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
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.
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 program, 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.
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 September 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 email@example.com for details on how to volunteer.
photo: Guo teaching at the LaSalle Language Academy
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.
Sunday June 28, 2015
Xinming Simon Guo 1d, of Chicago, Illinois, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the 2015 U.S. Go Congress in St. Paul, Minnesota. Guo has been active in youth go promotion for years, first partnering with the Confucius Institute in Chicago in the fall of 2012 to offer go instruction to Chinese language classrooms. “This program has been very successful,” Guo told the Journal. “Some schools requested more instructional hours, and some schools added go to their after-school program. More teachers joined this program in 2014 and 2015. One school started a tournament after my introduction courses. Meanwhile, I have started to train teachers to meet the increasing demand for go in Chicago’s schools.”
In 2012, Guo founded the GoAndMath Academy, whose mission is “to use go to help develop students’ math ability, especially number sense.” In 2013 and 2014, Guo organized several workshops, one was to aid Chinese teachers in the Chicago area in bringing go to the classroom as a part of Chinese culture. The other two workshops were directed towards math teachers at ICTM (Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics) in October of 2013 and MMC (Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago) in February of 2014. “During these workshops, I gave a presentation on the link between go and Common Core State Standards,” Guo told the E-Journal. “I taught teachers how to play go and how the game can be integrated into math classrooms. Specifically, the teachers learned ways to incorporate go to help students develop number sense and incorporate three domains in Common Core standards — Counting and Cardinality, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten.” Guo’s approach to integrating go into American school curricula affected about 3,500 students and 50 teachers in 2013, and subsequently 6,500 students in 2014.
“As a licensed math teacher and a go instructor, I will continue to research how go helps develop students’ number sense and other math abilities. Currently, I am designing a go and math curriculum that can be easily used in school settings, especially in math classrooms.” Guo is currently affiliated with over forty schools in the Chicago area, three universities, and three museums and libraries. Guo will give a talk at the US Go Congress on Monday, Aug. 3. “My plan is to let go players know that go can help math and it is correlated with the new Common Core Math Standards. This is a powerful research result to extend go to school programs, and this is what I have done for years. Usually I present this go and math correlation to math teachers and educators in conference. I will adjust it for go players. I am a go player for math teachers and math teacher for go players,” adds Guo. -EJ special report, by Amy Su. Photo: Guo (standing) teaching kids, from GoandMath Academy’s Facebook page.
Monday April 6, 2015
The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2015 to the American mathematicians John F. Nash Jr. (left) and Louis Nirenberg “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.” Outside mathematics, Nash is best known for a paper he wrote about game theory, the mathematics of decision-making, which ultimately won him the 1994 Nobel Prize for economics, and which features prominently in the 2001 film about him, A Beautiful Mind. That film included a scene of Nash — played by Russell Crowe (left, in photo at right) — playing go at Princeton that sparked interest in the game after the film’s release.
- Scientific Computing