American Go E-Journal » Youth

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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4th Trans-Atlantic Youth Match This Sunday

Wednesday May 30, 2012

The strongest north American kids will face off against their counterparts in Europe, this Sunday, June 3, on KGS.  Canada and the US will play as a team, top players Calvin Sun, 7d, from the US and Bill Lin, 7d,  from Canada will lead the fight taking on Pavel Lisy 5d and Lukas Podpera 5d.  Each side will field ten players.  Europe won last year, but North America won the two years prior.  Spectators are welcome and can watch the action in the TransAtlantic Youth Go Tournament room.  Due to the wide time ranges, the matches will take place at two different times.  Group 1 will be at 11 am EDT, and group 2 at 2 pm EDT.  The schedule and the players are all listed on the webpage for the event. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

Portland Prevails in 4-City School Tourney

Wednesday May 30, 2012

Youngsters in Portland, OR, defeated their rivals in Mexico City in a four-city school tourney held on KGS May 20th.  Ann Arbor and Detroit MI also competed, with Academy of the Americas, in Detroit, notching up a win in the first round, but losing in the second.  Students from Portland were eager for paybacks, as Mexico’s Pipiolo Academy had defeated all comers in their first inter-city match this past February (see Mexico Schools Portland).  All four schools have been competing with each other on KGS, and meeting each other on Skype as part of an international collaboration co-sponsored by the AGF.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Mexico Team, top, by Siddhartha Avila, Portland Teams, bottom, by Peter Freedman.

Atlanta School Using Go to Develop Critical Thinking

Monday May 28, 2012

An Atlanta school is hoping that go will help its low-income students develop their critical thinking skills. At the Dekalb PATH Academy, in Atlanta GA, “our students are 76% Hispanic, 20% African-American and 87% are classified as low-income by federal government standards,” reports Assistant Principal Graham Balch, who launched the project. Balch says that at Dekalb “we have helped our children overcome the disadvantage of poverty,” noting that the school outperforms every other non-selective middle school in the local school system. “However, while we have done a good job of teaching them content, in my opinion, they still are behind on developing their analytical critical thinking.” Balch is hoping to change that by working with a group of teachers to teach the game of go. “Our students learned and played go for 70 minutes a day in class for three weeks,” he reports. “Our kids have loved playing go. They come in the morning and get out boards right away, we teach them how to play and technique in class, and they play, and play, in tutorial after school. It has been incredible hearing them tell us at first that ‘It’s easy’ and then a couple days later that ‘Man, this game is really getting hard.’” Balch, who says that “We look forward to seeing the impact go has on students’ critical thinking and global perspective,” adds that “I am so grateful for the American Go Foundation and None Redmond for making this possible,” and is hopeful that go may spread in Georgia schools next year. The project wrapped up the school year with a single-elimination tournament that drew 80 students. “Malcolm Ramey 30k, the boy in the middle of the picture, with a light blue shirt on, won the tournament,” said a proud Balch.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Graham Balch.

Chiang Wins Happy Cup Youth Tourney

Monday May 21, 2012

Sixth-grader Anthony Chiang 2d topped the Fifth Sunflower Happy Cup Youth Go Tournament, with four wins, on May 20 in Cupertino, California. “A record number of over fifty elementary and middle school kids gathered together on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and played four to five rounds of 19×19 games,” reports Yanping Zhao, who co-organized the event with Wenguang Wang.  Players earned prize tickets after each round, and then used them to exchange various fancy prizes. “It was our way  to ensure a really fun experience for every kid,” reports Zhao.  Each participant was also rewarded with a trophy and at the event’s conclusion, all the kids and their parents enjoyed a refreshing ice cream party.  - Report by Wenguang Wang; photo by Andrew Tung: Anthony Chiang is in the blue shirt.

“This is a Pilgrimage”: Kids Write About Go Camp

Monday May 21, 2012

With the deadline for early registration coming up on May 28, kids across the country are signing up for the AGA summer go camp.  ”To me this is not a vacation: this is more like a pilgrimage that I need to take, not just for fun or to improve my skills, but as a young go player who wishes to be a part of the go community as much as possible,” writes Marcus Gould. The AGF is committed to helping youth who want to go but can’t afford it, and is holding a fund raising drive to support the camp.  Youth must write an essay if they want a scholarship, and their passion is evident from their submissions. ”I want to go to the AGA Go Camp in order to advance my own game, and to meet other people who love go as much as I do.  Lately, I haven’t had too many chances to play go in real life, as opposed to online.  I see this as an awesome opportunity to play other players my level in real life,” writes David Gillule.  ”My plane ticket is all the way from Salt Lake City, and is more expensive than the camp itself; it’s my summer job that’ll be paying this off,” writes Benson Merrill. The camp will take place the week before the Go Congress from July 28 to August 4 and will be held at the same location, the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  AGF needs based scholarships are  available for players who can’t afford the full cost, and youth who played in the USYGC are eligible for a $400 scholarship to camp.  More details on AGF scholarships can be found here.  Sign up before May 28 and save $50 off the price of camp.  Details are on the camp website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Kids take a break from studying to bury one of their counselors in pillows, photo by Amanda Miller (who is at the bottom of the pillow pile) from the 2010 Go Camp.

Zavala Wins Mexican Youth Go Championship

Monday May 7, 2012

Lilian Zavala 9k, age 12, defeated Ogam Shakti Rojas 15k, age 11, at the finals for the Mexican Youth Go Championship (MYGC), in Cuautla Morelos, near Mexico City on March 18th.  ”A full weekend trip was planned to this beautiful place,” reports organizer Siddhartha Avila, “where kids, parents, teachers and friends could enjoy the natural surroundings and have fun with different activities outdoors. There was intense go activity on Saturday morning, with matches and teaching games, later some of the kids played the first two rounds of the AGHS School Team Tournament online, while on Sunday the MYGC final game was won by Zavala.” More photos are available here
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Siddhartha Avila: Lilian Zavala 9k (l) vs. Ogam Shakti Rojas 15k (r).

Bay Area High School Tourney May 28

Monday April 30, 2012

Bay Area k-12 schools are invited to compete in a half-day team contest in Cupertino, CA. Spectators are welcome, say organizers Kevin Huang and David Su,  and competition should be strong among the local stars.  Complete info is on the web here.  The tourney will be held Monday May 28, (Memorial Day) from 12pm-6pm, at the ThinkTank Learning Center. Schools that register by Tuesday, May 1st get a reduced rate of $15, the fee is $18 after the 1st.  Teams should contain three people. If a school has a shortage of players, players from different schools may register together as a team. The top 3 teams in each division will receive a prize, and participants will receive a team consolation prize.  Click here to register. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: promo poster by Innod.net, double-click on the image for a full size blow-up.

Jiang to Teach Go Camp

Monday April 23, 2012

Mingjiu Jiang 7P will be returning to teach at this year’s AGA Go Camp, reports camp director Amanda Miller. Jiang is an experienced professional player who has represented the United States in a number of international go tournaments. He has extensive teaching experience, and counts many of the strongest youth in the country among his students.  Camp pricing and details can be found on the 2012 Camp Website here. For the convenience of the campers and their families, payments for the camp can be made online, although some forms must still be mailed directly to the organizers. The camp will take place the week before the Go Congress from July 28 to August 4 and will be held at the same location, the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  AGF needs based scholarships are again available for players who can’t afford the full cost, and youth who played in the USYGC are eligible for a $400 scholarship to camp.  More details on AGF scholarships can be found here.  Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Jiang, at right, plays a simul in the Youth Room at the 2011 Go Congress.

Hikaru Author to Attend Congress

Monday April 16, 2012

Hotta Yumi, author of the best selling manga series Hikaru no Go is confirmed for the US Go Congress.  Hotta will meet fans, sign autographs, and answer questions at the Go Symposium on Sunday, and will be a celebrity judge for the official Hikaru no Go Trivia contest in the Youth Room on Monday.  When Hotta was learning to play go, she got frustrated at never being able to beat the professionals who taught her. “So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had a strong supernatural ally, maybe then I could beat a pro someday,” she told the E-Journal in an earlier interview. The result was the best-selling manga and anime series Hikaru no Go, which is credited with renewing or sparking interest in go worldwide in recent years. “I had no idea how popular it was outside Japan until I went to the European Go Congress two years ago and met so many people who told me they learned about go through Hikaru No Go,” Hotta said, laughing. -Paul Barchilon with Chris Garlock, photo by John Pinkerton.