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Go and Math Academy in Chicago to offer Go Game Based Math Learning online summer program

Friday June 19, 2020

Contact the Go and Math Academy at goandmath@gmail.com with any questions. This online program will be lead by Xinming Guo, AGF Teacher of the Year 2015.

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Go and Math Academy teaches hundreds to play at Art Institute

Tuesday February 11, 2020

On Saturday Feb 8, Xinming Simon Guo – assisted by his wife Joy – Greg Kulevich and Mark Rubenstein taught over 350 new-comers how to play Go at the Chicago Art Institute’s Lunar New Year event. This is the second year that Simon has been invited to teach Go to museum visitors. In addition to Go, the event included Chinese chess, paper cutting, taiko drumming and other activities. 

“Simon has a unique way of teaching Go which enables newcomers of all ages to start playing real Go right away, without any complicated explanations or terminology,” says Rubenstein. “I had known about his method for a long time, but hadn’t tried it myself. I used his method all day, and found that it really simplifies the game for first-timers.”  

“This unique method has been used in many math classrooms in the Chicago area, and it is compatible with different rule sets, which means there is little conflict when players visit a local club and count the score by territory,” says Guo.

Simon Guo is the founder of the Go and Math Academy, and was the AGA’s Teacher of the Year in 2015. He teaches thousands of school students to play Go every year. Visit their local wiki page to find out more information about the Go and Math Academy or check them out on Facebook.

report and photos provided by Mark Rubenstein

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Your Move/Readers Write: Chumley’s ID’s; The real goal of improving

Monday August 3, 2020

Chumley’s ID’s: All these IDs are ‘probably'” writes Terry Benson in response to a request for photo ID’s in our July 28 report on the closing of Chumley’s, the former West Village speakeasy where the American Go Association was founded in 1935. “Playing Dr. Lasker (back left) is Elizabeth Morris (back right), an early AGA organizer and, with her husband Lester, author of an early introduction to go pamphlet. Watching them (back middle) is – I believe – Lasker’s good friend George Chernowitz – 25 at the time – or (possibly) Lester Morris. The other woman (front right) is likely Edith Chernowitz. The navy officer (front right) is perhaps Lieutenant Ingersoll, a math teacher at the Naval Academy, who – along with Lasker – presented Emmanuel Lasker’s go board and stones to the Academy that same year (1942) as the photo.
photo: New York Post, LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images

The real goal of improving: “Maybe my winning percentage will go up’” (The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #16 7/25 EJ). “When we were taking lessons from Janice Kim,” writes Michael Ryan, “one of our number said something about hoping that person’s winning percentage would go up. Janice replied, ‘The purpose of improving your game is not to win more games. It is to be able to play stronger players.’ The implication is that you will have more interesting games that way. Just so.”

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Register now for Go Game Based Math Learning online workshop on June 24th

Friday June 19, 2020

Xinming Guo, AGF Teacher of the Year in 2015, will be teaching an online workshop on Go and math learning on Wednesday June 24th from 3:30 to 5:30 PM central time. The workshop is sponsored by National Louis University and Guo’s Go and Math Academy.

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It’s elementary: students explore history and culture of Go in Chicago field trip

Thursday June 27, 2019

by Xinming (Simon) Guo

Just one month after we discovered Weiqi (Chinese for Go) in the new exhibition at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago (Go featured in Chicago museum exhibit), we welcomed the first school field trip visitors: 30 students and chaperones from Cherokee Elementary School, who visited the museum and participated in our on-site go game workshop.

These elementary students first learned how to play Go for 45 minutes in the workshop area, and then moved to the the gallery areas to see the exhibitions. The students were very surprised and excited to discover that Go was played by Chinese workers on the Transcontinental Railroad in the mid-19th century. Depending on the schedule, a Go workshop can also be provided after the museum tour. For workshops like this, the same teaching method is used as the one we use to introduce go as a math manipulative in schools. Usually we play on size 6 or 7 mini go board in the math classrooms.

“This is a brand new combo tour service, which combines the regular tour and hands-on Chinese culture/art workshop,” said Ben Lau, the executive director of Chinese American Museum of Chicago. School group visitors, especially students from Chinese language classrooms from Chicago Metropolitan Area, now have the opportunity to reserve their field trip to the museum, and choose one Chinese culture and art related workshop. Besides Go, calligraphy, Chinese painting, paper cutting, origami and more are on the list. See more photos here.

Guo organized the Go workshop and is the founder of the Go and Math Academy.

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“Welcome Spring” Cup hosted by Consulate General of China in Chicago

Sunday February 10, 2019

Feb 3 ( Feb 4 in China) is one day away from the Lunar New Year’s eve.  On that date, about 40 people, including three players from Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, participated in the “Welcome Spring” Cup, a brand new tournament in Chicago. The event was hosted by Consulate General of China in Chicago, and organized by the Go and Math Academy, Evanston Go Club, Confucius Institute in Chicago, and the 2019.02.10_chicago-collageUS-China Cultural Association.

Acting Consul General Liu Jun welcomed all players with a Lunar New Year greeting. The first “Welcome Spring” Cup brings together go lovers from diverse communities and backgrounds. But beyond competition, it  is also a great opportunity for players to make friends and promote understanding through the game. “This year marks as the 40th anniversary of China-U.S. diplomatic relations. I hope this event will not only help build stronger friendship among people, but also strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries,” said Mr. Liu who also participated in the tournament as a 1D player.

This event is a handicap tournament with four divisions, including a youth division. About two-thirds of the participants were casual local players who had never played in tournament in the Chicago area. “It’s really encouraging to see so many new go players from the Great Chicago area come out of hiding to attend this event.” said Tournament Director Xinming Simon Guo, the founder of Go and Math Academy.

Final result:
A Division #1 Yang, Hong 1D 3-1
A Division #2 Amesbury, Jing 5D 3-1
A Division #3 Yang, Yang 4D 2-2

B Division #1 He, Joseph 1D 3-1
B Division #2 Sun, Yingjie 1D 3-1
B Division #3 Collins, Nick 3K 3-1

C Division #1 Kaiser, Mike 8K 4-0
C Division #2 Graper, David 9K 4-0
C Division #3 Tan, Stephanie 5K 3-1

Youth Division #1 Zhang, Sean 4-0
Youth Division #2 Pan, Jaden  2-2

photos: (top right) Acting Consul General Liu Jun 1D (second from the left) with division winners Hong Yang 1D, Mike Kaiser 8K and Joseph He 1D; (bottom right): Jane Lu (Director of Confucius Institute in Chicago) and youth division winner Sean Zhang

report/photos by Xinming (Simon) Guo

 

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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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