1 Jan 2010
Ho Math and Chess
Frank Ho, Amanda Ho
Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre Teachers
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Much attention on math reforms has always been on how math shall be taught? The most heated up debate was conceptual teaching vs. algorithm teaching and usually the conceptual teaching prevails and then a new set of textbooks follows. The most obvious change was in the area of “word problems” section in the textbooks, which is more exploratory and requires a real understanding of some math concepts.
The trouble is most teachers at school already have their hands full on basics teaching and do not really have enough time to go through word problems very carefully. Many times, we heard students told us that they “hated” those word problems. Many told us that their teachers did not even explain how to work out those problems and they simply were stuck on those word problems.
Is this the only thing we can do after each textbook change that is to increase the difficulty level of word problem to higher level thinking skills for students to work on? Without properly training teachers, the consequence is only to get lots of students frustrated. We personally like those word problems, which require conceptual understanding, but unfortunately most teachers do not know how to teach students well in tacking those word problems and the end result is that most students would not do well.
We can see the computational problems in textbook have not changed a lot in terms of their formats and styles. The idea of creating some new word problems is good but the problem is still how we can teach students so that they actually understand them, instead of creating stress on students with something they feel that they do not understand at all.
Is there anything we, as a learning center, can do to improve computational worksheets? Why some children are bored with those traditional computational worksheets? This is constantly in our minds to see if we can do something differently on math worksheets so that children can master their math ability while having fun.
First we look at the current learning and living environment facing our future generation and also where our children are heading. The future belongs to a generation who understands how to process information and the information might include digits, bytes, numbers, graphics, images, languages, symbols, equations and tables etc. How some or most of these different nature of pieces of information processing can be taught to kindergartners or elementary students when they are learning arithmetic if they are already bombarded by all these different formats of media?
We often see some elementary students perform multi-task while doing homework so they are already used to do multi-function. With this scenery in mind, most students, of course, will feel bored when working on monotonic style of worksheets, there is no stimulus to spark their interests in working on these simplistic and monotonic style computational worksheets.
How to create some worksheets, which children will feel they are interesting to work on? It is not an easy task and that is why there are so many different types of stand alone worksheets, namely logic, patterns, mazes, crosswords etc. These worksheets are created without interrelations to each other. This kind of isolated information processing is no longer reflecting the real world the young generation is facing today or will be living in the future.
The computing world children are facing today is much like a rich tapestry, where a diversified fabrics and colours are integrated. Children today are absorbing not just numbers but an array of information like image, sound, music, symbols, spatial information, or even abstract ideas all bundled together and delivered through many types of media. Children today are not happy just working on pure number drill worksheets without any other stimulus or motivators.
Realizing the importance of having fun while learning, Ho math and Chess has been embarked on an important teaching philosophy that is to integrate chess into math worksheets so that children can learn math while having fun.
Started out as a math and chess integrated learning center, Ho Math and Chess has further advanced its teaching philosophy into Network Computing that is to create a special synergetic effect by integrating arithmetic basics computing, chess, mazes, and information processing all in one worksheet. This is accomplished through its own proprietary technologies (Canada copyright 1069744) such as Geometry Chess Symbol, Frankho Puzzle, Frankho Maze, Brainpower Math and an invention of brand new chess training set.
With this new invention of Ho Math and Chess Network Computing worksheets, a child is acting as a data warehouse manager and sorts data through a variety of tools namely chess, symbols, spatial relation, logic, comparisons, tables, patterns, mazes, computing etc. by networking all different kinds of information and skills together. Only when children have successfully followed through instructions (SCL) and, as a result, created a question themselves, can a solution be found at last.
In Network computing worksheets, the questions are not written out for children but must be mined (after children observing how data is moving) through data warehouse (mazes or puzzles), and answers must be computed by following a series of spatial relations and then analyzed using logic to reach a conclusion.
Ho Math and Chess Network Computing trains children not only their basic computing ability but also train them to be an astute data warehouse manager or an excellent data miner by developing their problem solving ability and critical thinking skills.
Ho Math and Chess Network Computing provides education and also entertainment value to get young children involved in the future world they will be facing.
Why are Ho Math and Chess integrated workbook more effective than traditional worksheets?
Ho Math and Chess integrates chess into math thus children actually not only uses the parts of brain while playing chess, they also use the parts of brain to do math computation and work on logic problems using chess diagrams. The effect of working Ho Math and Chess integrated workbooks is to stimulate many different parts of brain in multiple ways.
Ho Math and Chess integrated worksheets requires a child’s left brain to handle logic, numbers, and word problems language; at the same time the worksheets also require a child’s right brain to handle
patterns, images, diagrams, symbols, mazes, puzzles, and tables etc.
It is our belief that integrated Ho math and chess workbook will work more effectively to stimulate one’s left-brain and right brain at the same time.
Many children like chess, why? Simply put, it is a game and it is fun and children can play it without using a computer. Can you image nowadays that parents are telling us that their children spend too much time on computers playing games? Parents do not want to see children continue to use computers at learning centers any more since their children become near-sighted by spending too much time on the computer.
How Ho Math and Chess created some interesting math, chess and puzzles integrated worksheets?
We find out most children will frown on drill type of math worksheets since this kind of worksheets are boring and repetitive and do not motivate them and they will not get children engaged into doing unless they get order from adults. But if we can have a game type of worksheets married to math then at least this integrated product offers some incentive for children to do math since the fun game is what they would like to do. This is how we have created math, chess and puzzles worksheets. Children learn best while they having fun of doing it.
Children like mazes. They are adventuresome and interesting. It gives children a feeing of reward when the problem is solved and children feel better when they are challenged mentally. The difficulty is how to marry math and mazes? Integrating math into chess mazes has solved this problem. This is the birth of Frankho Chess Mazes. A chess maze not only is fun to play but it also teaches geometry concepts and trains children’s visualization and orientation.
Some children were born with sensitive number sense but some children can be trained to be more alert with numbers, patterns, and symbols. Chess serves as a good tool to combine with math so to provide an innovative way of training children to be more aware with number patterns, and relationship between numbers. This is the marriage of math and chess, math and chess provides opportunities to train children’s math with fun and improves their brainpower.
By use the technology of Geometry Chess Symbols invented by Ho Math and Chess, children are able to work on an array of different math worksheets, which are to be more entertaining, more fun and more interesting.
The most important proof of effectiveness of these Ho Math and Chess worksheets can be validated by the responses received from our students, parents and how much progresses they have made before and after they used these worksheets. For this, we have many clinical experiences and testimonials to share.
For more details on how math and chess integrated worksheets can raise children’s math marks with fun, visit www.mathandchess.com.
Frank Ho, Amanda Ho