19 April, 2006

Dr. Steve Tobias- LaTrobe University

Welcome to the Mt Alexander Schools Cluster and La Trobe University research project based on Chess and Learning Mathematics. Steve Carroll and Harry Poulton have done a wonderful job in launching the project with Sam Grumont's guidance.
The project aims to build student resilience and perseverance through games such as chess. Research suggests that there is an underlying link between playing chess and strengthening spatial reasoning skills and students' ability to handle complex reasoning tasks.
With the new VELS curriculum, this area is covered within the Thinking Domain of the Interdisciplinary Strand and Working Mathematically in the Mathematics Discipline Strand. This project sets out to strengthen thinking and reasoning skills, and possibly inturn students ability to problem solve.
The Observation Schedule, that has been sent out to you, was designed for the classroom teacher to collect information about the students' reactions while playing chess. We would like you to collect some anecdotal information during the program about the students' willingness to participate, their resilience and perseverance when playing, and their ability to question/discuss the moves made.
We would appreciate any other information that you might feel is important. We would like students to keep a journal to reflect on their games (metacognition) and anything else that is significant to them when playing. (ie: what they have learnt, enjoyed about the playing- or not enjoyed etc) so hopefully, we will have an ongoing collection of information about who is building enthusiasm and resilience for chess.
I intend to write a regular section for the blog - so any feedback would be appreciated.

Steve Tobias

School of Education
La Trobe University
Ph 54447485


Sam Grumont said...

Steve and I met at Coffee Basics yesterday morning to discuss the research for the project as well as enjoy a good cup of coffee produced by Judith. We had a look at the observation schedule and made a couple of changes. The next step is to get some teachers having ago and arranging for tutors to visit schools.

Sam Grumont said...

How's that Steve and Harry, your first comment.

steve carroll said...

I tried the observation schedule in class. It's a bit difficult to try and cover everyone in the class in one hit. Students were curious as to what I was doing: I explained and they seemed quite at ease discussing their games with me.

Sam Grumont said...

Here are a few good articles on how to write well for weblogs.

10 Tips on Writing the Living Web by Mark Bernstein

How to Write a Better Weblog by Dennis A. Mahoney

harry said...

We are finalising the tutorial schedules and they should be ready in a day or two.

Anonymous said...

My kids go to North Castlemaine Primary School - who can they talk to about getting involved?

Steve Tobias said...

Hi Sam, Harry and Steve, Just to let you know that I think the blog is great. This morning I mentioned the Mt Alexander project and blog at a (SiMERR - you can google that) meeting. Hopefully you will get some feedback. SiMERR is a national project to enhance maths.sci, ICT in rural areas.

Sam how do you access the papers that you mentioned? Also, Heather Mays from Deakin Uni has sent me some papers to do with Blogs that may be of interest.

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