|Go Game in Every Math Classroom
|Xinming Simon Guo
|Go and Math Academy in Chicago
I started to think about how to promote Go in schools when I became a licensed math teacher, and discovered numerous moments when math skills are needed to analyse the game, especially when the game is over and final scores are counted. But I couldn’t find any research on the relationship between Go and math learning.
So I decided to start my own research. In 2011, the breaking point occurred when I started to build the Go and math correlation model by doing a backward match between Go and the newly released Common Core State Standards in Math (CCSS-M), which contains 385 skills and concepts from kindergarten to high school.
The resulting model shows the correlation between the game of Go and math learning emphasised in the math standards. The model separates the relationship into 5 categories: inherent, big, small, little and no connection. The stronger the relationship, the higher the score. A thorough analysis discloses a natural connection between Go and math, especially number sense and three domains in math standards -- Counting & Cardinality, Operations & Algebraic thinking, Number & Operations in Base Ten. Almost 60% of math contents from K to 3 can be naturally covered by this single game. Students can experience learning and application of math concepts without even noticing.
We also discovered that early elementary teachers in K to 3 makes the best target group to use Go in their math classes, through three simple steps: first, learn how to play Go; second, experience how their students play Go; third, learn innovative ways to incorporate Go in math classes. Local Go communities can team up to support teachers in the school, such as teaching students on-site, providing teacher training, etc.
Anecdotal evidences show that Go promotes decision-making, concentration, discipline and endurance of setbacks. Our lessons are aligned with the CCSS-M standards to help young students to:
Discover math patterns, facts and concepts.
Understand basic math properties and develop conceptual understanding.
Practice spatial and mathematical thinking.
Cultivate number sense.
Build up solid math foundations for the future.
More than 30,000 students from 60 schools in Chicago area have learned Go thus far. We have presented in math conferences to help teachers use Go in their classrooms. In 2015, I received the "Teacher of the Year" award by the American Go Foundation for my contributions to the Go world and made a keynote speech on Go and math education at the 2015 US Go Congress.
In the 2017-2018 school year, we started a pilot research program with Northwestern University involving 2nd grade students in four classrooms who took weekly, 60-minute instruction of Go in math lessons. Promising evidences have been discovered and further analysis is still on the way. This easy-to-duplicate teaching model is designed with minimum requirements for the classroom teacher and local Go community members.
Promoting Go as a math manipulative is a brand new method. We believe our innovation will expand into evidence-based research, which benefits not only US kids, but young students across the world.
Promoting Go to students and teachers in early elementary grades by integrating the game into math curriculum.
More than 30,000 students from 60 educational organisations (schools, universities, colleges, etc.) and more than 150 teachers in Chicago city and suburb areas. In the future, we plan to expand our program to other states and other countries.
2013 October 19: Public release of Go and Math Correlation model at the annual conference of ICTM (Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics).
2014 February 1: Teacher training workshop at the conference of MMC (Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago).
2014 August-present: Partnering with the Confucius Institute in Chicago to provide Go instruction service to teachers in Chicago Public Schools.
2015 June: Xinming Guo was awarded “Teacher of the Year” by the American Go Foundation for his contribution of promotion Go in classrooms.
2015 August: US Go Congress keynote speech "spread Go to all classrooms around the world".
2015 December: We partnered with teachers from Cherokee elementary school (Lakeforest, IL, USA) and received the first grant from school district 113 education foundation.
2016 April: We received another grant from school district 67 foundation.
2016 Fall semester: Northwestern University Center for Talented Development offered Go game based learning class as a math course.
2017 November: Go was introduced to pre-service teachers at National College of Education of National Louis University in Chicago.
2017-2018 school year: Cherokee Elementary School started pilot research program to all four 2nd grade classes. Once a week, students get 60 minutes of instruction in Go and math basics.
2018 April: Northwestern University doctoral candidate Yanning Yu successfully defended her dissertation proposal titled “Improving Spatial Thinking and Math Through the Game of Go”.
2018 May: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference proposal pending.
2018-2019 school year: Book about how to play Go as a manipulative in the math classroom.
2018-2020 school year: National pilot program in the US (adopt a school project).
2019~2021 school year: International trial (participants pending).
Small Go sets for classroom setting and demo sets (can be DIY).
Minibook and worksheet (samples will be provided in the section Additional Comments).
Direct classroom teaching or co-teaching with classroom teacher.
Support teacher to facilitate and use Go game in math classes.
General education support (conference, workshop, on-site PD, etc.).
Educational benefits of math skills for students.
Math curriculum design and development.
Majority are personnel investments, and income from school teaching service.
Also includes grants from school foundation, PTA, and some support from the American Go Foundation.
"When Go meets US math education" from World Journal Education Edition (USA).
From the American Go Association:
World Journal 2016 Education Edition (USA, 世界日报教育专刊).
China Journal 20150717 (USA, 神州时报).
Sports World 20150722 (China, 体坛周报).
China Sports Daily 20120606 (China, 中国体育报).
2015 HangZhou International Summit Meeting (中国杭州国际棋文化峰会出版).
We cannot collect all public exposures, but we accidentally found some, such as:
In the future:
Partner with national Go organisations, national and regional educational departments.
Local Go community team up to support the promotion of Go through this innovative math method.
We are so thankful to the Go community for sharing our vision and helping to spread this strategy to promote Go in other countries.
Currently, we use a Facebook webpage to publish updates: https://www.facebook.com/Go-and-Math-Academy-146418545477774/
For samples of our minibook, worksheet, and other documents, please see: Mini Go board, Go and Math Number and Operation Worksheet, Go and Math Standards Correlation Model and score, Go Game Score Card for Math Classroom.