A Cool and Fun Way to Learn Math!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Chess has lasted for thousands of years for good reasons. Children today can still continue to use the game to develop thinking strategy and brainpower. The most unique feature of our centre is Frank Ho's integrated math and chess workbooks. The mathematical chess puzzles are used to further instill math concepts into student's learning while adding the elements of fun and creativity. Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre is an interdisciplinary, specialized math learning centre that uses chess as a tool, and integrated math and chess workbooks as part of its teaching material.
It is well known that children require regular physical activity and many of us even pay a cost to get this fitness, but where do children exercise their brains? Chess, like sports, allows children to learn with their peers, to follow the etiquette and rules of the game and to have sportsmanship in both victory and defeat. Furthermore, they develop patience and strategy, critical thinking ability, and learn how to plan ahead. What is the next best move? Playing chess also requires flexibility and quick thinking, when faced with opponents’ possibly unexpected moves. It is obvious that these valuable skills learned while playing chess can be transferred and applied into the real world.
Today, children spend a lot of time playing video games, watching television and using the computer. To strike a balance between leisure activities, chess is an excellent brain exercise and it is also a lot of fun. Many young children complain that math is boring, since they are usually given the same-old computational questions when they are mastering the basic operations. Math is more than just computation, and modern math emphasizes very much the importance of problem solving skills. Adding the element of chess gives math even more variety and depth and makes it more exciting and interesting for young children.
Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre is a high quality MATH learning centre. Every student needs to learn math but not necessarily chess. Our workbooks integrate math concepts and chess, which allows for students to do regular school math, plus mathematical chess puzzles. We also offer a number of other workbooks to students. A typical elementary student could work with three workbooks: computation, problem solving, and mathematical chess puzzles.
There are different methodologies used at existing learning centres. One type of math learning centre might give out worksheets (with small and steady increases in the difficulty) and call this kind of learning the "drilling method" or “self-learning.” This may help students who need to improve their computational skills, but for many students, it is ineffective. Math is not just doing computation. Younger students should not only be asked to do rote computation. They should have the optimal chance to develop their brain by engaging in more diversified mathematical activities.
There is another type of math learning centre that seems to guide students in overly conceptual learning. The drawback is that their teaching material does not complement the provincial mathematics curriculum and may not be presented in the best logical order. This type of teaching does not develop students’ confidence, since it does not parallel their schoolwork and help them improve their math grades.
Realizing the shortcomings of the existing math learning centres at the time, Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre was established to combine all their different strengths.
A good learning centre should be able to help your children on school work, should offer individual help to each student and should know what is being taught in school at every grade level. The materials the learning centre uses and the evidence of how it got started is essential. A good learning centre has a teaching goal and philosophy. Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre encompasses all this and much more.
Math and chess has always been related mathematically, but there was no math and chess integrated material for children to work on before we created the unique, world's first, one-of-a-kind, copyrighted math and chess integrated materials for grade K to grade 7. This is how Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre is different. We integrate chess into our math program as a learning tool to enhance, expand and embrace the mathematics curriculum.
The chess lessons offered at after-school or lunch programs, community centres, or chess clubs are usually only pure chess. The value of chess lessons offered at Ho Math and Chess is unmatched by others. Students could acquire the knowledge of math, chess, problem solving, chess puzzles, and mathematical puzzles all at the same time at Ho Math and Chess. We continue researching and improving our chess workbooks to maintain its highest quality standard.
The Ho Math and Chess teaching program is innovative in that it uses chess as a hands-on approach, along with the world’s first math and chess integrated workbooks for elementary students, to learn math. This approach integrates math concepts with chess knowledge. The unique Ho Math and Chess program is structured to challenge children’s interest in math, reinforce math concepts, and develop critical thinking ability.
We see many times a real life problem is linked and "mixed" with math. Language arts is also sometimes "mixed" with math to be learned in an integrated fashion. However, if we look at it closely, we are not mixing math and chess in a sense like mixing mud and water. What we are doing is offering an integrated math and chess course in such a way that parents and students have more choices of how math is learned. Chess is used as a learning tool to improve a student's problem-solving ability and critical thinking skills in the areas of logic, pattern, perception, coordination, spatial relations, decision making and visualization. All these abilities are associated with chess learning.
In our math and integrated class, students are offered math and chess integrated worksheets and chess knowledge is learned independently from math worksheets but the learned chess knowledge is sometimes applied to solve the problems on the worksheets. In other words, students are offered additional materials, which provide more exposure to pattern recognition, logical thinking, computations using symbols, mathematical puzzles, etc. Using chess as a tool, is an innovative and fun way of learning math. It generates more interest in youngsters to learn and encourages them to use acquired knowledge to solve math related problems.
The Ho Math and Chess Method is built on a premise that math problem-solving ability is a learned skill and chess is a powerful, interesting and effective tool in learning mathematics. Therefore, the Ho Math and Chess method integrates chess into our mathematics curriculum from grades K to 7. In putting the methodology into practice, over the past 10 years, we have been able to refine our unique copyrighted and proprietary materials that have been hailed by teachers and graduates alike.
Yes, Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre offers other math courses that does not integrate chess into the regular math. However, at the grade K-3 level, our materials integrate math and chess concepts throughout, so a basic knowledge of how chess pieces move will be included. If the student is committed, our integrated math/chess workbooks has the effect of improving brainpower and math problem solving ability.
No, Ho Math and Chess Burnaby is a math learning centre, and chess is one of the tools we use to help develop problem solving and math skills. Although we can include chess instruction up to the level of basic tactics, this is done as part of the math program.
The length of time for all our classes is 2 hours. Why? Simply, students need a sufficient amount of time to learn well.
Each class size ratio of teacher to students is 1 to 4 and every student progresses at his or her own pace. Even if students are at the same grade level, it does not mean that they will be working on the same concepts within the course.
Our workbooks truly integrate math and chess all in one computation but in a very reasonable way. The main advantage for all our workbooks is to get students to think more. For example, when adding a chess symbol with a number, it may not sound very significant, but the amazing thing is students are learning how to transfer a meaningful abstract value into numerical value and compute the result. It helps to train their brain to think more and also achieve the purpose of doing computations. This may look like a very small step but the effect is far more than just adding two numbers.
Ho Math and Chess Learning Centres are global, therefore, our copyrighted workbooks are not grade specific. Each country has their own set curriculum with different standards for each grade level. It is not universal in terms of math curriculum. A student starts our course based on the level he or she has attained thus far. In order to do this, students are assessed (Math Ability Assessment) at the beginning of the program.
During the duration of the course, students are followed closely as to what math they are working on at school. As an advantage of having a two-hour time period, we are able to aid with school homework and upcoming exams.
Like all Ho Math and Chess locations, Ho Math and Chess Burnaby is independently owned, follows the Ho Math and Chess philosophy and uses the same math and chess integrated workbooks. Each learning centre is encouraged to include additional materials to meet the needs of their students.
At Ho Math and Chess Burnaby, we include unique education materials not available elsewhere, such as our exclusive Mindspark Math and Mindspark Chess workbooks, and the award-winning Zome construction manipulative.
Zome is a ball-and-stick construction set that is simple enough to be a educational toy for kids, enriching enough to be a learning aid for teachers, and powerful enough to be a research tool for scientists.
Zome is used in over 6,000 schools and institutions across the US. It is used in grades 1 through the university level to help teach algebra, scale, number sense, symmetry, proportion, geometry, DNA structure, trigonometry, and more.
In classrooms across the globe, teachers are taking advantage of the unique benefits Zome brings to the study of math, art, science, and technology. The high-quality modeling of Zome makes it easier and more enjoyable for students to learn, and increases their capacity for abstract reasoning through tactile and visual feedback. Students understand new concepts better, and find them more interesting.