Read Testimonials from teachers and Students on how the First Move program is working in their schools.
William J. McGinn School
The students love the chess program. They love when they see it on the schedule board for the day. They really enjoy the “Chess Lady” and the review questions at the end of each lesson. They are really beginning to think ahead in their moves for each game. They are also really helping their opponents to be better players rather than taking the competition too seriously. The students are beginning to think more critically. I am enjoying learned the game of chess along with them
Little Flower School
The 2nd grade students at Little Flower School LOVE the chess program. Tuesday afternoon does not come fast enough for them! They love playing in their free time and ask to play during the After School Program. I've definitely noticed an improvement in their ability to focus and think through a problem regardless of the subject area. Unfortunately, the students have not had the opportunity to participate in the tournaments from the classroom due to time constraints. I need to encourage the parents to allow their child to participate from home. I think this is a wonderful program and hope more schools will have the opportunity to participate. I will continue to teach beginning chess to the 2nd grade students each year even though there will no longer be funding for our school. Thanks for the opportunity to participate!
Coles Elementary School
The third grade students I have eagerly look forward to Thursday, its our “Chess Day!” Some have learned from nothing, while others have improved their knowledge of the game & how it is played. They love to share what they are learning at school with their parents & siblings at home. I even have one student teaching his grandpa how to play on a chess board his grandpa brought back from Mexico in 1986. It truly is a multi-generational game Students in my class love the “no kibitzing” rule. They always show good sportsmanship before, during, and after the game which is excellent. I see many of them make connections to the chess board and game For instance, we were hunting in the classroom for parallel and intersecting lines during Math and they instantly noticed these on the demonstration board with the files and ranks. We ALL love this program! I also love to get involved and play a student during Chess Time. They love to challenge the teacher, and so far are doing a great job at beating me!
Brunner Elementary School
My students have been very responsive to the First Move program and look forward to the lessons each week. The parents are very excited about the program as well. I do have to share that I was anticipating to move a bit more quickly through the lessons, however due to student understanding and time constraints it has been a bit more difficult. Our grade level is hoping to send home the Family Chess sets home next week with a letter describing a few of the games we have played thus far. I want to be able to introduce students to the online chess tournaments and games, however we still are learning how different pieces move, and we want our students to have a better understanding of the game before we introduce them to online gaming. I do feel that First Move is helping my students in: --following directions --problem solving --visual/spatial reasoning --team work We are certainly very grateful for this very generous donation. The lessons are very clear and scaffolded very well for all students. We really enjoy working with this program and cannot wait to delve into it further.
The students really love to play chess, some are going home and teaching parents to play as well. I have noticed personally a new focus in my classroom and more patience with each other, they are also less likely to cheat at chess as they tend to try to do at other games..a new fairness, if you will, that shows in other areas. The classroom teachers also sense more patience and quiet times.
Nora Davis Magnet School
First and foremost, the children love Chess. They don't really love math. So if we can sneak in learning by having fun, half the job is done. In life we are expected to make decisions, solve problems, and use inductive and deductive reasoning. We try to teach this in "math" class and literally turn-off our students, but with chess they are putting these skills into practice. One of the most amazing attributes of Chess in the classroom is changing the attention span of our students. Kids today are accustomed to short quick spurts on TV and in video games. They have difficulty sitting still and concentrating for more than 5-10 minutes. When they sit down to play Chess, they are focused, which tells me they can be trained through Chess to focus and eventually carry-over this skill in their math classes. I am always amazed to watch students play in our school chess tournament. Our most "active" children are totally focused. I hope this helps, Shanelle. We enjoy this program so much.
"I believe the program has benefited all of my students. The students are excited every friday when we play. They are also playing at home."
Students look forward to chess every week. We have a mix of kids who are new to chess and those that are part of chess club and all of the kids do a great job of staying engaged in this program. I haven’t really heard much from parents. First Moves has improved our third grade community. Our third grade team mixes our classes for chess. It’s a great way for the kids to get to know each other better and for the teachers to get to know the kids in the other classes. Also, I now allow chess as a choice when student finish their math work. Learning how to play chess has given some of my students a new area to excel in and a way to interact with people they normally wouldn’t.
I think the program is very well organized. The program has been well received by parents, staff and students. Kids look forward to chess each Friday and are playing it during rainy day recess and free time.
Spring Independent School District
I give The First Move Program the highest ratings possible!!!
It makes you do real thinking and helps improve your memory.
It’s a strategy game that makes you use your brain a lot. I like that you don’t get bored. You always have to think of what you’re going to do next.
State of Idaho, Boise, ID
The part I really like about this program is that kids are thinking ahead.
Brookdale Elementary School, Orangeburg, SC
The First Move Program has been a wonderful success at my school. The teachers and students have embraced the thought provoking capabilities that it exposes our students to.
Chess is great because you can learn more skills by losing. You can learn a lot about how to get better.
Mary Lynch School, Springfield, MA
This program is giving our students an excellent opportunity to play a game that is enhancing their thinking skills. Thank you so much!
Ecole Kenwood, Columbus, OH
It does seem to build self esteem. Students are excited to know something that not everyone knows about.
Newton Bateman Elementary School, Chicago, IL
Every student but one came in reading poorly and word-by-word and my head began to spin with dread. This past week I individually tested them to see if there was improvement, 2/3 of the class are reading above the end-of-year standards, and the other third is close behind. Don’t know if it’s the chess, but it is getting them to THINK.
Brighton Elementary, Seattle, WA
The program is amazingly valuable. My students love this program and can’t wait for chess day. They have learned so much from chess that carries over to every area of their day. I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful program!!!
Kamiah Elementary, Kamiah, ID
I am extremely pleased with the thinking ahead that I am seeing when my students play the pawn games. They are looking at what would happen if ………., and some are even looking several steps ahead already, I also like the manners that are taught and used in the game. I wondered if my students would ever be able to not talk during our first games, but I never have to say anything now and I can hear them THINKING!
Shirley Mann Elementary, Union, KY
I really enjoy the program and my students do as well. It is a creative way to teach math, social studies and good sportsmanship skills. I’m glad we’ve adopted it.
Rose Hill Elementary, Kirkland, WA
It is so exciting for me to see how even the “lowest” kids can have so much success with Chess and learn STRATEGY, when in their daily work they have such a hard time coming up with a strategy for anything.
Bloomfield Hills, MI
First Move has been a great addition to our math program. Students look forward to learning new strategies during play. LOVE it!
The lessons are well thought out and clear. Thanks at Sanislo Elementary
Peirce School of International Studies, Chicago, IL
My students truly enjoy our chess sessions! I can easily spot students learning to strategize before making a play. Another useful tool to make students think and reflect before acting.
Way Elementary, Bloomfield Hills, MI
I really enjoy teaching First Move because itâ€™s simple and easy for the children to follow the directions of the Chess Lady. I can see the benefits because they align fairly close to our benchmarks and standards in math for third grade. It has boosted the confidence level of my students.
Swift Elementary, Chicago, IL
My Students feel smarter because they know chess. We love it!
Bruce Elementary, Houston, TX
I think that this program is a great way to increase thinking skills, problem solving schools and gives the child something that they would not be exposed to otherwise to take with them for the rest of their lives.
Critical thinking and strategy are other big benefits. Students tend to be tentative and want someone else to do it for them, give them the answer, or figure it out for them, but with the chess games that they are playing with the program, they are forced to think for themselves in a fun way which builds their confidence.
First Move is an excellent educational tool that engages youngsters in a higher level of thinking. It is also fun and it teaches them respect for their classmates and others. I believe that chess is a game they will carry for life.
First Move is an excellent program. Students are excited and anxious to participate. They also love the idea of having their own chess sets. The program allows students to take part in an activity that they would have never been introduced to outside of school. Highly recommended.
My students love chess, and I have seen them grow as critical thinkers by learning to play the game. I love that I can connect what they learn in chess to other subjects that I teach, particularly math.
First Move creates even playing field for ESL, promotes complex thinking and planning, promotes common courtesies, promotes recognition of patterns, ALL students are engaged.
My students and their parents are very excited about this program!
We are loving this curriculum in our 3rd grade class! It has been a great equalizer among many of many students!
First Move is an excellent program. I was nervous at first thought but second graders are not too young for chess. They love the program and the game. I find the set user friendly. This program is truly and asset!
This program is very easy to follow for the students and teachers alike. The students feel very successful learning at the given pace. I have a new student this year who did not have a year of chess and the other students gladly â€˜took her under their wingâ€™ and she is also enjoying the program.
It has been wonderful to see how the skills and vocabulary are used in many if not all, our other subjects. My class cheers when itâ€™s chess time.â€