School Chess Club Teaches Students Creative Thinking

Los Angeles Wave

Ten years ago Joe Nevarez, a fifth grade teacher at Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary School in Santa Fe Springs, California, started a chess club for his students. Initially, it was just a way for Nevarez to pass along his love of the game to his students. However, when the Common Core State Standards were adopted, Nevarez saw another opportunity to use the game to teach critical thinking to the club members and help them to the see creative processes of chess. “When you’re playing chess, you have to be creative and you have to be able to think ahead. It’s a development booster of their meta-cognitive thinking,” Nevarez recently told the Los Angeles Wave. “When Common Core standards started transitioning into the district, we saw the Chess Club as another opportunity to help student achievement.” 

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