Today, February 2, 2010, I had 8 students (6 boys and 2 girls, all of whom had attended at least once before) for after-school chess club at Strickland Middle School. Here is what happened during the class (3:45-5p.m.)

Objectives: Students begin to learn notation. Students play a ladder game.

Materials needed: Chess bin of supplies (sets, boards, paper, pencils, etc.), usual room with dry erase board and demonstration board.

Procedure: Start class on 3:45 p.m. Have one half of the room play against the other. Each person contributes one move in notation to a game being played out on the demonstration board. The game is tandem-style, i.e. no consultation among team members on each side. Surprisingly, there was a checkmate on move 8 by black. I wrote the moves on the board for the game and explained how notation worked as I wrote.

Snack.

Stage Combat (outdoors; pretend to be chessmen capturing each other; no contact) Simon Says Ladder Game. Two of the four ladder games finished on time; other two are adjourned. I was very impressed that one student who had just been introduced to notation at the start of class took notation for his ladder game. Ladder games are described in an appendix of Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy with Chess Activities.