Schools are a great place to introduce kids to the game of chess. Madison City Schools in Alabama invests in chess education by providing a ChessKid subscription for all elementary students as well as middle school students enrolled in a chess elective course.
Each individual school has the autonomy to promote and encourage students to play chess. Rainbow Elementary in Madison has taken chess education to a new level by creating chess classrooms to inspire kids to learn chess.
That's right, an entire classroom devoted to chess! Check it out:
Indoor Chess Classroom
Our indoor classroom provides a great environment for kids to see trophies and banners displaying chess team success. Tables and chairs (instead of individual student desks) allows for quick tournament setup and practice for students.
Chess is taught during the day at Rainbow Elementary and after school during chess club and chess team meetings. Rainbow schedules chess classes as one of the special enrichment classes for Kindergarten through second grades.
“I am investing in educating students on chess because of the numerous life benefits, such as a stronger mental clarity/focus, problem solving and developing self-discipline,” Rainbow Principal Brian Givens said.
Teaching a 1st grade class how to play chess at Rainbow.
The Chess Classroom is also a popular classroom for use by PTA or school administrators throughout the week. It is a great way to showcase the work of the school chess team to others.
If your school does not have the classroom space to dedicate an area to teach chess, do not despair. Rainbow Elementary teachers also set up chess centers in their classrooms for students to utilize when they are not receiving group instruction.
Chess centers reinforce mathematics concepts, strategic thinking, planning and logic. The mere decision of whether to capture a piece in exchange for another requires a calculation of relative point value. Moving pieces around a chess board requires spatial reasoning and reinforces coordinate graphing skills. Our teachers realize the value of chess and encourage our students to play.
Outdoor Chess Classroom
Outdoor classrooms are everywhere, allowing kids to enjoy and learn about nature and apply what is taught inside in a refreshing environment. Rainbow constructed giant chessboards as part of its outdoor chess classroom, and it has become a very popular place to play chess.
One of the advantages of playing chess on a giant chessboard is it allows collaboration among the students.
Discovery Middle School vs. Bob Jones High School chess match.
The bleachers in the covered chess classroom allows a better view of the chessboard and discussion among players.
The outdoor chess classroom also serves as a great gathering spot for our Girls Chess Club meetings in the evenings.
Local WHNT News 19 reporter captures Girls Chess Club members playing on one of the outdoor chessboards at Rainbow Elementary.
One of the highlights of Summer Chess Camp is playing in the outdoor chess classroom. Coaches enjoy instructing groups outside to explain basic concepts as much if not more than using demo boards inside.
IM Danny Rensch (back row, fourth from left) was our headline instructor during Summer Chess Camp.
Use your imagination to create the best outdoor learning environment. There are multiple ways to utilize a space like this to encourage your students to continue playing chess.