19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

Emphasize the obvious, keep things fresh, and be honest. Showing students that it pays to behave and respecting them as individuals greatly enhance classroom management.

Source: 19 Big and Small Classroom Management Strategies

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Chess champ destined for success

Fide master, Cailin Chetty once again proved his talent when he participated at the South African Junior Closed Chess Championships in Bloemfontein, recently.  The Montford lad, who always makes the right moves in the game of chess, has done his family proud and is certainly on the path to success.

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The tournament was an 11 round one with Cailin winning seven games and drawing four games. This gave him a score of 9 out of 11, making it quite the achievement. The energetic Star College pupil has won gold and has also become the 2016 under 14 chess champion in South Africa.

Cailin qualifies to participate at the Commonwealth Games Championship in Sri Lanka, African Youth Chess Championship in PE and the World Youth Chess Championship in Russia.  He is currently also holding the position of African Schools Chess Champion. His goal is to someday be a grandmaster.

 

 

 

 

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A group of TSMFL secondary school learners were invited to attend the Nuclear Africa 2016 Conference on Wednesday 16/03/2016.  The Jafta Mahlangu and Mamelodi High students enjoyed the event immensely, where career options in nuclear science were illustrated and explained.

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TSMFL has established MasterMoves chess clubs at Jafta Mahlangu- and Mamelodi High schools both, with TSMFL chess tutors Jackson Malatji coaching there on a weekly basis.

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TSMFL thanks Dr. Kelvin Kemm for the invitation and opportunity to broaden the students’ horizons in regards to their futures!

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Ten things everyone should know about teachers

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Teachers are enthusiastic and dynamic, highly intelligent and share a passion for wanting to make a difference in this world. They can also be quirky however and this is as a result of there being no other job like theirs. They become a breed apart from the rest of the working world in many respects, living in Teacherland and driving themselves towards a goal of ongoing improvement. With that in mind, I hope they will find something here that is recognisable within themselves. It is their ability to laugh at themselves, reflect and develop that I admire most.
1. Teachers are partial to coffee – and cake come to think of it. The morning wouldn’t be the same without the caffeine fix. This is in part because as the academic year goes on, the tiredness felt becomes extreme. Teachers on the whole do not like to take time off ‘sick’ and so they use the wake up juice of life to kick start their day. The cake in the staffroom is always sure to bring a gaggle of teachers to the table. Despite protests of cutting down their sugar intake, teachers can rarely resist the lure of cake.
2. Teachers tend to hoard things. ‘Just in case’ they need them in the future. One teacher I know now forces herself to resist that temptation having managed to collect the equivalent of a freight train carrier worth of resources that sat redundant for a year. They can’t help themselves but to wonder, will there come a time when those resources might be useful…
3. In the summer term, teachers often find themselves sporting a ‘teacher tan’. The sun will get to their faces and arms. The teacher tan is deceptive. It creates a healthy look at first glance that might fool civvies into thinking they have already been on holiday. This will only have been as far as the school field for Sports Day or local field trip however.
4. Teachers have a ‘teacher voice’. Not necessarily a shouting, loud voice, but a voice that denotes that they have their ‘teacher head’ on. Oh yes they have a ‘teacher head’ too… Once in ‘teacher’ mode, watch them fly. The face, the voice, the body language all fall into play.
5. Teachers have the ability to see the funny side of life. They are prepared to make fools of themselves for the benefit of their students and the learning. No onesie is too silly and no end of term pantomime or ‘staff have talent’ show is beyond them. They have a great sense of humour to the end.
6. Teachers tend to be seen as workaholics. In fact they are geeks – and proud. They love reading and they love learning and a good job too. If they didn’t, where would we be?! They can’t help themselves. The list is never ending and the drive to succeed and do their best pushes them to give that bit more than would normally be expected. They don’t intentionally put their jobs first, it is simply that they are highly committed individuals who set themselves standards above and beyond what is often considered reasonable. Maybe this is why they talk of a calling to the profession.
7. Teachers are flexible. Not in the yoga sense. They have the ability to think on their feet. Whether it be coming off plan in a lesson, juggling timetables or cover, they can adapt their thinking to change a situation. Resourceful most of the time, they can often be handy to have around!
8. Teachers can carry 4 bags, a pile of books, a cup of coffee and still open doors. It’s a multi-tasking gift.
9. Teachers are naturally sociable animals. They do love to chat. I think this comes from a lack of adult company during their working day. It can be lonely in a classroom sometimes and for as much as teachers love their students, very often there is no substitute for a quick chat – some often say it is too much ‘shop talk’… They can’t help it.
10. Teachers love stationery. They are stationery addicts! Sharpies, highlighters and post-its. They will often buy new stationery whilst out and about just because they cannot help themselves. And as for a new diary or notebook at the start of the school year… don’t get me started!
11. Bonus: Teachers make lists. Yes they do. They can’t help themselves.
When it comes down to it, teachers are human. They work hard, play hard and push themselves beyond their own limits.
– http://thelifetopthings.blogspot.co.za/2016/02/ten-things-everyone-should-know-about-teachers.html?m=1
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Sans Souci boasts top chess master

Denise Frick, a teacher at Sans Souci Girls’ High School, is the country’s top woman chess master.

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Gary van Dyk @ Gvdcapejazz

Sans Souci Girls’ High School is celebrating a chess champion in its midst.

Denise Frick, a teacher at the school in Newlands, is an international master who won the South African Women’s Closed Chess Championships that was hosted in Cape Town in December last year.

The event is the most prestigious tournament on the national calendar because South Africa’s top 12 women players compete in this biannual event after a two-year qualification process.

Frick has now won this event three times – having won it for the first time in 2005, then in 2013 and again last year.

By winning the national championships she qualified for the South African Olympiad team that will compete in Azerbaijan in September.

She will also be the official entry on behalf of South Africa at the African Individual Championship that will be held in Uganda and the Commonwealth Championship that will be held in Sri Lanka.

She is a dedicated chess coach at Western Province Preparatory School in Claremont and a qualified MiniChess teacher who uses chess as an educational tool.

She is a PhD student in Human Movement Science who will be finalising her degree later this year.

Sans Souci Girls’ High is extremely proud of this extraordinary achievement by a teacher it counts itself lucky to have on staff.

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10 big brain benefits of playing chess

Not for nothing is chess known as “the game of kings.” No doubt the rulers of empires and kingdoms saw in the game fitting practice for the strategizing and forecasting they themselves were required to do when dealing with other monarchs and challengers. As we learn more about the brain, some are beginning to push for chess to be reintroduced as a tool in the public’seducation. With benefits like these, they have a strong case.

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1. It can raise your IQ
Chess has always had an image problem, being seen as a game for brainiacs and people with already high IQs. So there has been a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation: do smart people gravitate towards chess, or does playing chess make them smart? At least one study has shown that moving those knights and rooks around can in fact raise a person’s intelligence quotient. A study of 4,000 Venezuelan students produced significant rises in the IQ scores of both boys and girls after 4 months of chess instruction.

2. It helps prevent Alzheimer’s
Because the brain works like a muscle, it needs exercise like any bicep or quad to be healthy and ward off injury. A recent study featured in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people over 75 who engage in brain-stretching activities like chess are less likely to develop dementia than their non-board-game-playing peers. Just like an un-exercised muscle loses strength, Dr. Robert Freidland, the study’s author, found that unused brain tissue leads to a loss of brain power. So that’s all the more reason to play chess before you turn 75.

3. It exercises both sides of the brain
In a German study, researchers showed chess experts and novices simple geometric shapes and chess positions and measured the subjects’ reactions in identifying them. They expected to find the experts’ left brains being much more active, but they did not expect the right hemisphere of the brain to do so as well. Their reaction times to the simple shapes were the same, but the experts were using both sides of their brains to more quickly respond to the chess position questions.

4. It increases your creativity
Since the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for creativity, it should come as no surprise that activating the right side of your brain helps develop your creative side. Specifically, chess greatly increases originality. One four-year study had students from grades 7 to 9 play chess, use computers, or do other activities once a week for 32 weeks to see which activity fostered the most growth in creative thinking. The chess group scored higher in all measures of creativity, with originality being their biggest area of gain.

5. It improves your memory
Chess players know — as an anecdote — that playing chess improves your memory. Being a good player means remembering how your opponent has operated in the past and recalling moves that have helped you win before. But there’s hard evidence also. In a two-year study in 1985, young students who were given regular opportunities to play chess improved their grades in all subjects, and their teachers noticed better memory and better organizational skills in the kids. A similar study of Pennsylvania sixth-graders found similar results. Students who had never before played chess improved their memories and verbal skills after playing.

6. It increases problem-solving skills
A chess match is like one big puzzle that needs solving, and solving on the fly, because your opponent is constantly changing the parameters. Nearly 450 fifth-grade students were split into three groups in a 1992 study in New Brunswick. Group A was the control group and went through the traditional math curriculum. Group B supplemented the math with chess instruction after first grade, and Group C began the chess in first grade. On a standardized test, Group C’s grades went up to 81.2% from 62% and outpaced Group A by 21.46%.

7. It improves reading skills
In an oft-cited 1991 study, Dr. Stuart Margulies studied the reading performance of 53 elementary school students who participated in a chess program and evaluated them compared to non-chess-playing students in the district and around the country. He found definitive results that playing chess caused increased performance in reading. In a district where the average students tested below the national average, kids from the district who played the game tested above it.

8. It improves concentration
Chess masters might come off like scattered nutty professors, but the truth is their antics during games are usually the result of intense concentration that the game demands and improves in its players. Looking away or thinking about something else for even a moment can result in the loss of a match, as an opponent is not required to tell you how he moved if you didn’t pay attention. Numerous studies of students in the U.S., Russia, China, and elsewhere have proven time and again that young people’s ability to focus is sharpened with chess.

9. It grows dendrites
Dendrites are the tree-like branches that conduct signals from other neural cells into the neurons they are attached to. Think of them like antennas picking up signals from other brain cells. The more antennas you have and the bigger they are, the more signals you’ll pick up. Learning a new skill like chess-playing causes dendrites to grow. But that growth doesn’t stop once you’ve learned the game; interaction with people in challenging activities also fuels dendrite growth, and chess is a perfect example.

10. It teaches planning and foresight
Having teenagers play chess might just save their lives. It goes like this: one of the last parts of the brain to develop is the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for planning, judgment, and self-control. So adolescents are scientifically immature until this part develops. Strategy games like chess can promote prefrontal cortex development and help them make better decisions in all areas of life, perhaps keeping them from making a stupid, risky choice of the kind associated with being a teenager.

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Top 10 Health Benefits of Chess

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Often known as a game for the intellectually gifted, chess is the best sport to exercise the most important organ in our bodies: the brain. While Chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer made it popular in the 1950s and 1960s, the game is still widely played around the world today among participants of all ages, from the young to the elderly. The game of chess might not help you build your biceps or tone your abs, but your lifelong mental health can certainly benefit from it. And a sexy and beautiful mind is one of the best assets you can show off!

Samir Becic, 4 times Number 1 Fitness Trainer in the world and HFR’s Top 10 Health Benefits of Chess:

  • Promotes brain growth: Games like chess that challenge the brain actually stimulate the growth of dendrites, the bodies that send out signals from the brain’s neuron cells. With more dendrites, neural communication within the brain improves and becomes faster. Think of your brain like a computer processor. The tree-like branches of dendrites fire signals that communicate to other neurons, which makes that computer processor operate at a fast, optimal state. Interaction with people in challenging activities also fuels dendrite growth, and chess is a perfect example.
  • It exercises both sides of the brain: A German study indicated that when chess players were asked to identify chess positions and geometric shapes, both the left and right hemispheres of the brain became highly active. Their reaction times to the simple shapes were the same, but the experts were using both sides of their brains to more quickly respond to the chess position questions.
  • Raises your IQ: Do smart people play chess, or does chess make people smart? At least one scientific study has shown that playing the game can actually raise a person’s IQ. A study of 4,000 Venezuelan students produced significant rises in the IQ scores of both boys and girls after four months of chess instruction. So grab a chess board and improve your IQ!
  • Helps prevent Alzheimer’s: As we age, it becomes increasingly important to give the brain a workout, just as you would every other major muscle group, in order to keep it healthy and fit. A recent study featured in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people over 75 who engage in brain-games like chess are less likely to develop dementia than their non-board-game-playing peers. The saying “use it or lose it” certainly applies here, as a sedentary brain can decrease brain power. All the more reason to play chess before you turn 75.
  • Sparks your creativity: Playing chess helps unleash your originality, since it activates the right side of the brain, the side responsible for creativity. One four-year study had students from grades 7 to 9 play chess, use computers, or do other activities once a week for 32 weeks to see which activity fostered the most growth in creative thinking. The chess group scored higher in all measures of creativity, with originality being their biggest area of gain.
  • Increases problem-solving skills: A chess match requires fast thinking and problem-solving on the fly because your opponent is constantly changing the parameters. A 1992 study conducted on 450 fifth-grade students in New Brunswick indicated that those who learned to play chess scored significantly higher on standardized tests compared to those who did not play chess.
  • Teaches planning and foresight: One of the last parts of the brain to develop during adolescence is the prefrontal cortex, the area responsible for judgment, planning and self-control. Because playing chess requires strategic and critical thinking, it helps promote prefrontal cortex development and helps teenagers make better decisions in all areas of life, perhaps keeping them from making an irresponsible, risky choice.
  • Improves reading skills: In an oft-cited 1991 study, Dr. Stuart Margulies studied the reading performance of 53 elementary school students who participated in a chess program and evaluated them compared to non-chess-playing students in the district and around the country. He found definitive results that playing chess caused increased performance in reading. In a district where the average students tested below the national average, kids from the district who played the game tested above it.
  • Optimizes memory improvement: Chess players know that playing chess improves your memory, mainly because of the complex rules you have to remember, as well as the memory recall needed when trying to avoid previous mistakes or remembering a certain opponent’s playing style. Good chess players have exceptional memory performance and recall. A study of Pennsylvania sixth-graders found that students who had never before played chess improved their memories and verbal skills after playing.
  • Improves recovery from stroke or disability: Chess develops fine motor skills in individuals who have disability or have suffered a stroke or other physically debilitating accident. This form of rehabilitation requires the motion of chess pieces in different directions (forward, backward, diagonally forward motion, diagonally backward motion), which can help develop and fine tune a patient’s motor skills, while the mental effort required to play the game can improve cognitive and communication skills. Playing can also stimulate deep concentration and calm, helping to center and relax patients who are experiencing different degrees of anxiety.

 

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Chess visualizes patterns of the mind – Expert

Graham Jurgensen, the Executive Director of the Kasparov Chess Foundation-Africa (KCF-A), has emphasized that the game of chess is extremely effective to sharpen thinking patterns in minds of many.

On a working trip to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Jurgensen stressed chess is an educational tool as it involves all aspects of critical thinking.

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Jurgensen was in Kigali, Rwanda to officiate at the 2016 Rwanda Open tournament and visit schools where a pilot phase of a MiniChess programme funded by his organization is on track.

 

He said:

“Chess also raises self-esteem, teaches determination, self-motivation and sportsmanship and can be enjoyed by children from all social backgrounds, ages, races and genders.

It demands children to take responsibility for their actions, and it improves problem-solving skills.

By playing chess, children develop or sharpen the ability to visualize patterns in their minds.

They create plans and focus their thoughts and energies.”

Worldwide, more than 700 million people are estimated to play chess.

Jurgensen equated Chess to the game of football in popularity.

“The World Chess Federation is actually the second largest sporting federation in the world in terms of the number of member federations. It is second only to FIFA!”

The Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa is a public benefit organization which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

It focuses on promoting chess as a tool for education and social development across Africa.

This was the third regional chapter to be opened and we also have offices in New York, Brussels, Singapore and Mexico City.

The founder and chairman is the 13th World Chess Champion, Grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

About Mini-Chess:

MiniChess is very different from the game of Chess as a sport as it is actually an educational program.

It was developed in South Africa and has been very successful when used to teach entry phase learners which we define as children between the ages of five and nine years old.

Its’ big differentiator is that it does far more than simply teach children how to play chess.

Instead, its is focused on the development of basic concepts that form the foundation for development of math, critical thinking and life-skills in future years.

MiniChess is currently running at more than 250 African schools and is reaching in excess of 55,000 learners per week.

There running active programs in South Africa, Rwanda, Madagascar, Lesotho and Uganda. Kenya also recently launched operations and it is expected to add at least another five countries this year (2016).

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Life is a game, lets play more

Cape Town – By their nature, surprises come unbidden: a letter in the post, a mystery deposit of R15-billion in your bank account (yeah, right), the news that your aunt was once an uncle, a phone call from an old friend whose name you can’t remember.

However, some surprises are smaller and less dramatic, but nonetheless pack the same punch.

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On Saturday, I went to buy some pens. It still surprises me that stationery shops selling actual pens and actual paper still exist. And I’m still surprised at how happy a good, extra-fine pen makes me feel. And on Saturday, a lot of happiness was needed.

Three miners were still trapped underground, our president had delivered a speech that was at best insincere and at worst schizophrenic, a friend’s mother was dying, a Richardhead in an Audi had just flipped me the finger, and universities had become tangled up in purple and black and the fine line between outrage and hatred. A fine-liner might not even cut it.

I parked the car and walked towards Cavendish, thinking bad thoughts. Rounding the corner, I looked up and saw that the cement space outside a series of vacant shops was filled with tables and chairs and ’70s-looking clocks and chessboards and a strange and wonderful silence. At each table, two people sat opposite each other, frowning at the chess pieces before making their move.

Kids shook hands after a game, a tiny boy wearing tracksuit pants wriggled in his chair when his grey-haired opponent swiftly delivered one, two, three movements, a woman wearing a cap backwards whistled under her breath and smacked the timer.

I don’t know much about chess, but it suddenly seemed magical, like an elite sect whose only entrance requirement is the ability to be comfortably silent while waving the occasional finger in the air. I stood and watched, taking in the space, normally barren but now lively, and the diversity of the players – all colours and ages with varying degrees of sartorial style. There might even have been a purple alien among them.

Organisers Reuben Salimu, of the African Chess Lounge in Rondebosch, and Abdul Kerbelker, of the Claremont Improvement District Company, explained the thinking behind the event: to bring chess to the people and bring people together by using a public space for exchange and interaction.

As I stood watching, I realised that while most of the players were deep in thought, silent as bulldogs, they were communing through a mutual language.

Studies have shown that public spaces are vital for fostering and encouraging social biodiversity. However, the creep of privatisation and development often marginalises this, turning public spaces into segregated areas arranged around class and race.

While Cape Town has a myriad public spaces – from squares and promenades to beaches, parks and trails – it also has an acutely divergent society. Many residents can’t afford to travel to the beach or the city and, because of our history, some feel the city’s public spaces are for other people and not them.

The challenge, therefore, is to preserve and expand the city’s public spaces and create environments that are participatory and socially accessible.

The chess event was a perfect example. The game doesn’t discriminate across race, age or gender, nor does it require expensive overheads or extravagant participation. All the players had to do was put their name down and show up.

Sport is an excellent tool for social cohesion, but many codes are arranged around age and gender.

The performing arts, too, are effective binders and communicators, but rely on a schism between performers and audience. Games, on the other hand, are participatory and accessible, and offer opportunities for intimate interaction, communal problem-solving – and a lot of laughter.

Okay, so Naked Twister on the promenade might be pushing it, but how about a massive outdoor Jenga game that requires a lot of bodies to move the pieces around? Or an outdoor bowling alley? Or banks of bicycles in a public space that, when pedalled, produce energy to add to the grid? Or regular Guinness World Record attempts in public spaces involving hundreds of people? Or tiddlywinks competitions? Scone-baking smackdowns? Hopscotch hoedowns?

Children learn tolerance, co-operation, respect and camaraderie through playing games. It’s obvious from recent events that we adults could do with a refresher – and, who knows, we could surprise ourselves.

We might discover we’re pretty good at hurling ourselves down a bowling lane. Or we may unearth a hidden talent for squeezing into tiny spaces. And we might find that beneath our race and gender and age and language, we’re not that different from one another. Some just might have nicer tracksuits.

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Khayalemfundo under 15 girls crowned national chess champions

KHAYALEMFUNDO High School under 15 girls of Mandeni made the iLembe District and KwaZulu-Natal proud after being crowned top schools chess champions in Pretoria recently.

On Friday, officials of the iLembe Department of Education, KwaZulu-Natal Chess Association and the Department of Sport and Recreation paid an unannounced visit to the school to congratulate the pupils on their outstanding achievement.

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Proud Khayalemfundo principal Ms. Nzuza, WM Gwamanda (iLembe chess co-ordinator), Sandile Xulu (president of KZN Chess Association),  Sphamandla Nkosi (iLembe chess head coach), IK Buthelezi (CES of Sport in the iLembe District) congratulate the Khayalemfundo Under-15 girls chess champions on their outstanding feat. Photo: supplied

President of KwaZulu-Natal Chess Association, Sandile Xulu heaped praise upon the school chess coach and the girls on their outstanding feat.

Chairman of iLembe chess, Welcome Gwamanda said: “These girls exceeded our expectations by winning gold at their first national top schools chess tournament”.

He heaped praise upon coach Siyabonga Gumede, who voluntarily rendered his services to coach these learners in chess.

IK Buthelezi (CES of Sport in the iLembe District) said: “Khayalemfundo girls have done our district proud and stand out as shining role models to the thousands of pupils at our schools. They didn’t have enough chess sets preparing for the national tournament, but their commitment coupled with the passion of their coach was undoubtedly their recipe for success”.

KwaZulu-Natal Chess Association presented each of the seven girls with a chess set and a chess clock. Schools in the iLembe District that require assistance with chess are requested to contact W. Gwamanda on 072 484 7835.

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