Syllabus and Assessments
Our syllabus, performance tracking, and assessments are some major reasons our chess services are superior to others. Essentially, 10 years ago, 2 years before Chess Performance was created, Ryan Velez used his background in testing and design to create chess tests that could be given to students. They would then be separated into groups based on their test scores and other criteria.
Since then, our testing and assessing has been reworked many times over. Now, in addition to their test scores, we track what lessons they have been given, and what individual pieces of knowledge they have gained before lessons began. The diagram shows two examples, a brand new kindergartner and an experienced 3rd grader.
Each square on the syllabus corresponds to a lesson or a concept and each lesson or concept has a corresponding question on our assessments. Thus, when we give a test, we can track (using green highlighter) what the student knows and remembers from lessons in the previous year(s). In some cases, students are taught things at home which will also be reflected on the assessment. In the diagram, Aniket has clearly been taught a little bit about piece movement, probably by his mom or dad, but knows almost nothing else. Whereas with Joelle, she clearly has a lot more retained, but she has a few holes in her knowledge that the instructor was able to help with.
In both examples in the diagram, the orange filled boxes represent what lessons the students have been taught this year. Every 8 to 10 weeks, we re-test so that we can see improvement. Not only does this help with seeing where the students have improved or need more improvement, but it also helps the instructors reflect on what lessons they need to work on. For example, if 8 kids in the same class all failed to understand the same concept, the test will reflect this, and it then becomes a growth area for that instructor. The instructor then requests training and we make sure they learn a better way to teach that information.
The assessments were originally designed by Ryan Velez. Since then, they have been refined by Ryan and his colleague Miami Fugatte, who is currently in school obtaining his degree in education. Their work has produced a system that helps show the knowledge of each student in the easiest and best possible way. If you wish to see your child's improvement, show up to chess club a little early and the instructor can take you through it.