This is a highly-qualified State of Arizona science teacher's expert analysis of the first Yamie Chess K-8 math learning aid for elementary and middle school students, in an educational series that Yamie Chess Ltd conducted with nationally-respected academics for parents and educators across America.
The researched article serves as the first of two analyses of Yamie Chess written by experienced U.S. STEM school grade teachers, for parents and other educators. The second was provided by Illinois Middle school math educator, Ms. Elizabeth Gates, B.A., who is a Middle Childhood Education specialist in Chicago schools.
This page includes copyrighted material by Mrs. Jena Phillips, B.S., MEd, and has been split into sections below for your ease of reference.
The perspective of a Middle school science teacher: Mrs. Jena Phillips, B.S., MEd, Northern Arizona University.
Mrs. Jena Phillips, a highly-qualified Arizona 7th and 8th grade Middle school science teacher, who has been teaching kids every day for over 15 years, and who earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership (MEd) from Northern Arizona University (NAU), gives her impartial, professional view of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels®.
2. Mrs. Jena Phillips' MEd analysis of Yamie Chess®
3. More about the Expert
4. Suggested Reading and Related Articles
An experienced science school teacher, Mrs Jena Phillips, MEd, has worked at all levels of the U.S. elementary school system, from Title 1 and SLD to academic interventions and gifted students. Tested and assessed from her relevant Elementary and Middle school teaching perspective, teaching children every day, Mrs Phillips provides parents and other teachers with a reliable and comprehensive educational analysis of Yamie Chess®.
Northern Arizona University-qualified educator, Mrs Jena Phillips, MEd, concludes that the Yamie Chess® math learning aid is an entirely valid investment to benefit children's STEM education, and compatible with the Common Core State Standards across the country.
Mrs Phillips has an ESL endorsement, certification in middle school science and math, and is currently (at the time of writing) working on her gifted endorsement.
Mrs Jena Phillips' MEd analysis of Yamie Chess®
Review of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels
By Mrs Jena Phillips, Bachelors of Science (B.S.), Elementary Education, Masters in Educational Leadership (MEd), Northern Arizona University.
Date: November 30, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Mrs Jena Phillips, B.S., MEd. All Rights Reserved.
Chess is a game of strategy for all ages and is beginning to be used in schools as a way to push critical thinking skills in both the classroom and in extra curricular clubs.
With the introduction of the Common Core standards across the country, educators understand that interacting with content and digging deeper into a topic are becoming more important than simply presenting facts for students to memorize.
Working with experts in the fields of math, science, and chess, Yamie Chess Limited has taken this classic game and given it depth.
Layered with critical thinking and topics in both math and science, Yamie Chess has written a fictional story, The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels, to teach children all about this timeless game.
The adventure is presented in a comic book format and printed in black and white so that students can color the pictures.
The 260 page story takes the reader on a trip into a magical dream world where the characters are the chess pieces, and the goal is to win the game.
Complete with a map and character guide, the comic begins with a young chess prodigy, Kimi, playing in Central Park. After an unfortunate skating accident, Kimi must undergo surgery.
It is during this time, in a dreamlike state, that Kimi teaches the basics and underpinnings of a chess game with the help of the mind angels he meets.
The chess pieces take on the individual personalities of story characters, allowing students to better relate to the game.
Throughout Kimi’s adventure, a chess game is played and seamlessly interwoven into the story itself.
During the plays, “think alouds” are provided so that students are able to follow what Kimi is thinking as he contemplates each chess move.
This process is essential since merely understanding which direction a piece moves doesn’t help students understand that chess requires strategy and thought.
Written with a variety of ages in mind, The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels teaches children how to play chess while incorporating different levels of math problems into the storyline.
The problems are clearly marked by grade level and were written to tie into the NCTM standards. Solutions are provided in the back with ample explanation and diagrams to show how some of the more complex problems are solved.
These questions give a depth to the story and provide differentiation for any age student in grades K-8.
Although the problems are to be solved during the story, if a student comes across a difficult question that is not appropriate, he will not lose out on important pieces of the story. These problems are what provide rigor and enable a teacher to use this with a wide range of ages and abilities.
As a teacher, I always am looking for activities, lessons, and products that will raise the bar for the children in my classroom.
With The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels, this product addresses both different levels in the classroom and teaches critical thinking to all.
I highly recommend it!
More about the Expert
For over 15 years, Mrs. Jena L. Phillips has been a qualified State of Arizona Math and Science Educator, teaching children on a daily basis. Mrs Phillips attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) where she earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree (MEd) in Educational Leadership and General Administration.
Dedicated to her STEM teaching profession and working on the front line, Mrs. Phillips spent the first 5 years of her career teaching K-1, then several years in 4th grade, and for the past 6 years has taught 6th grade math and science.
Mrs. Phillips' blog, 'Caught in the Middle: A blog about life teaching in the mostly overlooked middle grades', was named as a Top 25 Middle School Teacher Blog, by Teacher Certification Degrees, the online professional teaching resource for education graduates.
Mrs. Phillips is married to an educator and is also a mother of two children. She is currently teaching 7th and 8th grade science with gifted students.
Visit the author's LinkedIn profile
Suggested Reading and Related Articles
Yamie Chess Ltd works with six math Ph.D.s from top U.S. universities.