The National Championship of Mathematical Games, an initiative of Ludus (together with SPM and APM) won the Ciência Viva Educação prize 2020.
We present our project and interim results at the online conference ChessTech 2020 on 5 December in two sessions (15.00-16.30 GMT and 17.00-18.30 GMT) under the headline Beyond Chess. To attend you need to register for free here: www.chessconference.org/ticket-tailor.
8x8 (eight by eight) brings together pedagogues, mathematicians, and game experts. Jointly, we are exploring the pedagogical possibilities of simple strategy games for primary school education. We want to promote mathematical, logical, and meta-cognitive skills of children through the use of games.
This project follows previous experience related to games and education like the CHAMPS Erasmus+Project, 2017-2019. We are using a simple Chess/Checkers board, but are introducing a broad range of simple ludic activities to teach games that offer great depth. Our goal is to empower children to discover patterns and possible strategies by themselves. These games can be played with simple materials and, in some cases, even with just pen and paper, which makes them ideal to be explored in the classroom and at home.
Take Slimetrail as an example (you can play it on the left). Two players take turns moving the same piece (here in purple). A move is to an orthogonally or diagonally adjacent square that has not been occupied before. Whoever brings the piece to his or her corner, wins. If you cannot play, because it is your turn and the piece is blocked, you lose.
8x8 has started on 16 September 2019. The project is coordinated by the Portuguese mathematics association Ludus. The partners are the Haus der Mathematik at the University College of Teacher Education Vienna, the regional school administration Académie de Créteil near Paris, and the education and training consultancy ChessPlus in London.
Through feedback based on classroom observation and the response from teachers, we are researching how to best use these games. We are also developing a manual and training for primary school teachers. These will result in two documents which will be freely available for download (you can find a preselection of rules below). You can help us by spreading and using these games!