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Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
Chicago Academic Games League

Chicago Academic Games League (CAGL). CAGL (Chicago Academic Games League) is back (2014-15 school year) as an online afterschool program. The first CPS school in the program is Robert A. Black in South Shore. A teacher in the school must sponsor and lead this unusual, FREE program of game-based math learning and application. They are actively recruiting schools. The program is no longer a program of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference or its Schools Committee. (See what it was in the past.)
We would really encourage other schools to join us in pioneering the resurrection of CAGL online. The program is free to the schools. Anyone interested should contact me at the number below (or reply to this email.) Thanks for your interest.
Buzz Allen, President, Accelerated Learning Foundation, 641-919-2466 enswell@gmail.com http://gamesforthinkers.org.

Chair: Nancy Baum (program is under review and has not been operational since the managers were unable to continue. It was turned over to another party at the University of Chicago but the latter has not found a way to fit in into their programs. For information (in addition to that below) about how the program operated, and pictures, see the following CAGL_homepage in Hyde Park Record.

CAGL was a teacher/parent collaboration, a program merging substantive math with athletic models of teams, games, and tournaments. Each year, from October through April, students and teachers from Chicago public schools around the city met once each month for a Saturday tournament. Schools were self selecting; teachers and parents were volunteers; students participated of their own volition--not for grades or credit. The program was geared to grades 5-8 and the core of the games was pre-algebra.

Layman Allen, a law professor at Yale, created games that teach law students to think purposefully and logically in their written and oral arguments. These games enabled student to ply together and teach each other, all the while taking responsibility for their own conclusions and processes by keeping score.

Students participated as a member of a school team, not as individuals. A teacher is the designated sponsor and commits to attending the Saturday tournaments and holding practice sessions at the schools between tournaments. The various management tasks (judging, organizing materials, scheduling, etc.) were shared among the parents and sponsors. We were assisted, in addition, by High School Aides. The Aides were alumni of the program and worked with us on Saturdays to earn a scholarship to the INVITATIONAL weekend tournament in May. Sponsors were their mentors and role models.

There was a membership fee per school. It covered the costs of maintaining the materials and the entitlement to a monthly newsletter, TEAMWORKS. For expenses (bus transportation, for example) we were self-supporting. CAGL was the only community based program of this type in the country.

Each school brought as many students as the sponsor designates. We encouraged teachers to include youngsters of all levels of math ability. The content of the games filled needs at both upper and lower ranges of ability.

We believed strongly in positive reinforcement, in the need for children to identify with their schools and an activity in their schools in a positive way and, further, to believe in their own potential for success. There was also a strong base for peer teaching, for cooperative learning and for responsibility to a team. Some of our tools have been T-shirts, certificates, and newsletters.

Programs of the Conference