Chicago Academic Games League

This is the CAGL Committee page. Schools Committee home. Educ. Resources. HPKCC Programs home.

C.A.G.L.

A former service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its website www.hydepark.org, and CAGL. Join the Conference: your dues support our work. A challenge to rebuild this program. The New Academic Games: CAGL emerges! From the September 2006 Conference Reporter

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HPKCC IS SAD TO ANNOUNCE THE PASSING RITA B. YACKER, 1929-2015, FOUNDER AND FOR OVER 20 YEARS DIRECTOR OF CHICAGO ACADEMIC GAMES LEAGUE.

THIS PROGRAM IS NO LONGER A PROGRAM OF THE CONFERENCE.

Buzz Allen, President of Accelerated Learning Foundation (Iowa), who is promoting an online version of EQUATIONS that will allow students nation-wide to interact with previous travel and building costs. This might replace the former once-a-month Saturday morning sessions CAGL (Chicago Academic Games League) used to host. Please visit their website, http://www.gamesforthinkers.org or visit CODE.org.

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, Presiden, Accelerated Learning Foundation, 641-919-2466 enswell@gmail.com http://gamesforthinkers.org.
For more information contact Nancy Baum, HPKCC Schools Chair.

THE FOLLOWING IS CACHED MATERIAL and not current but illustrates what determination and imagination can do.

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The Chicago Academic Games League [CAGL] is a teacher/parent collaboration,founded about 1985, 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 meet once each month for a Saturday tournament. Schools are self selecting; teachers and parents are volunteers; students participate of their own volition - not for grades or credit. The program is geared to grades 5 through 8, and the core of the games is pre-algebra.

CAGL is an affiliate committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. See feature from the Summer, 2004 Reporter. It is also now an affiliate program of the University of Chicago Community Service Center and funded by the (separately funded) Women's Board of the University of Chicago. Contact Wallace Goode, Jr, wgoode@uchicago.edu.

CAGL (met) the 3rd Saturday of each month (generally and of course not in summer) and is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon.

CAGL is being revitalized and expanded to new schools in conjunction with math in schools outreach of the University of Chicago. See below. James Wilson is the administrator.


WHAT,
WHEN,
WHERE &
WHO
Summer 04 Conference Reporter feature

Benefits
Beliefs

  Membership
Leadership
Games

email us

 

 



 

Features: CAGL Kids Have Math in Palm of Their Hands

An in depth look from the Summer 2004 Conference Reporter: Kids and Games: CAGL's Natural Combination

HPKCC Board Members Aid CAGL Rejuvenation: A challenge to you

CAGL uses an approach and set of dimensions to learning and person-building that are often missing from today's schools or homes and needs to be a nation-wide model, not be a backwater or allowed to die. Editor GMO

From the Spring 2005 Conference Reporter. By Judy Dupont:

The Chicago Academic Games League (CAGL), a long time affiliate of the HP-KCC, is currently suffering from attrition due in large part to the "No Child Left Behind" initiative. Teachers, principals, and students feel the pressure of trying to raise their test scores in order to prevent their schools being closed.

CAGL is 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 meet once each month for a Saturday tournament. Schools are self selecting; teachers and parents are volunteers; students participate of their own volition--not for grades or credit. The program is geared to grades 5-8 and the core of the games is pre-algebra.

[HPKCC] Board members [del. names] are working on a plan to expand the number of schools participating in the competition. It is hoped that the math coaches in the areas where schools are currently participating, as well as those for Hyde Park Schools, can be identified. Other school associates with enthusiasm or influence are also to be identified. The plan is to invite some of these people to the Invitational year-end gala on May 21st at Black Magnet School at 71st and Cole. The currently active players will play a tournament, be awarded trophies and certificates, and receive the traditional "CAGL" tee-shirt. Math coaches and other interested people will be asked to attend in hopes of enticing more schools to be members in 2005-06.

The upgrade includes special conferences to teach the game to coaches and to give a general orientation to CAGL.

If you want to help in this challenge, please call the Conference at (773) 288-8343.

CAGL had 4 schools in 2006-07, directed by two U of C students. May tournament is at Benedictine University.

 

The games are played at the University of Chicago Lab Schools, 59th Street between Kimbark and Kenwood (yes, the star's a bit wrong; entry at Blaine Hall, 1362 E. 59th St.) Curbside parking, westbound street. Walk through the courtyard into the Cafeteria (security guard will direct you).


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Among the built in benefits and features of the program are the experiences for good sportsmanship, arbitration, learning divergent and creative thinking skills, respect for rules and other people, responsibility for choices and the documentation of score sheets.

CAGL program is also an interest of the Schools Committee of the Hyde Park - Kenwood Community Conference [a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.].
All contributions are tax deductible
to the extent of the law and may be earmarked for CAGL.

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

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

The Director for the program was James L. Wilson, Jr., a math faculty member in the Chicago City College system. Co Director was Contessa Griffin, teacher at Mason Elementary. Founder and Volunteer administrator was Rita Yacker. Now managed by education interns of the University of Chicago and a project of the University of Chicago University Community Service Center, contacts at top of page.

click for driving directionsSlightly inacc. Lab School loc.

Students participate 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.) are shared among the parents and sponsors. We are assisted, in addition, by High School Aides. The Aides are alumni of the program and work with us on Saturdays to earn a scholarship to the INVITATIONAL weekend tournament in May. Sponsors are their mentors and role models. Parents and teacher-colleagues act as chaperones for the trip to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

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.

 

We believe 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 is 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.

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To order games, contact the UCSC. EQUATIONS and BOGGLE cost $ per game individually (each game is played by 3 children simultaneously). A classroom set is 10 games serving 30 students. Membership in CAGL (and purchase of the minimum 10 games, for a class, entitles the school to 25% discount on each sets of 10 or more.  We welcome your interest and look forward to greeting you and your team members. The above may have changed and is subject to change.
                        

 

 

An affiliate programmatic committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and now also of the University of Chicago Community Service Center and funded by the Women's Board of the University of Chicago.

The Community Service Center, with a committed budget for 2007-2008, seeks to expand CAGL to as many as 12 school. Wallace E. Goode is supervising. Ms. Rodriguez is directing; her staff is directly in the schools. This year's tournament will be at the Lab School.

The NEW Chicago Academic Games League- U-CAGL emerges with University partnership

 

from the September 2006 Conference Reporter

By Judy Dupont and Joy Nieda, HPKCC CAGL Committee co-chairs and HPKCC board members.

The Chicago Academic Games League (CAGL) has begun a new association with the University of Chicago's University Service Center (UCSC). This partnership, U-CAGL, will bring together the direct, one-on-one community services of civic-minded University students and the community oriented math program of CAGL. Substantially the same, structurally new, CAGL will share a future with the University, tapping into the intellectual capacity and avid commitment of University student volunteers.

CAGL is 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 schools around the city meet once each month for a Saturday tournament. This program is geared to grades 5 through 8. Participating students practice math skills and learn creative thinking, respect for rules and procedures, for other people, arbitration, and good sportsmanship.

In the past few years, this superb opportunity for intellectual growth and development for grade school students has atrophied. Leadership transitions and new priorities have resulted in a failure to recognize the value provided by a math enrichment program of this nature.

With UCSC student staff coordinating, the new partnership will launch this pilot program in the fall of 2006. University student staffers will recruit Recognized Student Organizations (RSO's) to sponsor schools to participated in U-CAGL. U of C students will supervise after school practices at participating schools as well as the monthly tournaments.

Annually a group of approximately 100 participating CAGL students have traveled to Aurora University's Lake Geneva campus for a weekend final year-end tournaments. U of C sponsors would help staff this event.

A necessary but achievable goal of the U-CAGL partnership is to identify and seek government, education, and corporate dollars for sponsorship.

Rita Yacker, a founding director of CAGL, has committed to partner with UCSC staff to develop grant applications to historic education funders as well as to local community-based initiatives with education set-aside dollars.

It will take time. The new U-CAGL partnership gives CAGL the "spark" it needs; it gives the 5th through 8th graders the benefits of CAGL; it gives U of C students a social service opportunity that is experiential and cognitive. It forges collaboration among the community-based leaders of CAGL, Chicago Public Schools, U of C Lab Schools, and the University of Chicago*.

*As to be corrected in next issue of the Reporter: insert "The Women's Board". HPKCC is grateful for funding from the Women's Board and the volunteer and organizational commitment for the University Community Service Center.

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A feature from the summer, 2004 HPKCC Conference Reporter:

Kids and Games: CAGL's Natural Combination

by Rita Yacker

If you should visit a Saturday tournament of the Chicago Academic Games League at the U-High cafeteria, you would find a cavernous room full of middle-grade children and you would hear nothing but an occasional crumple of paper or the scrape of pencils moving quickly across paper. No electronic beeps or dings or clicks--nothing but brains getting their juices flowing, whatever that sound may be! At times, there will be a hand in the air, the signal that a player needs a judge to help settle an issue, part of the arbitration process that is an integral piece of the whole package in the playing of the games. That's not surprising when one considers t hast the author of the game was a law professor at Yale.

Layman Allen, the professor, as trying to teach law students to think purposefully and logically in their written and oral arguments. To this end, he invented WFF 'N PROOF (logic) and then EQUATIONS in a game form that students could play together and teach each other, all the while taking responsibility for their own conclusions and processes by keeping score.

Rules are an essential part of the package: rules of the game, rules of Math (in Equations), and rules of civility. The rules key to the variables the kids have to keep in their heads as the play progresses. Academic Games is not contact sports. Every move is orderly and "by the book." The point of the game is to be the last player left with a viable solution, within the time allowed (a timer is part of the game). Observers will see a playing mat shared by three students, holding colored wooden cubes with symbols on them: number 0-9, and the four math operations plus square root and exponent. Closer observation will reveal that the playing mat has four large sections: the largest is resources, which has to hold a random "shake" of all 24 colored cubes to start the game. Under the resources spot are three sections labeled forbidding, permitted, and required. As each player takes a turn, a cube is moved to block an opponent or enhance the player's (mover's) chances.

This is the genius of the game. Making decisions is critical in the game and in life, and so is taking responsibility for choices made. The playing mat, with its model of decision-making, has been used by me in strategizing in the community or personally to evaluate choices and what is viable. Program Director James Wilson calls it the "Game of Life" when he speaks about the program. It makes a powerful statement, keeping argument to a minimum and conclusions clearly defined.

Substance, discipline, teamwork, and good sportsmanship are all fundamental to the games and have been so for the 25 years we have run it. The individual school may bring as many kids as the sponsor designates, encouraging teachers to include youngsters at all levels of math ability. The content of the games fills needs at both the upper and lower ranges of ability. Organization of the teams is another critical difference that sets CAGL apart from other activities. There is always movement during the tournament, at the end of the rounds. No child is frozen in place by his or her ability. The goal is to keep kids playing at the limits of their ability without being wiped out by opponents. Teachers rank their teams and opponents from other schools are matched so that kids are challenged and comfortable at the same time. Teachers must be sensitive, informed and supportive, a requirement that actually makes them better classroom teachers.

Over the years, administrators of various sorts have asked us for evaluations of the program. We have never had the resources to do an evaluation of the type they refer to: the quantitative (and often meaningless) drone of how many did this, what scores they made on the Iowa Tests afterward, and all that goes with that. With this much experience, what keeps us enthusiastic is that everyone participates voluntarily: teachers, students , and the Games organizers. From time to time, we hear of our alumni who remember their experiences with the program very vividly. In the past year incidents of our impact on young lives have increased so much that we realize that we have grown our own cadre of teachers in the Chicago Public School ranks. The mature young people are now creating a new wave of second-generation players as they as they contact us to join the League. They have told us that, although they were from different schools and frequently did not know one another prior to their encounters at workshops, area meetings, or professional development programs, their enthusiasm has always been keen, evoking the recollections of the Invitational at Lake Geneva, the meets at U-High, and the sponsors that guided them, providing mentoring and modeling.

In our dealings with both children and adults, we emphasize that our standards and requirements are based on fundamental good sense. The new crop of teachers were have grown underscores our good instincts were trustworthy.

For information about the monthly Saturday tournaments at U-High, October through April, and the weekend in Wisconsin in May, [contact the University Community Service Center Director Wallace Goode.] Students in grades 5-8 may join only as part of a school team, with a teacher-sponsor from that school. Games may be ordered using the same contact numbers as above.

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