Jean runs a non-profit, 9 Queens, that brings chess to "under-served populations" (women and low income kids). That might sound like a slightly confused mission, but it works out nicely in practice. The great thing about Jean, especially about working with Jean, is that everything she does professionally is quality. you know what I mean?
if you don't, here's a glimpse:
While I was in Arizona, I spent a day with Jean and chess instructor Andy Roth at an elementary school and gave a two hour workshop on teaching chess at a SACA (Southern Arizona Chess Association) tournament. I was super-flattered that they hosted me and that 22 adults came and listened to me for a couple hours. (my kids have to). My talk was mostly about the importance of a student-practice-centered curriculum, and how to use different chess puzzles and exercises to address specific learning problems. The text of the talk (I wrote it out, but then couldn't bring myself to actually read it) is here.
Jean and I made nice big binders for attendees, but for you here, a brief overview of the puzzles and what they are good for:
double whammys A huge thank you to Jeff Coakley*, for his permission to use his these puzzles from his forth-coming "orange book." (Winning Chess Puzzles For Kids, Volume 2!) If you don't already know this, I'm obsessed with Jeff Coakley's chess teaching books [Winning Chess Strategy for Kids (green), Winning Chess Puzzles for Kids (red) , Winning Chess Exercises for Kids (blue)].
I love double whammys particularly because they directly teach the most effective thinking strategy for anyone rated 100-1200: "If I go there and then there, it's checkmate!" (almost no one under 1000 ever defends anything)
White makes two consecutive moves. The first move cannot be check. The second move must be checkmate. I include four problems here, because I adore series of similar puzzles: I don't have to look like a fool scrambling to set up a new position, plus it demonstrates for kids that details are important in chess: small changes make big differences and they need to be careful.
Here, checkmate is a6, stalemate is a8, and mate in one is a4 (Qb4#)
Who's the goof? These are great for getting kids to think broadly about chess and its possibilities and to troubleshoot for rules violations. For each position, you have to say why it is illegal.
update! : Jeff Coakley's website: http://www.coakleychess.com/
*in fact, all of the puzzles are from Jeff's books. If you teach chess and you don't own them all, you're ridiculous and should order them immediately. Later, you will love me for this.
** I stole this idea from Miron Sher