Even at the beginning level, many chess players pick up the excellent habit of looking for undefended pieces. It is less common for young players to notice what I call 'underdefended' enemy pieces - those which are only being protected as many times as they are being attacked. Just like undefended pieces, underdefended (or badly defended, if you prefer) pieces contain the seeds of tactics for the opponent.
Solving exercises from books is one of the best ways to train the skill of finding the best move. But for many children, consistent book work may not be as realistic as solving problems on the computer. Fair enough! This is why Alex and I have meticulously entered Steps problems into chessbase, to be able to assign them on our online platform as HW. New Steps classes start this coming week - all the information is here: https://masterchess.org/collections/all There are other electronic resources I wanted to draw to your attention as well. Chessity is a website I have used with my own students for many years. I think I was the first mass adopter among American coaches. I remember my contact...
When I started teaching at NEST+m, the school gave all of us a handbook. It was exceptionally (excessively?) detailed, containing, among other things, a lesson evaluation rubric and examples of what constituted a successful or unsuccessful lesson. Between student teaching, graduate school, and entering the ‘real world’, I got an idea of what good teaching - really, I should say good learning - is meant to look like.
By now, I understood that typical American approaches to teaching beginners are incorrect, moving so quickly through the basics that most students never master them. I knew how to help a young beginner develop their vision of the board, building up their chess as if constructing a castle.