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Cognitively Guided Mathematics Instruction (CGI)

The driving principle of Cognitively Guided Instruction is contained within the name: the cognition of the learner guides the teacher’s instruction.

To be guided by a student’s cognition, the teacher must understand and respect the student’s mathematical thinking. The teacher must also thoroughly understand the mathematics that s/he is expected to teach. This understanding of both the learner’s thinking and the content enables the teacher to differentiate instruction.

With content competence, the CGI teacher knows how to appropriately adapt a lesson for a student who is struggling and extend a lesson for students who will benefit from challenge. Consequently, CGI aligns perfectly with the DPI’s current Response to Intervention (RTI) mandate.

However, CGI is more than a teaching approach; it is a philosophy – a philosophy that embodies the belief that all children, all learners, possess the ability to think mathematically (Carpenter et al., 1998).

Relevant CGI Materials

CGI Workshop Manual

Many Many CGI Word Problems

A Teacher's Guide to CGI

CGI- A Culturally Responsive Approach to Teaching

Windows into Children’s Mathematical Thinking: Problem Types, Levels of Development & Children’s Solution Strategies: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, & Division