fbpx
Classful Classful Shop

Cognitively guided instruction is much more than just explaining how.

For subjects like math, it can be easy to think that just providing the answer is enough for students. But with cognitively guided instruction, learning is more than just playing follow the leader.

Education resources

View all
How People Perceive Places & Regions: Social Studies - ACTIVITIES + ANSWER KEY

How People Perceive Places & Regions: Social Studies - ACTIVITIES + ANSWER KEY

$2.50
Graduation Cap Black Paper Hat Gold Fabric Font Class of 2022 On Cap

Graduation Cap Black Paper Hat Gold Fabric Font Class of 2022 On Cap

$4.00 $5.00
Sea Turtle Life Cycle Word Search EASY Puzzle

Sea Turtle Life Cycle Word Search EASY Puzzle

$1.25
4th Grade Multiplication Practice Activity Winter Glyph PRINT and DIGITAL

4th Grade Multiplication Practice Activity Winter Glyph PRINT and DIGITAL

$3.00
Geography: Who's The Boss? Comparing World Government Systems

Geography: Who's The Boss? Comparing World Government Systems

$5.00
Identify Integers BUNDLE | Real Life Problems | Self-Checking Escape Activities

Identify Integers BUNDLE | Real Life Problems | Self-Checking Escape Activities

$7.20
Pink Is Not a Color Book Companion

Pink Is Not a Color Book Companion

$4.00
Back to School Checklist

Back to School Checklist

$0.50 $1.00
Dicebreaker CHRISTMAS! Holiday & Christmas Icebreaker Questions I Christmas Conversation Game

Dicebreaker CHRISTMAS! Holiday & Christmas Icebreaker Questions I Christmas Conversation Game

$3.25

What is cognitively guided instruction?

Back in the day, education in many areas was focused on getting the right answer and getting it as quickly as possible. This is especially true for subjects like math, and it was expected that you were either good with figures or weren’t. Math was a subject undertaken alone and was often confusing for students who couldn’t quite ‘get’ it the first time.

This is especially true when students reach high school and more complex and challenging concepts come into play. Because students were not taught to work in collaboration or given the tools to persevere on their own, it often became easier to fail than to continue to ask questions – leading to shame, embarrassment, and a reduced learning capacity.

But first, if you’re a teacher, sign up for your FREE funding account. Or, help fund your teacher today.

Why cognitively guided instruction is a must for math

But when it comes to subjects like math, it isn’t about simply plowing through in an attempt to reach the final answer; in modern schools, it’s known that cultivating understanding and developing problem-solving skills is a must. For future mathematicians or those who will use math daily, these skills are the building blocks to understanding and achieving better work.

Known as CGI, or cognitively guided instruction, this unique mathematics model is entirely student-centered. Unlike past methods, the focus is on the following:

  • Developing what students already know
  • Building from their natural sense of numbers
  • Providing the tools and insight for better problem solving
  • Offering more opportunities for collaboration and learning

The majority of training for teachers is designed around a teacher-centric classroom. Known as direct instruction, this form of teaching involves leading students to help them develop mastery of a specific skill or a subset of a skill. As such, the CGI model is entirely different from how teachers are taught to educate, making it an often challenging concept.

So, how can teachers develop the skills to use the CGI model? The following questions should first be considered before venturing further into what student-centric teaching can provide:

  • Can students learn better if they can discover strategies instead of being taught them?
  • Is collaborative learning beneficial to students, and in what way can it help develop their skills?
  • Can my students grow in math by questioning, sharing, and working together to understand their subject matter better?

If the answers above suggest that you’re open to the concept of cognitively guided instruction, then it’s likely a suitable choice for your classroom. Unlike teacher-led classes, working in a student-led environment requires additional planning and broader support.

Incorporating CGI into the classroom

Each educator needs to collaborate and plan to support students in discovering strategies and evolving their ways of learning. Before a CGI lesson, the following should be considered:

  • The range of complexity within the chosen subject
  • The metacognition of the students themselves
  • A plan for support and development when implementing CGI for the first time

This allows educators to be prepared to offer students more significant, more informed support as they make their own pathways.

An example of this concept is when a student attempts to model numbers based on pictures. The first lesson stage should be questioning the overall process to help them change or improve their thinking. This goes beyond simply leading, allowing the student to organically come to a conclusion based on their conceptual understandings of math and their ability to share strategy and see misunderstandings as they occur.

Just telling a student the direct way to solve a problem doesn’t offer them the skills they need to evolve and develop as mathematicians. Instead, we can use open-ended questioning, as well as targeted sharing of strategies. This puts students at the front and center of their education and gives them the accomplishment they need to understand their subject matter better.

This ownership not only supports them in developing their skills in mathematical thinking but also encourages skills that are transferable to countless other life situations, such as collaborative learning and even the sharing of strategies.

Getting students on board with cognitively guided instruction

For some students, the transition to CGI doesn’t come easy; students are taught from day one in a way that encourages them to follow the leader. As such, sharing strategies can be misconstrued as offering instruction. For those students, it’s important to spend additional time to help them understand the purpose behind CGI, allowing them to reach their conclusions.

By providing students with opportunities for more in-depth learning, insightful discussion, and respectful cooperation, building their understanding can be an organic and authentic experience. The concept of cognitively guided instruction goes hand-in-hand with project learning, and its student-centric approach makes it compelling.

Classful supports teachers to make their classrooms the best possible environment to learn. If you’re considering implementing CGI in your school, we can help make it happen. Find out more now.