Have you ever uttered the phrase “I don’t understand how they teach math today?” Depending on the age of your oldest child or when you graduated from school, there is a chance you have said this. Math instruction has evolved over the years, moving away from rote memorization of just facts to focusing on understanding concepts. When we move to a focus on the process, the ability to understand can depend on how you are taught.
The reality is that each person may understand math concepts differently and what makes sense to one may not make sense to another. The idea that there is only one way to arrive at the answer is not only untrue, but is frustrating for those who may understand it differently. That is where the value of Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) lies.
CGI is a student-centered approach to teaching math. Our teachers start with what your child already knows and builds on their natural number sense and intuitive approaches to problem solving. Teachers assume the role of listeners, facilitators, and questioners rather than lecturers with a set of instructions. When they guide your child through questions, they begin to uncover and expand on your child’s mathematical understanding.
Two primary things happen when teachers use CGI with math:
- Teachers learn how your child thinks about number sense and problem solving. They can further differentiate the math instruction for your child in a way that makes sense to them and then build on their skills.
- Your child will approach math problems with an understanding of where to start, rather than worrying about right and wrong answers. This gives your child the freedom to process math in a way that makes sense to them. Your child gains math competence, confidence and a love for learning (especially math).
Studies show that students that are taught math through CGI make significant gains in problem solving and mastery of mathematical concepts. All New Life Academy Lower School teachers are trained in Cognitively Guided Instruction. Continual professional development for teachers ensures that your child is empowered in their own learning journey. The value of this is immeasurable during their most formative years when the foundations of learning and understanding are taking place. What better way to equip them, not only with foundational knowledge, but with confidence and a joy for learning.