Nearly 200 educators from surrounding counties and out of state visited Downey public school campuses last week for a first-hand look at how Downey Unified implements cognitively guided instruction as the basis of elementary math instruction.
Cognitively guided instruction, or CGI, Instruction is an approach to teaching and learning math where problem solving is the focus of instruction. Students are expected to make sense of the math and use previous understandings to decide how to solve each problem they encounter. Through CGI, emphasis is placed on thinking and understanding.
Students are active learners, explain their thinking and are asked to apply the math to actual situations. These are skills emphasized in the California Content Standards, and more importantly, skills that students need to have to be successful in both college and today’s workforce.
Guests monitored both the teacher and the students as they demonstrated what successful CGI and effective math instruction look like in an actual lesson. Teachers, administrators, and superintendents from districts such as Redondo Beach Unified, El Segundo Unified, Los Angeles Unified, Norwalk/La Mirada Unified, Fullerton Unified, Tustin Unified, Riverside Unified, Apply Valley Unified, Montebello Unified, Temple City Unified, Rowland Unified, and Paramount Unified, as well as a math expert from Utah, spent their morning visiting the kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms at Lewis Elementary School.
Their goal was to observe the way this curriculum is taught to Downey Unified students in order to obtain information that they will then bring back to implement within their own districts.
Downey Unified has hosted several visitations recently for school districts interested in CGI. Last year, more than 300 educators visited Gallatin, Gauldin and Old River elementary schools.
For more information on how CGI is implemented in Downey schools, visit dusd.net/cgi