Learning the ropes of effective mathematics instruction
Registration is under way for the Cognitively Guided Instruction 7th Biennial National Mathematics Conference to be held July 10-12 in Des Moines.
Cognitively Guided Instruction, or CGI, emphasizes teaching mathematics in a way that taps into how children think in order to maximize their understanding. It is particularly important in elementary school to ensure they will have a firm foundation upon which they can learn more advanced mathematics.
CGI provides teachers the professional development – strategies and skills – required to effectively implement the Iowa Core.
The conference is co-hosted by the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa State University’s Center for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education.
The event will feature nationally renowned mathematics education expert James Hiebert, a professor at the University of Delaware, and authors of the book Children’s Mathematics: Thomas Carpenter, Elizabeth Fennema, Megan Loef Franke, Linda Levi and Susan Empson. Master classroom teachers in Cognitively Guided Instruction also will be there to share their expertise.
CGI is a professional development program based on well-established research that shows children come to school with rich informal systems of mathematical knowledge and problem-solving strategies, and these can serve as a basis for learning mathematics with understanding.
The Iowa Department of Education has worked with schools, districts and Area Education Agencies across the state for several years to implement CGI professional development.
“We have built a strong network of highly skilled CGI educators throughout the past eight years,” said Judith Spitzli, the department’s mathematics education consultant. “Local education agencies that have fully implemented CGI have shown an increase in mathematics student achievement at the elementary level. There is a strong connection between CGI and the content of Iowa Core Mathematics at the elementary level.”
At Iowa State University, pre-service teachers have learned about CGI since 2006.
"Our data indicates that introducing pre-service teachers to the CGI framework, and then having them do their field experiences in classrooms led by CGI-trained teachers through the state effort, is a very powerful combination," said Alejandro Andreotti, an adjunct assistant professor who teaches mathematics education at Iowa State University.
"Our graduates' mathematical knowledge for teaching (a measure linked to future K-6 student achievement) has improved significantly since we adopted this program," Andreotti said. "This shows the multiplier effects that we can achieve when we combine state and teacher preparation efforts."
The conference will be held at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. Registration before April 30 is $250, and after that it’s $325. Registration closes June 28.