Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI)

Annotated Web Resources

updated October 29, 2014

This is an ongoing, evolving site.  Please feel free to comment, suggest changes, provide additional info, etc.  Email feedback to me. 

The starting point for CGI is the original book prepared by the developers, Carpenter, Fennema, Franke, Levi and Empson:  Children's Mathematics:  Cognitive Guided Instruction.    This outstanding introduction provide the theory and many examples of classroom implementation.

There are a vast number of web site with CGI materials.  As I've reviewed various sites I've classified the information I found into three categories. 

Resources for Teachers

Monterey Bay Area Math Project has listed all the problem types with sample problems.

Downey Unified School District Cognitively Guided Instruction:   This entire DUSD website is devoted exclusively to CGI.  From the home page, which in and of itself is very engaging, there are links for teachers with materials for each grade level.  There are also online copies of in services training and materials for parents. 

Word problems by University of Wisconsin - Oshkoshhers:  Extensive collection of problems classified as easy to harder.

Native American stories to motivate math lesson

Problems by South Dakota teachers:  74 page booklet organized by CGI problem type and grade level.  There are a few pages of problems for each grade level. This is a pdf file, so select the pages for your grade and then just print those.

These links take you to grade level specific materials.  (Note:  for some links of handouts or sample problem, the file is downloaded and not opened as a web page.)


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

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Resources for Parents

Downey CGI for Parents: A two page overview of CGI and what parents can do to help their child with mathematics.  Adopted from the US Dept of Education  materials. The Dept of Ed has extensive materials, suggested games and other general information.

CGI Parent Newsletters:  A series of 17 newsletters developed by the original U of Wisconsin team that developed and did the original research on CGI.

Parent Roadmaps to Common Core Standards / Parent Roadmaps- Mathematics:  Materials prepared by the Council of Urban City Schools.

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General Overview/Background Resources

University of Wisconsin - Oshkoshhers has an extensive site on CGI with background articles, problem sets and series of pages on using Native American stories to motivate mathematics.

Summary chart of CGI problem types.

Top 8 Reasons To Use Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) to Address the Common Core does a nice job discussing why CGI should be used to meet Common Core objectives.  The author of this article, Michelle's Math, has a list of links to various resources useful from her consulting perspective.  Those I found reviewed and found helpful are individually linked in this list.

Promising Practices Network Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI):  2007 summary of evaluation research and short discussion of implementation concerns.

UW CGI Math Encourages Ingenuity and Reasoning:  News article summarize history of CGI development at the U of Wisconsin Center for Educational Research and provides overview of goals and philosophy.

In 2008 I investigated Singapore Math and created a website summarizing much of what I learned.

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Please feel free to email me with questions and suggestions.

Jason Frand, PhD.
Math Olympiad Coach and
Los Angeles County-wide Math Olympiad Tournament Chairperson
Linwood Howe Elementary School
Culver City Unified School District
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Retired
Assistant Dean and Director, Retired
UCLA Anderson School of Management
prepared August 30, 2014