Cognitively Guided Instruction is "a professional development program based on an integrated program of research on (a) the development of students' mathematical thinking; (b) instruction that influences that development; (c) teachers' knowledge and beliefs that influence their instructional practice; and (d) the way that teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and practices are influenced by their understanding of students' mathematical thinking". CGI is an approach to teaching mathematics rather than a curriculum program. At the core of this approach is the practice of listening to children's mathematical thinking and using it as a basis for instruction. The CGI philosophy is detailed in Children's Mathematics which is co-authored by Thomas Carpenter, Elizabeth Fennema, Megan Loef Franke, Linda Levi, and Susan Empson.
All K-5 teachers at Rancho Vista have recieved multiple days of training in CGI and are integrating it into their classrooms with the district adopted "Math in Focus" program. K-2 classrooms use CGI more extensively to develop conceputal understanding and problem solving ability in our youngest learners.