PBL Meets Math through Cognitively Guided Instruction

keeping track
Renee Smith, Math Consultant and professional learning guru, is in the studio for this week’s episode of Practicing PBL. Renee shares her thoughts about how to shift the traditional approach to teaching math (“I do, we do, you do”) to a more inquiry, problem-solving approach, using the Cognitively Guided Instruction approach.  

about Renee Smith:

Renee began teaching math in, of all places, a maximum security prison. “I was 21 years old and 99 lbs. soaking wet.”  Some of her students were convicted murderers and as scary as it sounds, it was incredibly sad. Many of those men had failed in the school system and then turned to crime. That early experience with public school dropouts cemented her resolve to help future students understand and succeed in the area of mathematics. To that end Renee dedicated 16 years to the classroom, teaching 5th grade math and up through Algebra.

Renee has presented at the local, state, and national levels but her most worthwhile experience at ESSDACK has been working to take the fear out of math for teachers and students alike.

Renee’s podcasts include “By the Numbers,” “Just Desserts,” and “Math Snacks.”

Renee’s website:

http://by-thenumbers.org/ CGI Supports:


email Renee: reneesmith@essdack.org 

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