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Improving Teacher Quality

Mathematics and English Language Development (MELD)

Grant Number: 07-415

Grant Award: $971,371

Duration of Project: Monday, October 01, 2007 - Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Project Subject Areas: Mathematics

Grade Band: K-2

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus

Local Education Agencies:

  • Calexico Unified, Calexico

Number of teachers/principals/highly qualified paraprofessionals participating in the project:



The overall goal of MELD is to increase student performace in mathematics and English language acquisition at the K-2 level. Specifically, through MELD professional development K-2 teachers will gain strategies and knowledge relevant to:
  1. How children learn mathematics and how to build instruction based on student thinking by using the research based pedagogy of Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI)
  2. How to differentiate mathematics instruction for special needs students and how to differentiate the language of instruction for English Learners
  3. How to support instructional change through professional learning communities


Teachers advance through 120 hours of staff development in the form of Institutes and follow up activities. Institutes are offered in Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), MELD, and Mathematical Thinking. CGI helps teachers learn to recognize and use student thinking to guide instruction. Mathematical Thinking centers on helping K-2 teachers set good foundations for Algebra with such concepts as meaning of the equal sign and making mathematical conjectures and justifications.
MELD staff development focuses on advanced CGI techniques combined with English Language Development strategies to make word problem solving accessible to English Learners. Each Institute is followed up with Theory Into Practice (TIP) Sessions held monthly thoroughout the school year. TIP uses modified lesson study during the course of the day to help teachers practice and implement the tenents of MELD and create supportive learning communities.

Anticipated Outcomes:

The central outcome of MELD is to increase student performance in mathematics for K-2 students. The achievement gains made during the primary years as a result of MELD staff development will provide a strong conceptual base which will support and sustain continued mathematical achievement in subsequent years. The project will provide a model of how English and mathematics can be integrated into a single lesson and how that lesson can be differentiated to accommodate diverse learners. Ancillary outcomes of the project will include: a cadre of highly trained K-2 teachers able to sustain quality mathematics instruction, and assessment instruments to measure student learning in problem solving in the primary grades.


Institute of Higher Education: Leslie Garrison, Co-Director,
Local Education Agency: Gloria Celaya, LEA Co-Director,

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