Cognitive activation is, in essence, about teaching pupils strategies, such as summarising, questioning and predicting, which they can call upon when solving mathematics problems.

Such strategies encourage pupils to think more deeply in order to find solutions and to focus on the method they use to reach the answer rather than simply focusing on the answer itself. Some of these strategies will require pupils to link new information to information they have already learned, apply their skills to a new context, solve challenging mathematics problems that require extended thought and that could have either multiple solutions or an answer that is not immediately obvious.

Making connections between mathematical facts, procedures and ideas will result in enhanced learning and a deeper understanding of the concepts.