When Robert Marzano reviewed the research on the effectiveness of different teaching strategies, explicit teaching came out on top. The I Do We Do You Do model is a simple and catchy way to convey the essence of explicit instruction.
In a nutshell, the I Do phase of a lesson involves you telling students what they need to know and showing them how to do the things that they need to be able to do. Research confirms that this is a powerful part of an effective and efficient learning process.
In more specific terms, it involves teaching strategies such as informing, explaining, modelling and providing examples.
WE Do is the second phase of the I Do WE Do YOU Do model. It involves doing tasks together.
By working together, you can help students use the steps they need to follow to complete particular tasks such as adding common fractions, writing the letter m, or simplifying an equation.
You can also help students to remember facts and understand broader concepts. For example, you can collectively create some class notes or fill in a graphic organiser as a class.
The You Do phase of a lesson involves students practicing what you have already taught them by themselves.
Such practice helps students to retain what they have learnt and to become fluent with what they must be able to do. It also helps you to check their level of understanding and mastery.
While students do the work themselves, it is important that you monitor their efforts and offer feedback along the way.
The I Do WE Do YOU Do model helps us to understand the importance of explicitly teaching and supporting students before expecting them to complete a task on their own. It was popularised by educators such as Anita Archer, John Hollingsworth and John Fleming.
In some cases, you may move through the I Do WE Do YOU Do phases within a single lesson. However, there will also be tasks that may span several lessons.