The I Do, We Do, You Do model is a popular and potent way to implement the fourth and fifth steps in achieving teacher clarity. And it is even more powerful when coupled with giving students feedback.
What is the I Do, We Do, You Do model?
The I Do, We Do, You Do model captures the essence of explicit teaching, with the gradual release of responsibility to your students.
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. You can strengthen the impact of the I Do phase by using:
We Do is the second phase of the I Do WE Do YOU Do model. It involves doing tasks together. It is at this stage that you start to gradually release responsibility to your students.
For procedural knowledge. you can use faded worked examples on the board and have your students help you complete the missing steps. For example, when adding common fractions, orientating the reader in a persuasive essay, or simplifying an equation. Using faded worked examples works even better when you give your feedback on their attempts. This can be a simple as:
For declarative knowledge, you can:
The You Do phase of a lesson involves students practising (procedural knowledge) and retrieving (declarative knowledge) what you have taught them. Such practice and retrieval helps students to retain what they have learned and to become fluent with what they must know and be able to do.
In both cases:
The Model as a Whole
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.
The model is largely sequential, moving from one step to the next. But, as you monitor students mastery, there may be times when you may decide to move back and forth between the steps.
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.
The 8 Ways to Use the Model In Brief
While the I Do, We Do, You Do model is quite simple, you can dramatically increase its impact using these 5 specific strategies
- Visuals such as concept maps to accompany your verbal explanations
- Worked examples to show the steps students need to follow
- Faded worked examples where you have completed some of the steps and your students must do the missing ones
- Recreating a class concept map (or similar) to summarise your explanations
- Showing students a partial concept map and having them complete it from memory
- Giving students feedback on their attempts
- Give your students time to practice following the steps and distribute this practice over time
- Have students retrieve and record (eg notes, sentences, concept maps) what you have taught them from memory and on their own
Feedback is also powerful at this stage, but as I already listed it in the We Do phase, I have not listed here.
Explicit teaching is important across a range of subjects. For example, see my article on How to Teach Writing to Adolescents.
Shaun Killian is an experienced teacher and principal with a passion for helping students to excel. He believes that assisting teachers to adopt evidence-based education is the best way to make this happen. Shaun is committed to bringing you practical advice based on solid research.