How to Master the “I Do, We Do, You Do” Model Approach to Teaching

i do we do you do teaching model

Published: February 19th, 2024

Many educators will be familiar with the concept of modeling, where a teacher demonstrates new ideas, techniques, or concepts and their students learn by observing or copying. The “I Do, We Do, You Do” model is a particularly useful type of modeling that teachers can use to reinforce lessons through practice, without the pressure of formal testing.

Below, we explain exactly what the model is and how you can integrate it into your teaching.

What is the “I Do, We Do, You Do” Model?

The “I Do, We Do, You Do” model involves the teacher demonstrating ideas and techniques, followed by the students imitating and practicing them under supervision. In the final phase, students are left to independently apply what they have practiced. Sometimes referred to as the “gradual release of responsibility” model, the pedagogical practice was invented by researchers Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey (2007).

What the model looks like in practice and how long it takes to implement will depend on the age of the students and size of the classroom. However, it is widely applicable to children and young people of all grades and years. Many teachers enjoy using the “I Do, We Do, You Do” model because it is both highly flexible and structured.

“I Do, We Do, You Do” Lesson Plan

Below, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to the model and provided examples to aid your lesson plans. At the end of this post, we’ve also provided some ways that digital technologies can enhancethe “I Do, We Do, You Do” model.

1. I Do

The first part of the “I Do” phase involves identifying what the students already know about the subject you wish to teach. In the form of pre-assessments, it’s important to check the classroom’s prior knowledge so that you can organize your lessons in sequence.

The final part of the “I Do” phase involves the teacher modeling the subject they want to teach. In practice, this takes the form of step-by-step instruction followed by worked examples. It’s important to keep in mind how this instruction and modeling is undertaken, as too much information may overload the students.

This phase should involve lots of discussion and feedback from your pupils. The most obvious example of the “I Do” in practice is through teaching math problems. Vocally announcing and discussing each step will help to engage the pupils as you come to the solution.  

The same approach can be applied to all subjects, from demonstrating a new stretching exercise in PE to showing students how to use a new sentence structure in English.

2. We Do

The second part of the model involves guided learning and practice, where the teacher helps the students to work through new examples. This phase can be undertaken in groups or individually. The goal of “We Do” is to gradually release the responsibility of problem-solving to the pupil, making sure they feel confident at every step of their new learning.

A great way of implementing this is by giving the students a half-finished worksheet of the steps from your “I Do” phase and getting them to complete it. Equally, students can simply copy along with you as you solve a new problem with the steps from the previous phase.

This is also the perfect moment to give useful feedback to your students and improve your own teaching practice at the same time. It is important to note that pupils should get multiple opportunities to practice with you in order to exercise the process of retrieving this new knowledge. This will also give you the chance to identify anyone who hasn’t quite grasped your original instructions.

3. You Do

The final part of the model involves the students applying the teacher’s instructions independently. However, remember that not all students learn at the same rate. As a result, it’s useful to keep a single worked example up on the board or provide the students with the answers so that they can self-mark. Equally, if your students are working completely independently, it is worth breaking their work into more manageable chunks.

For example, instructing them to do the first five questions, checking their answers, and then getting them to raise their hands if they aren’t sure why they were wrong. Once you’ve identified the students who need more help, you can group them together and give them extra assistance as necessary.

The “You Do” activities should be distributed over time, giving the students the opportunity to consolidate and review their newfound knowledge or skills. Be aware that some students may need to return to the “We Do” phase in order to fully grasp the new concept. If your students seem to have understood the ideas well, setting further examples as homework can be a great way to solidify their learning experience.   

Enhancing the “I Do, We Do, You Do” Model with Technology

As digital technology continues to flourish in the classrooms, it’s important to demonstrate how the “I Do, We Do, You Do” model can be augmented with interactive technology like Explain Everything’s digital whiteboard.

Our collaborative online whiteboard software and interactive displays allow teachers to access their lesson materials all in one place and make modeling math problems, graphs, diagrams, vocabulary, and sentences easy. With our online whiteboard space, you can monitor the class’s progress and broadcast your instructions, so students can follow along live with their own devices. You can also provide feedback on attempts more quickly and devote more time to those who need it.

The use of digital technology with the “I Do, We Do, You Do” model makes the overall classroom experience more engaging and relatable. With built-in clip-art libraries and preloaded layouts, Explain Everything’s collaborative whiteboard is one of the best ways to help your students reach their academic goals.

Get in touch today and explore how Explain Everything, now apart of Promethean, can help you provide engaging and effective learning experiences in any teaching scenario.