Modelling Instruction: I Do, We Do, You Do

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Modelling Pupils Classroom


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How do you scaffold teacher-instruction in the classroom?

For years I have firmly believed that the most effective teachers ‘model’ the work being asked of their pupils. Professor Barak Rosenshine’s 40 years of teaching and learning research supports my experiences. This post offers a summary of the research and what this technique looks like in the classroom.

In this post, I’d like to remind readers of Rosenshine’s 17 Principles for Effective Instruction and articulate in this two-minute read, how teachers can model success criteria – one of the recommendations. Finding reliable ways to ensure students meet and master lesson objectives is tough. Whether for a one-off lesson or for a series of lessons for a project, teachers must model the success criteria, specifying, why and how we are learning XYZ. This must be achieved in some shape or form and a sure way to achieve this is by adopting the ‘I Do, We Do, You Do’ mantra in your classroom.

Here are 5 ways you can achieve this.

1. Show and Talk

Show what a good piece of work looks like – pitch the next level up to the right students. Talk classwork through and share your thoughts. This ‘thinking out aloud‘ articulation will support students’ cognitive thinking.

2. Celebrate risk-taking

Celebrate mistakes. Show students what to do when you don’t know what to do. Live marking using a visualiser is a brilliant way to achieve this.

3. Build a trusting climate

Build a classroom climate based on trust and a belief what with good practice, you can get better.

4. Avoid assumptions

Never make assumptions about what the students already know and understand. A simple quiz to check what pupils don’t know is equally important as testing what they do.

5. Model the learning

Model the learning in many ways. Use ‘I Do, We Do, You Do’ as a mantra for scaffolding your instructions and demonstrations. Some students will be ready to run; others may need guided work. Rosenshine’s research suggests that even when students are working independently, effective teachers continue to monitor practice.

In the best lessons I’ve observed, there is always an explicit model of instruction (modelling) for the lesson. Cognitive scientists would call this ‘dual coding’. If this is a new term for you, it’s worth reading The Learning Scientists.

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