I Do, We Do, You Do
When teaching a new skill or introducing a new concept to your children, one strategy you might try is the “I do, you do, we do” strategy. The concept is simple, easy for educators (and parents), and better yet - effective.
In this strategy, the teacher introduces a concept. Let’s use addition as our example today. The teacher would show the kids how to add numbers. Several examples would be given. The teacher would explain his thinking as he solved the addition problems as the students observed.
Next, the teacher would give the students a chance to solve some problems together. I usually start by having them write the problem down. I talk them through how to solve the first couple of problems. As I talk, they solve them on their own papers. I stop often and ask for questions, answering them as they arise. During this stage, I move from me being the one telling them the steps to solving addition problems, to them reminding me of the steps. We are still solving problems together but I have transferred the bulk of the responsibility for explaining their thinking.
Once I am comfortable that they understand the concept, I give them a few problems to solve independently. Initially, I ask if there are any questions or if anyone needs clarification. Once I am confident in their ability to be successful, I let them work independently, answering questions as needed.
Each of these stages is flexible. There is no set amount of problems that must be completed at each stage. Know your student and her needs – move when it is best for her. If you are working on an especially difficult concept, this process may take more than a day to complete. If that is the case, be sure to take the time necessary to build that foundation. The I do, you do, we do strategy can be used in any academic area with any age of student. It’s a simple but effective strategy - one of my favorites!