A while back I wrote a blog post titled, I do, We do, You do that was quite a hit. But, it also left people with some questions. Over the last year or so, I have received many emails asking for an example of what it would look like in the classroom setting or if I had any sample lesson plans to demonstrate this. After answering many emails, I started wondering if there were many others out there that wanted to know that too. I thought I would provide examples of “I do, we do, you do” today in this post. Throughout this post, I will demonstrate this through both lesson plans and in the classroom and then at the end provide you with a FREEBIE to help you!
Reviewing I Do, We Do, You Do
The “I do” portion of a lesson involves the teacher just modeling the lesson, and students are just watching. This is the part where the teacher is modeling a think aloud. In case you aren’t familiar, a think-aloud is where the teacher is speaking out loud before the class what she would think if she were in the shoes of the student trying to solve the problem.
The “we do” portion is where students are trying to do it themselves and you are assisting them. This can also be done differently where you give them a minute to try it themselves and you check it together immediately afterward. Another possibility is to allow students to work in partners on a problem and then checking it. The point of the “we do” portion is to have “assistance” in some way and immediate feedback.
The “you do” portion is where students are completely independent on completing the assignment or task. It can be in the form of an assessment, or it can be just regular classwork. They are typically just practicing the skill of mastery.
Examples of I Do, We Do, You Do in action
I want to demonstrate each of these parts using my math workshop lesson plans, though it is not limited to math. It can be done in any content area. This lesson is on estimating sums and differences in decimals. I have my students gathered around the easel. They have their math notebooks in their laps and they are sitting listening to me as I model before them on chart paper the “I do” portion.
Examples of “I do”
Boys and girls, you have heard the term estimate many times before. We estimate when we don’t need an exact answer or when we want to check our answer to make sure that it is reasonable. One way that we can estimate is to use rounding. Let’s take for example, five and twenty-six hundredths plus one and ninety-three hundredths. (I’m writing these problems on my chart paper as I’m modeling my think aloud.) If I’m going to estimate the sum, I’m going to round each decimal to the nearest whole number and then add. I know that five and twenty-six hundredths is closer to five than to six. So I’m going to round it to five. When I look at one and ninety-three hundredths, I know that it is much closer to two than one, so I’m going to round it to two. Now I’m going to add five plus two and get seven. So, five and twenty-six hundredths plus one and ninety-three hundredths is about seven. I would do this same exact thing for subtracting. (I would continue modeling with more examples so students understand how to estimate the sums and differences of decimals. I would have this chart below in my lap and copy it as I model.)
Some students may need to see you model multiple examples before they are ready to try it on their own. This is perfectly normal. However, do try to nudge students into the “we do” phase where you can have them try it out WITH you. What I mean by this is, you can do a step, then they try that step on their paper. Then, you show the next step and they try the same next step on their paper, so on.
Examples of “We do”
After I modeled the “I do” portion of the lesson, I then provide students with examples themselves to try out. As they are working on the problems themselves, I remind them of my think aloud, things I did, and to reference our anchor chart (the one I made in the “I do” portion). I also circulate to assist students who need extra help and take note of any students who are really struggling or are having some misunderstandings. By circulating, I know which students I need to pull into small groups.
Now boys and girls, I want you to give it a try. I have a few problems here that I want you to estimate the sum and difference of. (I provide students with the sheet below and circulate as students work through the problems. I take note of any students who are in need of extra assistance. Then after a minute or two, I have students share with a partner what they did to solve the problem and what answer they arrived at. Then, I model finding the answer.)
After I give students a few minutes to try it out on their own (or with a partner in some cases), I always immediately model again with a think-aloud how to find the answer. This gives the students a chance to see it modeled again and validates if they did it right. Some students may need continued guided practice (or “we do”). Not all students immediately move into the “You do” phase. They may need to work with you in small groups for a while until they really start to grasp the concepts, and/or practice with a partner.
Examples of “You do”
After I have modeled for students and then provided them with an opportunity to try it out on their own with some guidance (we do), I then give them the opportunity to do it independently, or the “you do” portion. Students shouldn’t move on to the “you do” portion without understanding the underlying concepts. If they move to this phase before they understand fully, they could begin practicing errors and eventually “learn” the wrong way. Those mistakes are hard to reverse. Once you know, “Okay, they have really got this down!” you can move them into this phase. It may not always be the same day.
Continuing with my example above…
Today, you are going to pair up with a partner and practice estimating sums and differences of decimals just like we did during this mini-lesson. You are going to play a game called Battle Relay. In this game you will take turns flipping over cards and solving the problem by estimating. If your estimate is correct, you will look on the battle relay board for the answer in the grid. If it is there you will circle it. Each player will do this until you have four numbers in a row circled. When you finish playing the game, you will then complete the Estimation Practice independently. Are there any questions? Alright, let’s get started.
Here you can see that my students are working with a partner and then working independently. I did this intentionally. I’m first putting in one more “we do” phase because I want them to work with a partner. Together with the partner, they will help each other practice the skill we are practicing. In this case, it is the game, Battle Relay. Partner games are perfect for “we do” activities.
Next, after they complete the game, they will work independently on a practice sheet. This is where the “You do” piece comes in. Now they are working by themselves demonstrating their own personal understanding of the concept they were taught, such as the sheet in this lesson (see below).
Independent activities do not always have to be worksheets. They can be a variety of activities. You can read my blog post of preventing the overload of worksheets for ideas, or my post on A to Z ideas for Assessments.
I hope these examples of “I do, we do, you do” helped a little. Again, it is not limited to just one subject area. Definitely feel free to send me your questions. I am always glad to help.