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Model, Model, Model

Supporting students who are learning English through modeling using the “I do, we do, you do” method of gradual release


Explicitly modeling is a helpful strategy for all students but is even more important when engaging with students who are learning English as it provides them with a clearer understanding of the skill being taught as they may not comprehend instructions given orally. The teacher uses visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or a combination of the three styles of teaching while thinking aloud to show the students what they will be doing during their independent practice. Thinking aloud while modeling is a crucial part of this strategy as it provides students with the opportunity to build their vocabularies and have a clearer understanding of the teacher’s thought process. This modeling process eventually moves from the teacher modeling to the teacher modeling alongside the student, to the student working independently. The teacher should model using a variety of techniques and include non-exemplar responses. Several checks for understanding should be given during the teacher model, or the “I do,” as well as during the teacher and student model, or the “we do,” before releasing students to complete their work independently or with partners.

Student Does

  • Watches the teacher model the skill or strategy
  • Does the skill or strategy alongside the teacher
  • Independently does the skill or strategy

Teacher Does

  • Independently models the skill or strategy for students while thinking aloud
  • Checks for understanding throughout the cycle of modeling
  • Models the skill or strategy alongside the student with a new example
  • Strategically monitors students during independent practice