Accessing Content Using Explicit Instruction
The overall goal of teaching is to reach all students in a classroom, enabling them to access content and learn to their highest potential. Explicit instruction is a tool teachers can use to help students meet these goals through an organized and systematic approach for teaching academic and social behavior skills. Explicit instruction is defined as supports or scaffolds that lead students through the learning process by breaking down content into manageable instructional units and providing step-by-step demonstrations to teach new content.
When teaching a new skill using explicit instruction, the body of a lesson typically includes three components: modeling the skill (I do it); providing guided practice (We do it); and allowing for unprompted practice (You do it).
1. Modeling - I Do It
In the “I Do It” stage, a teacher demonstrates and describes the new skill being taught. The describing component is an important fundamental of modeling in that the teacher is thinking aloud and sharing with the students the steps needed to learn the new content. When modeling, the teacher should be clear, consistent, concise, and include several demonstrations using the think aloud method, making sure students are involved in the learning process by asking them on-going questions. Through modeling, students are given opportunities to become more comfortable and confident in regards to the new skill being taught, allowing them to transition to the next step.
2. Guided Practice - We Do It
In the “We Do It” stage, students are provided prompts by the teacher in order to practice the new skill being learned. Physical, visual, and verbal prompts can be used and should include “directions, clues, cues, or reminders” (Archer & Hughes, 2011, p. 33) about what students need to be doing to practice the new skill. Prompts are gradually withdrawn, allowing students to move to the “You Do It” stage.
3. Unprompted Practice - You Do It
In this stage, students practice the new skill independently and without prompts, while the teacher monitors and checks for understanding. While observing students, the teacher should provide immediate feedback to prevent students from practicing the new skill incorrectly. When students practice new skills using bad habits, it becomes much harder to undo any mis-learned skills.
Source: Archer, A., & Hughes, C. (2011). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. New York: Guilford Press.
2 Teaching Tools
1. Language Arts Modeling
Click on the link below to watch Dr. Anita Archer modeling to a first grade class how to retell a factual article using word prompts.
2. Writing - I Do, You Do, We Do
Click on the link below to observe a teacher from a public charter school using the I Do, You Do, We Do technique to teach a writing assignment on vivid imagery.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”