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Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation

Content: I do, we do, you do= modeling


“I do; we do; you do” = a form of scaffolding

  1. First, demonstrate an idea, activity, or process (that is, “I do”),
  2. Next, guide the student through the idea, activity, or process step by step (that is “We do”),
  3. Finally, ask the student to do the activity him or herself (that is, “You do”).



“I do, we do, you do,” is as useful for five year old’s learning to tie shoes as it is for 9th graders learning to write cohesive paragraphs. We can make this type of scaffolding something we think about every time we plan or collaborate with others to plan a lesson.


Think about any specific task or chore we might be asked to do in our home or school life.

  1. How would you explain the importance of doing each step in the way you are doing it?
  2. Are there some steps that can be done in different ways, and others that are non-negotiable?
  3. How would you explain the non-negotiable parts of the process (e.g., the detergent must always go in the allotted spot; never just throw a scoopful in the dishwasher itself)?
  4. How would you explain the parts of the process that can be modified by each individual (e.g., putting the prongs of the forks facing upwards or downwards)?
  5. Write down how you’d explain one of the “must be followed exactly” steps, and one of the “I do it this way, but you might choose to do it this other way” steps.
  6. Ask yourself, “What mistakes are likely to occur? What mistakes can I let the child make, and when should I intervene?”
  7. What approaches you will use to encourage the child to ask you questions as he or she performs the task at the “You do,” phase (i.e., the phase where he or she performs the whole task while you observe).
  8. How will your answers to the planning questions in this activity help you prepare for that teaching experience?

Helping with Instruction (WORKSHOP)

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