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The “I Do – We Do – You Do” Methodology
Research shows that the best way to teach a new skill is to first demonstrate it (I Do), then do it with the child (We Do), then give the child a chance to do it himself, with supervision and feedback (You Do).
★ So, begin with “I Do”. Model the strategy several times for your child. Choose one of your own goals. Use the graphic organizer and “think out loud” with each step. First choose immediate goals (I want a clean bathroom, I want to plant flowers today), then goals that are more complex and happen over time (I want to serve dinner for friends Friday, I want to go on a vacation in two months, etc.)
★ Then, move to “We Do”. Help your child use the graphic organizer to state her goal (what she wants), to plan the steps, and to check them off as she does them. Start with immediate goals (I want __ for lunch), then goals that are more complex and happen over time (I want to ___ on Friday, I want to ____ next month).
Your child will need you to ask questions to guide her at each step.
For example: THINK- Your child may choose a goal for which she does not have the needed resources. Ask questions like “Do we have the ingredients? Do you have enough money? Is there enough time?” This will help your child understand the kinds of questions to ask when he develops future goals.
PLAN – Your child may need help thinking of steps needed to reach the goal.
DO – When your child begins to plan goals that occur over time, arrange daily or weekly “check in” times to ask if he has done the steps he planned. (Do not check-in at random times, or your child will perceive this as nagging).
It is always best that any “Think-Plan-Do” times are pre-arranged so your child knows you will be spending time together and you’re not taking him away from a favourite activity without notice. We want our kids to experience this as a positive time of empowerment for them and interaction between us, rather than drudgery that takes them away from fun.
★ After many “We Do” experiences, encourage your child to use the graphic organizer on his own (“You Do”), or with another person such as a trusted family member or friend – to plan for a goal that is important to him.
After your child has had many successful experiences with Think-Plan-Do, you and your child may want to sit down with his teacher and explain the strategy so that his teacher can support his use of the strategy at school.