4 Reasons We Should Model, Model, Model

When you think of modeling, do you think of this?

I hope not! As a teacher, I model so much every day, and since I work with struggling readers, it is super important. Find out the four reasons modeling is so important for our students!

Why Should we Model?

They need good models to teach them the skills they need.  So often teachers forget the power of modeling for every student, not just the struggling learner. We think that once we show our students how to do something once, they should be able to just do whatever we ask.  But we must model and guide before we can release our students into completing the work independently.

Here are four reasons, we should model daily for all of our students.

1.  It keeps them engaged. When you are modeling instruction with students, they are a part of the instruction.  They are watching you as you engage them in what you are showing them.  As you are showing them what you want them to learn, you are talking to them and showing them step by step what you want them to see and learn.

The other day I wrote a blog post about one of those such lessons.  I read the book The Mitten Tree aloud to my students, and I created this flow to sequence the events.  I talked aloud through the process and wrote it on the board for them.

2.  It scaffolds instruction for all students.  It helps them to see the important parts of what you want them to learn.  By giving them more than one model, they can see different ways of thinking to understand the skill and make it all the way to end.

The next day {after the flow map} we continued to focus on sequencing events.  We used a passage from Read Works.  Since they struggle to read the material, I read it to them as they followed along.  After reading it, we talked about having three main events.  I guided them through the process of finding the events.  I modeled how to find the first event and box in the part of the passage that had that event.  We then did the same for the next two events.  At the bottom of the page, we made a flow chart to show the three events in order.  Here are the examples.

This guided practice helped them to better understand the process more clearly.

3.  You can break it down for the students to show them the most important features.  When teaching a skill or strategy, your modeling allows the students to see each step in a more meaningful way.  They see what you are doing and can even be involved in the outcome as you do it.  I love this picture of a teacher modeling balloon tying for students.  It puts it into perspective a little better.

Every student in that class is engaged in some way as he models what he wants them to learn.

4.  You will get less " I don't know what to do!" or "How do you do that?"  By giving more examples through modeling, you can guide students until they are more confident in what you want them to learn.

Modeling for all students is super important, but it is most important for your struggling learners.  Don't underestimate the power of modeling lessons for every student!

How do you help your students learn through modeling?


  1. I love this post because it is so true. Sometimes it seems like they should "have it" but that is not the case for most. Even as adults we need to do things repeatedly to really "get it." We just finished our reading salad lesson for metacognition and we made the salad everyday all week long. They needed that and I think the effects of that will last!
    Curious firsties

    1. That is so true! Modeling also helps our students to really learn the material and make it stick.



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