So I decided to seek out the experts on this one. What is commonly agreed upon about what it means to teach explicitly? What is essentially not up for argument anymore.

We came up with the following five characteristics

What to do

: the teacher MUST tell the students specifically what to do

: preferably, the teacher will give the new strategy a name (in order to help students access it later)

: there MUST be a clear, specific task for the students to complete

How to do it

:the teacher MUST tell the students HOW to go about doing what is being asked

: the “how” must actually result in being able to DO the task

Modeling

: the teacher MUST demonstrate the process, or the “how” so that students can see the process in action

Opportunity for Practice

: students MUST have an opportunity to practice the new strategy

: teachers must either provide corrective feedback OR clearly assess for future action (another group lesson)

When to do it

: students must be told the conditions or non-conditions for using this new skill or strategy. This helps with over-generalizations into inappropriate application of the skill.