Just "because" + Stone Fox Podcast - REVISED

So, if you follow my blog, you know how much I love the word "because"...why, because it's the magic word in my class that tells everyone where your answer is coming from, it's not your answer, it's the reason for your answer, it's the evidence for your inference, or the schema for your predication. 

Here's a B/W one for those of you that don't have or want to use color ink...

A couple of weeks ago I made a HUGE because sign and posted it in my room! I love it and do the students...now it's a non-verbal reminder to give the reason for your answer. Kids remind each other now..."you didn't finish your sentence, you didn't add because, you're not done telling us why you think so..." I LOVE IT...I couldn't be happier to have found such a simple yet powerful way to get my kids thinking critically.  When students tell why their answer or opinion is so, then we all have something to agree or disagree with.  Did any of you ever go through The Influencer training? It's great and I highly recommend the workshop...or the book.  There's an idea there that if you want to change something...anything...you identify one or two VITAL BEHAVIORS....where these one or two vital behaviors are like the first two dominos in a long train of dominoes ready to be knocked down...where once the first two happen, the rest of the change will just follow.  That's how I feel about kids using this word....AND getting kids to agree and disagree with each other after students have shared ideas, answers and  opinions followed by because.

Download "because" sign {HERE}.....I highly recommend making it into a poster.
Download "agree/disagree statements {HERE}....I highly recommend making it into a poster.

If you don't follow my blog, these signs are a follow-up to my earlier this month post entitled "Informational Text" where my this language is used in my Guidelines for Critical Thinking rubric.


Here is (an audio) glimpse into my class during literacy.  In this podcast, which I simply clicked "Record" on the Voice Memo app of my iPhone one day last week, during my interactive read-aloud/think-aloud of Stone Fox.  Regardless of whether or not it was a great 3rd grade read-aloud to read during the IditaRead last week (even though I'd recommend it for ANY K-8 grade) I loved it BECAUSE in addition to so many reading strategy/thinking opportunities, it also has so many literacy elements to demonstrate...tons of similes, metaphors, idioms, personifications, irony, flashbacks, flash forwards...it's all in there.   What this podcast demonstates is the what I'm talking about in this post...kids giving their ideas/opinions, followed by "because" followed by their justifications AND students agreeing and disagreeing with each other and telling why.  Warning...it's raw but powerful.
T-chart in inset is below podcast.

During my read-aloud, I (model) and keep track of my thinking on sticky notes... 

During the interactive read-aloud/think-aloud, they also think along with me...their own thoughts...

 And my students use the t-chart template, Text & My Thinking during Independent Reading, too.



Tangelia C. said...

I love it! The word because used to drive my dad crazy when I was about 3-5. I would always ask "because why?" The word because is the word that really helps us LEARN something.

Lori said...

Thanks for sharing the because and agree/disagree statements! Great reminders for the students to justify their thinking.
Conversations in Literacy

mary b. said...

You're right - I think the poster will be a great visual to help remind them to complete their thought! Thanks :-)

Miss McTeacher said...

I just awarded you two awards! You're awesome. Stop by and check it out!

Elisa said...

What is the t-chart your students are recording on? I can't see it clearly in the picture. Is this how you do all your read-alouds? Or is this more of a shared reading lesson?

Holly said...

Love the poster - so true how all encompassing that would can be!!!!!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

The Daily Alphabet said...

I just found your blog and I'm so excited! I'm your newest follower!

The Daily Alphabet

Ms. Jessica said...

This is so simple, yet so smart. I always tell my kids that because is my favorite word... It's amazing how much that one simple statement makes... They say it and use it in their writing all the time now! I'm excited to use this visual to help encourage that skill even more!

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