IntelAssessing Projects : Dangerous Animals
Classroom Management Procedures


Classroom Management Procedures
Before Reading the Book

  1. Discuss why you are reading the book Doctor DeSoto by William Steig. “Last week, I went to the dentist and felt a little nervous, but once I sat down I realized that dentists are helpers. Dentists help people have healthy teeth." 
  2. Access learners’ background knowledge by asking them comprehension questions about dentists. 
  3. Have learners write in their quickwrite journals for five to ten minutes everything they know about dentists. Modify writing activities based on the writing skills of learners at the time of the lesson. Teacher may have to help some kindergarten learners write.
  4. Monitor and observe learners as they write in their journals using the first two parts of the quickwrite journal checklist and make notes of learners’ knowledge, spelling, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and questions or misconceptions they might have. Clarify questions when learners share what they have written in their journals.  
  5. Show learners several items that are found in a dentist office or that a dentist uses and ask learners to orally identify them (tongue depressor, floss, toothbrush, and drill). Bring in real items or create a short slideshow and ask learners to identify the items on the slides.  
  6. To set the tone for the story, ask learners why they think it is important to go to the dentist. Post all responses on a chart at the front of the room.
  7. Show learners the cover of the book and have them explain the job of the illustrator, the author, and what the purpose of the dedication page is. Ask learners to predict what the book is about by looking at the cover of the book and by looking at the illustrations in the book.  
  8. Create a class T-chart about what learners think the book is about. Use the observation checklist to assess learners’ speaking, listening, and their ability to describe things orally.

After Reading the Book

  1. Complete the T-Chart and discuss the differences between learners’ predictions and what actually happened in the story. Script what learners say during the discussion and remember their thoughts during the next activity to help learners who need extra support or to prompt learners to higher-level thinking.
  2. Ask learners to complete the Connection-Observation-Wonder (COW) diagram. Connection- this reminds me of the book I read last week about the crocodile and the alligator or this reminds me of when my little brother went to the dentist and he was afraid. Observation- I noticed…when Doctor Desoto …. Wonder- I wonder …if Doctor Desoto changed his mind about treating dangerous animals.  
  3. Review the diagrams and take note of the Wonder questions. Adjust teaching to help learners answer as many of these questions as possible during the remainder of the project. 
  4. Pose the Essential Question: How do we know what is real and what is make believe? Ask learners to describe what is real and what is make believe. Prompt them to provide reasons for their ideas. Create a T-chart with their thoughts and then ask them to look for patterns. See if they can verbalize generalizations to answer the Essential Question.  
  5. Review the concepts of fact and fiction. Ask learners to vote on whether they think the book is fact or fiction. Use the voting questions to help guide learner thinking as they describe what happened in the story.  
  6. Have learners complete the fact activity by writing a sentence about a fact that occurred in the book and then drawing a picture that matches the sentence. (For example: animals can have toothaches, foxes can be red, mice are little) Use the drawing checklist to monitor understanding and provide feedback as necessary. 
  7. Review the peer feedback form for the fact activity with learners and make sure they understand how to use it during the next activity. Ask learners to exchange their fact activity with another learner and decide if they agree or disagree with the other learner’s sentence and drawing. After agreeing or disagreeing, have learners write a sentence explaining why they agree or disagree. (Modification: Learners can do the peer activity orally with a partner.)  Ask learners to complete the fiction activity and then complete the peer feedback form for the fiction activity.  
  8. Circulate through the room as learners work, taking anecdotal notes.  
  9. Ask some learners to share their answers and then decide as a class if the book is fact or fiction.  
  10. Have learners reflect in their quickwrite journals to answer the Essential Question: How do we know what is real and what is make believe? 
  11. Monitor, observe, and conference with learners that may need help. Use the conference questions to help gather information on learner understanding. 
  12. Ask a few learners to share their quickwrite journal entries with the class.

Alternative: Set up activities in centres after the initial introduction. Place learners in groups of three or four and have them rotate through the centers as needed. Possible activities follow:

  1. Re-read the story 
  2. Listen to the story on tape 
  3. Read picture books about dentists or books about foxes (for example, the Gingerbread Man) 
  4. Participate in an interactive activity about teeth on the computer,* or create a character from the story using Tangrams*, geometric shapes  
  5. Complete the Fact and Fiction Activity sheets and participate in giving peer feedback 
  6. Dramatize the different roles in the book  
  7. Write and draw about the book at a writing centre 
  8. Participate in an interactive Fact or Opinion online game,*

Have learners rotate around the centres. Walk around the classroom observing what is happening in each group and taking anecdotal notes. Review these at the end of the day and modify instruction as necessary. Note: The activities in these centers require more than 1.5 hours to complete.

Using the Visual Ranking Tool

  1. Pose the Focus Question: What makes an animal dangerous? If you saw a dangerous animal, what is it about that animal that would make you think it was dangerous? 
  2. Ask learners to brainstorm characteristics of dangerous animals (growling, sharp teeth, barking, biting, long claws, thick fur). Decide as a class which characteristics to include on the chart. 
  3. Ask learners to reflect in their quickwrite journals about What makes an animal dangerous? 
  4. In small groups, have learners create a list of dangerous animals. Walk around the classroom observing, monitoring, and questioning learners.  
  5. Have each group share the items on their list and create a class list of about 15 dangerous animals. Eliminate animals from the list that do not fit the class generated criteria of what makes an animal dangerous.
  6. As items are eliminated, have learners justify their thoughts and ask the class as a whole to agree or disagree on whether to take the animal off of the list. This can take a long time with Foundation Phase learners to decide which animal to eliminate. Teacher may have learners vote on whether to take off or leave an animal on a list once they get the list down to 10 items. The goal is to get only 5 dangerous animals on the class generated list. 
  7. Place learners in groups of two or three and have them use the Visual Ranking Tool to rank the animals from most to least dangerous (tigers, bears, alligators, elephants, bunny). Hand out the job assignment sheet and the team assessment. Review with learners to make sure they understand what they are supposed to do. 
  8. Have learners compare their ranking with others in the class and discuss the results as a class. 
  9. Then ask learners to reflect on their collaborations skills by completing the team assessment.
  10. Finally, ask learners to reflect in their quickwrite journals: What do you think is the most dangerous animal in the world? 
  11. Monitor, observe, and conference with learners who may need help. Use the conference questions to help gather information on learner understanding.

Justifying and Presenting Opinions

  1. Pose the Focus Question: If you were Doctor DeSoto, would you treat the fox? Ask learners to explain whether they would treat the fox and to provide their reasoning. Encourage learners to use examples from the story or other books and script what they say on a chart. Use the probing questions for justification to prompt for higher-level thinking.
  2. As a culminating project, have learners write at least two sentences that state their thoughts and the evidence to support them concerning whether the DeSotos were justified or not. Ask learners to also draw a picture to illustrate their conclusions. Provide the project checklist and review with learners so they know all the elements to include in their project. Have learners orally present their projects and assess them using the project scoring guide. After learners have presented, ask them to self-assess their project.


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