Minds in Bloom presents Literacy without Worksheets with her post on classroom management. Enjoy!
Classroom management can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. As teaching becomes more stressful with increased accountability standards and high-stakes testing, a well-managed classroom is key to maximizing student learning opportunities. The more time teachers have to spend correcting behaviors and getting students’ attention, the less time students have to learn (and this leads to very stressed out teachers)! To maintain my sanity, I am sold on CHAMPS for classroom management. It is a positive and proactive approach. Just like you plan lessons to teach a learning target, CHAMPS allows you to teach behavior expectations throughout the school day. However, I must point out that CHAMPS is just one component that I use.
I still have classroom rules. For example, #1 is Keep the Dear Teacher Happy. 🙂 I still have consequences if students do not follow the classroom rules. I still provide incentives (money for the school store, popcorn parties, extra recess, bring your favorite stuffed animal to school, Fun Friday, etc). I also have an attention signal. I use this when I want everyone to stop what they are doing, look at the teacher, and listen for directions.
What is CHAMPS?
CHAMPS is a system of expectations that works with any set of rules, rewards, or consequences that you are already implementing. It can even be used if your school has a specific classroom management program in place. For example, my school has the 3 Bs: Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. Those are common terms all teachers use. I still use those terms frequently, but I also use CHAMPS in my classroom.
CHAMPS is part of Randy Sprick’s Safe and Civil Schools and is a research-based program with over thirty years of classroom research.
The CHAMPS acronym stands for:
- Conversation: Can students talk to each other during this activity?
- Help: How do students get the teacher’s attention and their questions answered?
- Activity: What is the task/objective? What is the end product?
- Movement: Can students move about during this activity?
- Participation: How do students show they are fully participating? What does work behavior look/sound like?
- Success: When students meet CHAMPS expectations, they will be successful!
According to Safe and Civil Schools, CHAMPS strategies are easy to implement and will:
- Reduce classroom disruptions and office referrals
- Improve classroom climate
- Increase student on-task behavior
- Establish respectful and civil interactions
In order for CHAMPS to be successful, students need numerous opportunities to practice what each expectation looks and sounds like. One easy way to do this is to have the students become actors and actresses. They can model examples and non-examples to show their friends. This provides them a fun way to learn expectations.
Once students have been taught what CHAMPS looks like, then before each “activity,” the expectations need to be explained. This can be done before whole group, before students are doing independent work, before transitions between activities, and before guided reading/guided math and work stations.
In addition to CHAMPS, it is important to also positively praise and reward (class points) as much as possible when students are demonstrating the expectations. By the same token, if students are not following the expectations, then teachers need to follow through with their classroom management system.
What CHAMPS Looks Like
If I am teaching to the whole group, then my CHAMPS expectations would be the following:
- Conversation: Silent
- Help: Raise your hand
- Activity: Do your own work
- Movement: Stay seated
- Participation: Independent
If we are doing guided reading, and I’m working with a small group but students are at work stations, then my CHAMPS expectations would be the following:
- Conversation: Partner voice
- Help: Ask a friend
- Activity: Do your own work
- Movement: Responsible movement
- Participation: Work with a partner
In the above picture, I used green highlighter tape to highlight each expectation. I can use it over and over, and it’s easy to move. You could also use sticky note arrows or clothes pins.
The key to CHAMPS is that expectations are explained before the activity begins. In addition, through modeling and practice, responsible school behaviors have been taught. Many times I feel like I’m a broken record. However, the students clearly understand my expectations, and we can spend more time learning!
You can download my CHAMPS poster here!
Literacy without Worksheets loves to provide hands-on learning opportunities for her students. Currently, she works as a literacy coach and teaches reading intervention groups. When she is not teaching, she loves reading, running, and traveling.