March 4, 2014

Teacher Tip Tuesday: CHAMPS

My 4-day weekend was jam-packed with activity, which didn't allow for much blogging time. I usually schedule a few posts for the week on Sundays, but I was so exhausted that I couldn't even look at the computer. As it turns out, I got the flu and had to stay home sick yesterday.

All this to explain why I didn't link up with my reading update yesterday, even though my drafts folder has a list of about 10 books ready to be finished and scheduled.

And why my taxes still aren't done.

And why I've been a poor commenter lately. Speaking of... do any of you find that when you comment using the Bloglovin' app, the comments never actually appear?? I swear I have like 5,000 blog comments lost in cyber space somewhere.

Anyway, I am trying to get myself back on track today and have a Tuesday Teaching Tip to share. One of the best classroom managment techniques I've used has been CHAMPS. Basically, before every activity, the teacher is supposed to set the following expectations:
  • What is the appropriate conversation level?
    • 0 = silence, 1 = whisper, 2 = table talk, 3 = presentation voice
  • How should students ask for help?
    • ask a neighbor, raise hand, display a red card, come to conferencing table, etc.
  • What activity should students be doing?
    • silent reading, writing, note-taking, etc.
  • What movment is allowed?
    • bathroom, tissue, pencil sharpeners, etc.
  • What does participation look like?
    • reading, writing, active listening, taking notes, etc. 
  • CHAMP = Success
What I like about CHAMPS is that it clearly sets the expectations for the activity. It makes everything black and white for the students, and sets the parameters for the activity. When the expectations are clear, it is less likely that students will be off-task, and if they are, it certainly won't be because they were unclear.  

There are a few ways to display the CHAMPS expectations. One option is to make a poster like the one below, which lists all of the possible options. This works well for activities that are routine (morning work, independent reading, direct instruction, etc.). My one warning, though, is that I think these posters can be pretty overwhelming if they get too big!

Another option is to have a giant, laminated CHAMPS poster in the classroom. Each day, you can CHAMP out the activity with a dry erase marker. This has been the preferred method in my school, and it works well in a class that implements one main activity each day.

As an ELA teacher, however, we often do many activities in a 90-minute block of time, with the expectations changing for each activity. I've gone back and forth in my mind for how I feel it's best to display these expectations, and I think my preference is in a digital file. This way, I can simply pull up the appropriate chart for the current activity (and it's stored on my computer for future use).  


  1. Thanks for sharing. I like this model. Seems like it would be easy to implement with some color coded signs and a pocket chart.

    Not very fancy

  2. I WISH I could get posts ready ahead of time! I'm terrible about getting my posts done early! Even my own linky I usually wake up at 6am to finish it! I need to get it together! I've never "officially: had the CHAMPS training, but my former assistant principal was like an expert and gave us some training. I really found it effective, and the basic guidelines of having expectations/procedures in place for everything is so simplistic, but effective!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. I quit using the Bloglovin app on my phone or ipad. Now I only comment when I'm on the laptop. I still comment through Bloglovin and it appears to work okay. I wish I was as organized as you about setting up blogs early. I just can't. I have about 3 titled in Draft mode, but that's only so I don't forget what in the world I was going to blog about. XO
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. I have recently started using CHAMPS as well and have a lot of the same feelings. I devoted a bulletin to a CHAMPS display, but then use a Smart Board slide in my class to show students the different expectations for each period. I discuss CHAMPS, and link to this SB slide here,
    You might be able to edit the slide for your classroom.