Classroom Management: Starting the Year off Right

 This post contains freebies!!  

I'm a huge fan of CHAMPS.  It is all about setting expectations ahead of time.    Here is a blog post I wrote that was featured on Rachel Lynette's Minds in Bloom blog.   You can download my CHAMPS posters here for free.

CHAMPS is a system of expectations.  It works with any set of rules/rewards/consequences you are already implementing.  It can even be used if your school has a specific program in place.  It is part of Randy Sprick's Safe and Civil Schools and is research based.

Before each "activity" I go over with the students the expectations for that specific activity.  Typically I do this before I teach to the whole group, before students are doing independent work, and before we do work stations.

The CHAMPS acronym stands for:
C: Conversation

I'm a big believer in procedures.  I guess you could say that I'm pretty old school and believe their should be a procedure for EVERYTHING, that teachers teach the procedure, lots of time is spent on this during the first week of school, and then the classroom runs smoother (because you can always say, "What is my procedure for....?").

You can download this freebie to keep you organized.  It includes tips, a checklist, and a document to keep track of when procedures are taught.  I've used this for the last two years when I've worked with first year teachers, and they have been very appreciative :)

Here is just a sample of some of the procedures I like to cover at the beginning of the school year.  I consider coming back from a long year just like the beginning of school!  

During workstation time, you assign one or two students to be a Work Station Manager.  While you are at Guided Reading, then students ask the Work Station Manager for assistance.  This means you get more time to teach and less interruptions (hopefully)!!!

 Some tasks for the Work Station Manager Include:
  • Computer Issues (logging in, etc)
  • Help with Directions at a Work Station
  • Finding Materials if someone needed something
Positive Tickets
To help encourage positive behavior, I give out tickets for specific things:

  • Lining up without talking
  • Clearing work space right when I ask
  • Getting materials out
  • Transitioning quietly
  • Walking in the hall without talking
I also give tickets out when students work quietly!!  As soon as students see me giving them out, they immediately straighten up.

Students trade tickets in for rewards:  eating in the classroom, using the teacher's supplies, taking off shoes during a subject, extra recess for the class (this takes a ton), and other easy prizes that don't cost any money.   I try and keep my prices low, so students can earn rewards frequently.  As the year goes on, I change prices and add new prizes!

Click here to download the tickets!

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