Gain Student Independence With ➔

How To Successfully Use CHAMPS Classroom Management System

CHAMPS Classroom Management System is designed to clearly communicate expectations to your students. It’s not a system of rules and consequences. Its goal is to stop behavior issues before they even happen.

CHAMPS Classroom Management Example

I started researching CHAMPS classroom management one year when I had a class with some behavior challenges (to put it mildly). Desperately trying to find any behavior management system that could help me get them on the right track, I turned to my friend Google and came across CHAMPS.

After purchasing and reading an old copy of the CHAMPS book on Amazon, I really liked the concepts they shared. It’s out of print now, but today I’m going to share with you the basic principles of the method.

It also fits in nicely with the Classroom PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) model that a lot of schools have transitioned to.

CHAMPS Classroom Management Basics

The CHAMPS system focuses on six areas. In each of these areas, expectations are communicated before work even begins. The goal of this communication is to:

  • Limit interruptions – students already know where things go
  • Set expectations for things like voice level and movement around the classroom
  • Give students a heads up as to transition cues for the end of an activity
  • Stop behavior issues before they start

C – Conversation

The C in CHAMPS stands for conversation. At the beginning of the year, we work together to try out different voice levels. Students learn what an appropriate whisper voice sounds like compared to a presentation voice.

You will spend far less time taking breaks in instruction to quiet the class down when they know ahead of time what voice level is expected.

Voice level choices for CHAMPS

H – Help

The H stands for help. In this section, you inform the students what they should do if they have a question about their current activity. Should they ask you? Ask a friend? Or maybe just figure out the problem on their own?

Communicating this expectation leads to fewer interruptions, especially when you are trying to work with small groups!

Help choice for CHAMPS

A – Activity

The A stands for activity and lets the students know what activity they will complete.

This helps them cue what sort of materials they might be using and what behavior expectations might be expected of them.

Activity choices for CHAMPS


M stands for movement, and this is key to minimizing behavior issues during the activity. When are students allowed out of their seats? Can they roam freely, or only get up to complete the assignment?

This will vary greatly between different teachers and may even need to be changed from year to year. We’ve all had students who find any opportunity to get out of their seats!

Movement Choices for CHAMPS

P – Participation or Post-Activity

In the original book, P stands for participation. With this expectation, you let students know their role in the activity. Are they actively answering questions, completing their assignments, or reading quietly?

Another option for “P” is post-activity. I prefer this option because there are no “I’m done, now what?” questions. In my class, students always know to work on their early finisher boxes. Using the post-activity option lets your students know what they should transition to if they finish their work early.

Both choices are available in the resource.

Participation choices for CHAMPS

S – Supplies, Signal, or Super Students

“S” in the original book is for supplies. You can tell your students exactly what supplies they need to complete the activity.

Another option for “S” is signal. What will they hear to signal that the activity is over? A bell? Music? A teacher chant? This one might not work well if you use the same signal for every transition, but it’s a good option.

The last option for “S” is Super or Star Students. Some teachers use this last spot to communicate that you’ll be a Super (or Star) Student if you meet all of the above expectations properly.

Like with the “P” all of these options are available in the “S” section of the resource.

Supply options for CHAMPS

Additional, CHAMPs Classroom Management Resources

At the end of the resource, you can find some hand motion cards that give students a silent way to ask you for permission to use the bathroom, get a drink of water, get a tissue, get a new pencil, and ask a question.

Hand signal picture

Setting It Up in the Classroom

These cards can be used in a pocket chart attached to the front board. I made the cards large enough to be seen from all areas of the classroom.

In my class, I printed and laminated the cards I wanted and added magnetic dots to the back. This made changing the cards on the whiteboard quick and easy. As the year goes on, you can even have students help you ensure that your CHAMPS board is up to date.

Teacher Testimonies

Check out what others have had to say about the CHAMPS classroom management system:

Sara – Classroom Management game changer!!!! My students know exactly what I expect from them and it has been so good especially during station time!”

Alina – “This was exactly what I needed to add to my classroom management. It was simple and I have seen the progress in my student’s behaviors as we always refer back.”

Jamie –As a new teacher, this was so helpful for not only me but for my students. It laid out the expectations for each activity and kept us all accountable during each lesson and transition.”

Nora – “Great resource for using the CHAMPS classroom management system. My students understood it easily and the colorful/thoroughly made cards helped me to teach it!”

CHAMPS was definitely a game-changer for my classroom, and if you need some extra behavior management solutions for your classroom, I highly recommend you check it out!

CHAMPS Behavior Management

Interested in learning about my CHAMPS Behavior Management Editable version? Read all about this product and how it might work in your classroom here:

CHAMPS Behavior Management Editable Notebook

Additionally, you might be wondering which CHAMPS resource is right for you. This post can help clear up any lingering questions you might have:

4 Frequently Asked Questions About CHAMPS Behavior Management

Check out my other behavior management ideas to help create a positive and calming classroom environment!

Share it:

You might also like...

​.custom-link { cursor: pointer !important; }