How to successfully Use CHAMPs Classroom Management In 6-12th Grade Math


There are a lot of great blog posts out there for CHAMPs classroom management. The problem is that they’re all very elementary. All of the CHAMPs posters for classrooms I could find have those adorable little clip art people and things my 9th graders would describe as “little kid” and immediately discredit and refuse to engage with.

The thing is… CHAMPs classroom management saved my 9th grade math intervention classroom!

I absolutely LOVED it for high school students, but whenever I suggest it to a middle school math teacher or high school math teacher they immediately shut it down saying it’s too elementary for their students.

So in this blog post I’ll be sharing

  • What CHAMPs is

  • What CHAMPs stands for

  • How to use CHAMPs classroom management posters successfully for middle school and high school math students

What is CHAMPs?

CHAMPs is a class-wide Positive Behavior Support (PBS) that helps teachers think through how they want various segments of the class period to look, sound, and flow.

As a first year teacher in South Central Los Angeles, I really struggled with classroom management. I mean REALLY STRUGGLED. I spent hours planning a super fun poster activity or worksheet and it turned into absolute mayhem in my classroom. Students yelling, throwing things, refusing to do any math, and so much more. I was frustrated, depleted, and tired. At the start of my second year teaching (same school) we received training on CHAMPs and it changed everything for me with my classroom management. I realized my classroom was bananas because I had not explained my expectations at all. I just assumed my students would know how to act and be during an activity, but I was wrong. It was up to me to clearly communicate my expectations for each activity and section of our class. CHAMPs does exactly that! It’s a way to communicate teacher expectations to students VERY clearly and it’s a way to have respectful conversations about misbehaviors. More on that later.

What does CHAMPs stand for?

C - Conversation: With who? Voice level?

H - Help: What do I do if I need help? Who do I ask?

A - Activity: What are we doing right now in class?

M - Movement: Can I just get up? Signal?

P - Participation: How do I earn full credit?

How to use CHAMPs classroom management posters successfully for middle school and high school math students

#1) To communicate clear expectations

For each chunk of your class (warm up, notes, worksheet, homework, IXL, scavenger hunt, etc) you have different expectations of what your students should be doing. CHAMPs allows you to think through what those expectations are and communicate them clearly to your students before things get crazy!

For example, during a warm up you might create a CHAMPs powerpoint or CHAMPs poster to reflect your expectations…

CHAMPs during warm up


This signals to students that you want them not to talk above a whisper (C), to ask their team members for help before asking you (H), that they’re doing their warm up (A), that they need to raise their hand if they want to get up (M), and that they need to finish 5 questions for full credit (P).

Crisis averted.

#2) To have respectful conversations about misbehaviors

Let’s use the above CHAMPs warm up example. Let’s say Brandon is getting out of his seat to sharpen his pencil and he talks to a few friends on the way. Then he’s up to throw something away, again, talking to a few friends along his path.


Instead of saying, “Brandon, sit down!”


You can say, “Brandon, what is our movement expectation during warm up?” “It’s totally fine if you need to sharpen your pencil or throw something away, but I’d like you to raise your hand first and not talk to others as you do it. Okay?”


Let’s explore a much more common misbehavior… talking during notes time. We’ll assume you posted your CHAMPs before notes and it likely says something like…

C - Level 0

H - Raise your hand

A - Taking notes on your paper, listening, thinking of questions you have

M - Raise your hand

P - Completing all notes on your own paper


Let’s say Rebecca is talking to her teammate Julissa during notes.


Instead of saying, “Rebecca, be quiet! I’m giving the notes!”


You can say, “Rebecca, can you step to the door so we can have a chat?” At the door you can say, “Rebecca what is our conversation expectation during notes?” “I’d really appreciate it if you could meet the expectations we have. Is that something you do? If I have to ask you to stop talking again today, I’m going to call home.”


CHAMPs poster appropriate for grades 6-12


Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, all of the CHAMPs posters I see are very elementary looking. To help, I’ve created a poster deck you can use that has no clip art or kid images. You get a copy in color as well as in black and white. Click here to get these CHAMPS posters made for 6-12th grade.







I suggest using these with magnets on the side of your white board or getting a pocket chart you can slip them into as you change activities throughout the period!


While you're here...

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