Randy Sprick's Safe & Civil Schools – Practical Solutions, Positive Results!

July 2017

What Do You Expect?

Define Expectations in Your Classroom

By Randy Sprick

Just like a coach has a game plan, a pilot has a flight plan, and a doctor has a treatment plan, effective teachers have a classroom management plan that students learn and understand.  If a teacher doesn’t know or doesn’t communicate his or her behavioral expectations to students, the students have to guess at what “responsible behavior” looks like in their new class.  When students have to guess how they are supposed to behave, the results are often behaviors that are not in line with the teacher’s expectations.
If teachers clearly define for themselves and then communicate explicitly how they expect students to behave during every classroom activity and transition, most misbehaviors can be avoided. 
The CHAMPS acronym reflects the major issues that affect student behavior and can serve as the foundation for defining your behavioral expectations.  The issues incorporated in CHAMPS and the basic questions to be addressed for each issue are:


A good place to start with CHAMPS is to make a list of the major types of activities that your students will engage in on a daily basis.  You might include:

Once you’ve identified your major classroom activities, use the CHAMPS acronym as your guide to the important issues.  For each activity, define detailed behavioral expectations for students in terms of the CHAMPS areas.
For example, during independent seatwork while the teacher is working with a small group, one teacher defined the following expectations:

Conversation:  Students may engage in conversation with other students at their table about questions related to the assignments.
Help:  Students should try to get answers without teacher help.  If no one at the table can help, a student can come and stand in the Question Box.
Activity:  Students will complete their seatwork packet.  When done, they can go to the book or science center.
Movement:  Students may sharpen their pencil, get a drink of water, use the restroom, gather materials, or go to the Question Box without getting teacher permission.
Participation:  Students should be looking at their worksheet, writing, or coloring.

Defining your expectations is essential if you hope to have a positive and productive classroom. However, defining your expectation is not sufficient to achieve that goal. You also must effectively communicate your expectations to your students. You will need to design lessons to teach students the expectations you define. To help you teach your CHAMPS expectations, the CHAMPS book provides access to 396 visual icons. The icons illustrate a wide range of expectations and can be used for instruction as well as for posters and other visual displays that can serve as reminders in your classroom.

Sign up for Randy’s Getting Started webinar live on August 3 or consider bringing Randy into your preservice schedule. The archived webinar can be viewed here after August 3.

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