CHAMPS and Whole Brain Teaching Resources

I think it’s safe to say I am classroom management obsessed. It finally clicked after realizing I was sick of going home exhausted every day. I realized that instead of jumping right into the curriculum with my students, I need to take time to build a strong classroom management plan. I think that counts for one of those things we didn’t learn in college, right?! ;)

CHAMPS and Whole Brain Teaching Resources - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

One thing I have done in the past was the CHAMPS classroom management system.

CHAMPS and Whole Brain Teaching Resources - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
Awesome picture courtesy of: Pathways for Learning Blog

The CHAMPS system is a great idea, and I do believe that your classroom will be pure chaos if your kids don’t know what you expectant of them. CHAMPS leaves all the guesswork out. It allows students to know what the expectations are throughout the entire day.  For example, through the displayed expectations, students know whether or not they can use the bathroom at that moment. They also know the appropriate volume they should be speaking. The idea behind CHAMPS is that you have cards posted for each letter:

C= conversation (how loud can I be?)

H= help (how do I ask for help?)

A= activity (what is it that we will be doing)

M= movement (can I get up and move around the room?)

P= participation (how do I respond to this lesson/ how do I look?)

S= success!

There are so many wonderful benefits to this system! But, the issue for was management. I am a firm believer in letting my kids run our classroom. I think it’s extremely important to give them this ownership, and with the CHAMPS system, it was entirely teacher-based. I had to set up the board for each and every lesson, and I often struggled to remember to changing the cards on the board. I tried having students do this as a job, but it would often be them looking at me trying to figure out which card to put up (because they obviously didn’t know the expectation at that moment!) Therefore, it didn’t work. You can learn more about CHAMPS here, and maybe you can share your ideas on how to make it easier on the teacher, because it really can be awesome!

Another classroom management system is Whole Brain Teaching. Whole Brain Teaching also has some wonderful benefits! I modified many of the parts to fit them to my class and my teaching style. As with any new research-based approach, it’s best to do a little research and tailor it to fit you and your kids. But, in the end, I am in love with a lot of aspects of this management system. Whole Brain Teaching lends itself to a fun classroom where we use games to practice a lot of the things we learn, we take mini brain breaks, and the environment is student centered and encouraging.

Here is an example of a 6th grade teacher using the approach:

The first step of Whole Brain Teaching is implementing rules. Stephanie from 3rd Grade Thoughts created this freebie that you can download HERE. In addition to this freebie, she has a ton of helpful blog posts on getting started with Whole Brain Teaching. I suggest you check them out!

3rd Grade Thoughts

CHAMPS and Whole Brain Teaching Resources - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
CHAMPS and Whole Brain Teaching Resources - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
Aren’t they adorable? Head on over to her blog to check them out!

You can also check out Lisa’s free resource over at Fourth and Ten.

She has some great, free printable rules you can post in your classroom. Click HERE to grab them!

CHAMPS and Whole Brain Teaching Resources - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
With each rule, we do a hand gesture or movement, and we recite them every morning. I feel like it sets the stage for the day, it give the students a reminder of five simple things to be aware of throughout the day.

The rules and gestures are simple:
Rule #1: Raise your hand to speak or stand. (We put our hand up in the air like we are raising our hands.)

Rule #2: Be safe, be kind, be honest. (We count on our fingers 1, 2, 3.)

Rule #3: Respect yourself and others. (We put our hands on our hearts.)

Rule #4: Follow directions quickly. (We snap our fingers loudly at the word quickly.)

Rule #5: Listen when your teacher is talking. (We put our finger over our mouth on the word listen, and put our hand up to our ear for the word talking.)

For more information, head on over to the Whole Brain Teaching website HERE to learn more about this management strategy, and to grab all of their freebies!


  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m new to the Whole Brain Idea but I’m very interested in trying it out! I love your charts, etc. Could you explain the mirroring part to me?

  2. At the new school I’m at, the teacher next door (that I copied on this) has the 3 different possibilities for each letter in CHAMPS all on display, then just moves a magnet for which one is expected at the time…easier than card flipping. I’ll post a pic on my blog later when I show my classroom update!

    The Science Penguin

  3. So I am new to blogging and teaching 5th grade this year! I just found your blog after researching a bunch on whole brain teaching! I think the idea is fabulous and I would love to try it! Management is something I really want to improve, especially at my school! Do you have any ideas for starting it late in the year? (we have been in school since middle of July!)

  4. I love your blog and Common Core math packs on TpT! They are such lifesavers this year as we try to shift to CCSS.

    I am trying Whole Brain Teaching this year with my 5th grade Chickadees and they love it. They always come up with different ways for me to say “Class!” and get so excited when I use their way.

  5. I love whole brain teaching too! I really struggled with classroom management during my student teaching and when I watch a couple of WBT videos they made me think, “Hey, I could do this!” While my class wasn’t perfect, their behavior (and my lessons) certainly improved when I started to use WBT techniques. I’m so happy I discovered it early in my teaching career!

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