End of Year Behavior Booster–It’s Sciencetastic!

Every teacher knows that the end of the year can present some classroom management challenges.  Kids are excited about summer, there are loose ends to tie up with library books and paperwork, and for some reason students think that when state testing is over, so is all the learning.  So, I am trying something new this year–Using SCIENCE to encourage excellent behavior!  I love science.  My students love science.  And there are so many great hands-on activities that don’t quite fit into the year.  Why not do those NOW as the year is winding down?

Here’s my plan.  I’m starting with an owl pellet lab.  Owl pellets are great for reviewing life science concepts like food chains, ecosystems, and much more!  So, to encourage great behavior, we have set a goal that our class needs to earn 10 points to earn the owl pellet lab and we will track our points each day.  When we reach 10, we earn the owl pellet lab!  The sooner we reach 10 points, the sooner we get to dig in to those owl pellets.  I’ve even posted a chart in the room to track our points, and since we are working with integers, I’ve tied that in too.

@thepensivesloth Owl Pellet Lab #5thgrade #classroommanagement

End of the Year Motivator–We are using science to encourage excellent behavior as the year winds down. Here is our class chart as we work to earn 10 points for an owl pellet lab activity.

I am also planning to build solar powered ovens for cooking smores and to build and test paper airplanes, but students are going to have to earn it!  My kids are excited and I could see this working for all kinds of things–reader’s theater, math art projects, and much more.  Want to know a secret?  I actually planned to do this stuff anyway, but now I get a little more bang for my buck with a little class motivation.

–The Pensive Sloth


CHAMPS–Behavior Management in the Classroom

CHAMPS anchor chart sets  classroom expectations for students in whole group, small group, and independent settings.

CHAMPS anchor chart sets classroom expectations for students in whole group, small group, and independent settings.

Spring break has been fantastic, but it is winding to a close and school will start up again on Monday.  There is always a transition period for students as they return from a long break and get back in the swing of things at school.  We will certainly take some time Monday morning to review our classroom expectations to set students up for success.  Let me tell you a little about CHAMPS.

CHAMPS expectations are taught at the beginning of the year and reviewed often, such as a quick reminder when starting a small group activity or a review when students forget during a whole group lesson.  The expectations help students to know what to do at all times in the classroom.  We even have CHAMPS expectations for the hallway!  Here is what each letter represents:

C is for Conversation–What voice level should students be using during each setting?

H is for Help–How will students get help if they have questions?  Raising hands, asking partners?

A is for Activity–What is the activity expectation, for example are students taking a test or working in a small group on a science lab?

M is for Movement–Are students allowed to get up, sharpen pencils, etc. or should they stay seated?

P is for Participation–What are the expectations for participation?  Should students be commenting one at a time, collaborating with their group, on their own?

S is for Signal–How will the teacher signal that she needs the group’s attention?  Clapping, counting to 3, having students echo, etc.

The big ones for my kiddos are movement and conversation.  You can see in the chart that I have starred movement and added that it should be purposeful, meaning that we don’t need to get up and sharpen each map pencil one at a time or walk around the room to get to a tissue box that was within reach.  We are still working on this one!

What I love about CHAMPS is that it is easy to set up and communicate with students.  Yes there are still rules, rewards, and consequences, but CHAMPS minimizes the need for extensive systems to manage classroom behavior.  I love it!

NOTE:  There are a few variations on this and you have to find what works for your kiddos!  I believe the CHAMPS idea originally came form Safe and Civil Schools and is part of PBS (positive behavior support).  I’m no expert on this, but a little Gooogling will get you more info.

Feel free to comment below if you have questions or would like to share how your classroom systems are set up!

–The Pensive Sloth