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Classroom Management with CHAMPS!

Hello Kinder Tribe, it's Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive! Today I wanted to touch upon the topic of classroom management.  5 years ago, I had the most challenging class of my career.  As they have gone through the grades, all of the teachers have struggled with them, and even questioned their teaching abilities while doing so.  When I taught them, I was sick the entire year, and drained at the end of each day.  I'm not a perfect teacher, but I feel like I have pretty strong classroom management skills.  This class pushed those skills to the limit, and forced me to research other classroom management systems and find new and fresh ideas to motivate them.

Regarding my general teaching philosophy, I like to focus on the positives. When I am employing a normal color chart with my students, I am far more likely to move students up to the "good" colors while pointing out the positive behaviors that I like, than I am to move a student's clip down to the "bad" colors.  While researching management techniques, I came across the CHAMPS system.  What drew me to this system, was that it set out clear expectations for each task, and gave the students a visual to keep them on track. It helped me state the positives I was looking for, even before the lesson started.  I began by reading the following book:

They have a newer version of this book, but you can find the first edition on Amazon for very little money, and it will give you the basic principles to the system.  I later learned, that the CHAMPS system fits in very well with the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) system.  If you have not heard of PBIS, I suggest that you visit the following website, and read more about it:

After reading the book, I was sold on this idea of clear expectations.  Here is a brief overview of what each letter stands for:

C - Conversation - What voice level will the students be allowed to use during a certain activity?
H - Help - If a student is unsure how to complete an assignment, where can they find help?
A - Activity - What kind of activity will the students be participating in?
M - Movement - When the activity is in process, what type of movement is allowed in the classroom?
P - Participation or Post Activity - You can either choose to inform the students what kind of participation you expect from them, or you can choose to use this category to inform students what to do when the assignment is finished.
S - Supplies or Signals - You can use this category either to inform the students what supplies they will need to complete the assignment, or what signal they should be listening for, to inform them that transition time has begun.  Some schools also just use the S for things like Super Students, or Star Students as well.

After all of my research, I decided to make cards for each category, and list them in my TPT store.  The book and the actual program do not provide you with these cards.  I thought that it was very important for the students to have visual reminders, especially in the lower grades of what the expectations are. 5 years later, and this is still the #1 resource in my store.

Each category has a ton of slides to choose from.  You just print up the ones you need and laminate them.  I attach sticky magnets to the back like the ones below and display them on my white board. You can also display them in a pocket chart.

Dowling Magnets 735007 Adhesive Magnet Dots, 5.5" Height, 1" Width, 3.5" Length (Pack of 100)

Here are a couple more pictures to show you the variety of cards that you can use with this system:

This system truly helped me, not just for that difficult class, but for all the ones that have followed. That year was so challenging for me, but I think that you can agree, that when we have classes like that, the ones that push every button, and give you more gray hair, you come out on the other side of that experience as a better teacher.  Those classes force you out of your comfort zone, and force you to adapt and change, and keep you on your toes!  For all of those teachers out there that are going through one of those years right now, my thoughts and prayers are with you!  Take one day at a time, and remember, it will get better!!!

If you are interested in this resource, check it out in my shop with the link below:

Do you have kids who need to put EVERYTHING in their mouth?

I have discovered my newest favorite thing!

Do you have (or know someone who has) a child who puts everything in their mouth or teething baby or toddler who wants to chew on everything? I bet they are always trying to grab something to chew on, like their clothing. Well, I have discovered the perfect, clean, and safe solution! Teething jewelry!

Click the necklace for more info.
This one is part of the "Pretty Mama" Collection.
This keeps babies content while sitting in their mom's lap. 
See styles for children further down this post.

"How I Adorn Thee" makes silicone jewelry that is worn by children or by moms and used by their babies and toddlers to ease the pain of teething. Brilliant, right?
Click the necklace for more info. 
This is part of the "Funky Mama" collection. 

They are safe, stylish, and they even come in children's sizes so your child may wear his/her own beads.
Click one of the necklaces for more info.
This is part of the "Mom & Tot" collection.

The beads and rings are non-toxic. They are made from food-grade silicone which is safe for babies and children alike. The clasps are designed to break away if the baby pulls to hard. It is important to note that these products should be used under adult supervision as they could  pose a choking hazard if used incorrectly. 
Click the bracelet for more info.
This is part of the "Bracelet" collection.

They also make some styles with natural wooden beads and rings made from North American maple. Some have been treated with beeswax or oils such as olive, avocado  or grape seed. 
And they even have bracelets for dads with little babies
Check out the men's collection by CLICKING HERE
Click the bracelet for more info. 
This is part of the "Men's" collection.

Both silicone and wooden beads and rings may be cleaned up easily with mild soap and water by Mom and Dad each night.
Click on the necklace for more info.This is part of the "
This is part of the "Kiddo" collection. 

I'm thinking that if your child has issues with chewing pencils, toys, or even their clothing, you might want to try this alternative. They make child-size jewelry for boys and girls that can be cleaned daily. 
Click the necklace.
Child-size necklace.
Click the necklace.
Child-size necklace.

They make child-size jewelry for boys and girls 
that can be cleaned daily. 

Click the necklace.
Click the image.

Click the image.

Smart, Safe, and Stylish! 

Click the image.

Click the image. 

I am NOT an affiliate and I do NOT get anything for sharing this info. I just think it's a GREAT product. :)

You can order them here:
Retailers who carry 
How I Adorn Thee:

Guided Reading Favorites

As we are final our final trimester, I'm working hard to ensure that my Kinders are reading at grade level. Where are your Kinders supposed to be reading at the end of the year? We say a text level 4 is grade level, but we would really like them at a 6.

I see each group for approximately 20 minutes, although I wish it was 30 minutes! I broke down my Guided Reading Group for you with this little visual.

 Of course, this can vary. My lower kids usually need additional Word Work time. Sometimes, I forgo the writing and just do reading. It depends on the group, the lesson, the day. Keep in mind, I have a whole group phonics lesson everyday, as well as word work centers. This is just additional practice in small group, usually tied to the book/ For writing, I also teach that whole group. This is just extra practice, usually focusing on foundational skills. 

It is important to PLAN your lesson. I do lesson plans for each group, using this sheet. You get this sheet FREE in my TPT Store.

This sheet allows me to plan my lesson in advance, as well as take notes during the lesson. You can highlight what strategy they are using and put notes about what they are doing well or future teaching points. Best part, it is editable. You can type in your lesson plans and print. I personally prefer to hand write them in, but I do like to type student names.

In addition to planning, I think it is important to take running records. I LOVE this free form I found from Leveled Literacy Intervention. You can find this, and many, many more FREE goodies HERE.

For my struggling kids, I enjoy using these Beginning Sound Activities for Word Work. There are 10 different activities you can use. For kids who are really struggling, try just focusing on phonemic awareness, no letters. For example, show them pictures for a, b, and c, and ask which one starts with /b/ (make the sound). For some kids, it helps to just focus on the phonemic awareness.

For my on grade level and high kids, we are working on CVC Words, I like to introduce all of these activities during small group, then move them to a Word Work Center. This bundle will last you the rest of the year. You can grab it here

After Word Work, we read a familiar read. This is when I do a Running Record on one student. For my new book, I always give a detailed into, that includes 2 "tricky" words. The "tricky" words may be sight words or it may be vocabulary I don't think they know. 

I am lucky that I have access to Guided Reading books at school. If you do not, check out Tara West on Teacher Pay Teachers. She has bundles of just Guided Reading Books or bundles for the year. I have this set and I really like it.

Finally, for writing, I often have kids write 1-2 sentences that are related to the story. We often take 2 days to do this since I only spend 5 minutes on writing. If we are short on time, we might just write a few sight words or discuss writing foundational skills, such as capitals, spacing, and periods. 

I hope you all have learned a few helpful hints for Guided Reading. If you are looking for more, here are two of my favorite resources.

Reading Groups with Classroom Volunteers

Hi everyone, it's Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive. As we continue talking about reading groups, I wanted to take a look at some resources that can assist you when planning time is short, or when a volunteer shows up to offer assistance.

At my school, the principal gets teacher aides to assist with reading groups.  We also have parent volunteers who are looking for family hours of service, or high school students that come back to help out.  Unfortunately, this doesn't happen in a consistent way in which I could teach one or two people the basics of guided reading. Because of this, I have found it extremely useful to have binders that focus on a particular skill, along with a guided reading kit ready to go.  When a volunteer shows up at my door, I pull out a binder, grab my toolkit, and put them to work!

My first binder works with letter recognition and hand writing skills.  Included in it are the following resources.

I use this one mostly for my students who are struggling with fine motor skills, and writing their letter backwards.

Next up is my letter sounds and beginning reading.  This one also contains some of the wand resources from Tara West, but most of the binder is from the following resource:

That particular resource is so full of amazing activities, that is you were to only buy one of these resources that I suggest, it should definitely be this one!

For sight words I use:

When students need work on their fluency and reading smoothly, I also use activities out of Miss DeCarbo's ELA pack and I also have:

Last, but not least is my reading comprehension binder.  In this I use:


For the read and sequence, I printed them all out, cut out the bottoms, and attached velcro to the pieces so that they could be used again and again.

I store all of these binders behind my teacher desk, where they are easily accessible.

I also bought this crafting supplies bag at Hobby Lobby, and it holds all of my fun little supplies for the kids to use.

Inside, you will find the following things:
1. Toobaloos
2. Halloween witch fingers
3. Magnetic wands with magnetic chips
4. Small white boards
5. Letter Tiles
6. Dry erase markers
7. Erasers
9. Elkonin boxes

It took me a little while to set-up all of these binders and my guided reading kit, but the time was well worth it whenever a helper comes into my class.  All of these resources are pretty self explanatory, so that when I do get assistance, I can just grab a binder, grab a couple of students, and get them working quickly in a way that is fun and engaging!  If you would like a copy of my binder covers, click below.

Reading Groups in Kindergarten

Hello Kinder Tribe friends! Heather here from Learning with Mrs. Langley and today I am all about reading groups! Actually...on most days I am all about reading groups! In kindergarten the BEST teaching comes during these small group times. I get to chat with my kiddos, see their individual needs, and really make a difference when it comes to reading.

Reading Groups didn't just "happen" for me. It took me the better part of a year to get a good routine and learn how to group my students according to their needs. If you want to read more about how I do that you can see that HERE. We use DIBELS in our district as our assessment tool so I talk a little about that too. 

Today I will be focusing in on my ON LEVEL group and some of the CVC word work we have been doing together. They love these activities! 

#1 Warm up! 
We start our warm up by reading CVC words together and really focus in on pointing to each letter and reading each sound. We concentrate on one vowel sound at a time. On this day we were working on middle E words. 

#2 Blending
 As students go through the process of learning to read they get to the point where blending two sounds starts to happen pretty naturally. I've noticed that kids will read the first sound then blend the last two together. This doesn't lead to natural sounding reading and they end up reading everything in chunks. I learned this painful lesson when I moved to first grade and spent the entire year trying to get kids past this. It was frustrating! 

My second year in first I started having my kiddos cover the last sound in a CVC word and just focus on blending the first two. By ending with that vowel sound you don't get a hard ending and blending into that last sound is more natural. Students can drag out that vowel sound while their brain processes the last sound in the word. It sounds something like heeeeeee/m (read that middle e sound as a short sound!) to get the word hem. As they practice this it gets quicker and quicker. I tell them to cover the last sound, blend the first two, then say the last sound fast! 
Cover the last sound, blend the first two, then uncover and say the last sound fast! 

I give them the same page in black and white to practice throughout the week. They keep them in their browsing boxes. 
Practice pages can be used in groups and sent home to practice blending anywhere! 

#3 Building Words
After we warm up and practice blending we play a game to build words. This activity has them spinning for beginning and ending sounds while the middle e sound stays constant. Once they spin for the sounds and write them on the lines they determine if the word is real or make believe. A lot of great vocabulary discussions come from this activity! 
Work on fine motor skills (spinning is hard work!) and CVC words at the same time. 
This activity has them building words with tokens first (not pictured) then writing the sounds. In addition to being a great word building activity it also gives me a chance to work on some handwriting issues with each individual child. Just one more reason to love small groups! 
Dry erase markers are our favorite! Slip pages into page protectors and they erase easily. 
Of course I use my little readers from our reading series and all of the small group materials too from Reading Street (I love their small group stuff!) but this is what I supplement for hands on word work with me. Once they learn these routines I can use these in an independent center. They especially love the spinner activity. 

Pin this post for later! 
If you would like to see any of the above activities in my store you can see them HERE. These tips for sounding out and blending CVC words can be used with any of your CVC materials. Thanks for stopping by KinderTribe today. Be sure to join the KinderTribe group on Facebook to connect with other KinderTribe friends.