Sunday, October 21, 2012

Guest Post: Adventures of a Substitute Teacher

Hola amigos!
Read on to hear from the famous substitute teacher from my school! She was my student teacher last year and is patiently awaiting her our class (good luck Sandra!). Until she gets the joy of her own classroom, she is subbing at our school and is rocking it! She is learning from each classroom she enters and is ready to share her adventures here on my little blog each Sunday!

Hello bloggy world!
I will be guest blogging here at KindergartenSchmindergarten on Sundays to share my adventures as a substitute teacher! I finished up my student teaching in Vanessa’s class in April and have now been given the opportunity to be a substitute teacher at her amazing school! I sub for grades K-6 and it has been a fantastic learning experience so far.

Today, I want to share with all you teachers out there what type of class is a substitute’s DREAM! I have subbed in classes that feel like chaos and classes that are set up to run so smoothly that they nearly run themselves! I am talking about classroom management and routines! When I walk into a class that is organized with a clear behavior management system and explicit routines, it makes my day (and the students’ day) fun and productive! Also, a substitute teacher binder ensures that the day runs just how the students are used to it running.  Erin from Creating and Teaching ( has a great FREE substitute teacher binder pack on TPT that I highly recommend!

I know Vanessa has shared her Kindergarten’s behavior management system in a previous post, and I can tell you from experience that it is extremely effective with the kindergarteners. Since I have been subbing in other grades, I wanted to share another type of behavior management system that is really effective with older students and is used by many classrooms in this school (which also makes my job easier!). The system is called CHAMPS. It is basically a very clear and consistent way to share expectations with the class. The “C” stands for Conversation. Students look here to see if they should be using a “whisper voice” or if their voices should be off, etc. The “H” stands for Help. Students look here to see if they can ask a neighbor for help, or if they need to raise their hand and wait for the teacher, etc. The “A” stands for Activity. This shows students what is going on at a particular time and corresponds to the daily schedule. This is a great system because you can easily use it to communicate expectations for all the different daily activities. The “M” stands for Movement. Students look here to see if they can move freely around the room, if they should be at the rug, seated at their desk, etc. The “P” stands for Participation. Students look here to see if they should be working independently, with a partner, in groups, etc. The “S” typically stands for Success. Students earn a happy face, sticker, etc. for meeting expectations during each activity of the day. This is positive behavioral support, just like in Vanessa’s class, and it is so effective at both motivating students to follow expectations as well as building self-esteem. A little later, I will share a great example of something the first grade uses for the “success” part of CHAMPS that is very effective. But first, I want to share a picture from a 2nd grade class I recently subbed in. 

I love her use of the pocket chart so that she can easily change out cards depending on the activity. I believe in the picture the “A” and “M” are switched, but you basically get the point. Now, she uses the “S” for Signals instead of Success. Students use the ASL signs for bathroom and water to ask permission to do these things, and it also reminds students to raise their hands before speaking.

I prefer using the “S” for success, and so now I will share the system that the first grade uses for Success with CHAMPS. 

Students earn smiley faces for each part of the day. If they met all of the CHAMPS expectations, they get their smiley face for that part of the day. If students earn all but one smiley face, they get a sticker at the end of the day to add to their sticker charts. Once they earn a certain amount of stickers, they go to treasure box. You will also notice there is a spot for “Good Citizen,” which Vanessa also talked about in her post. This provides students an opportunity to earn an extra smiley face to make up for one lost, so that they can still earn their sticker at the end of the day.

Whew! This post was longer than I expected! At the end of each blog, I want to share a “Great Idea!” that I saw in a classroom I subbed in. This week I want to share this great idea for a writing bulletin board. Don’t you hate it when all but a few of your students have completed work and there are a few empty spaces on the bulletin board? I would hate for a parent to come in and wonder why there is NOTHING under their child’s name. WELL, this idea is the perfect solution!
This assures that there is no empty spot under any students’ name and assures parents that their child is working hard to get some work up there.

Until next week…

1 comment:

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