The DCMS Bat Signal: 12/3/18

Super me, super you, everyday heroes make dreams come true.

Good morning Team DCMS!

We are in the countdown to the end of semester 1. For all our new teachers, YOU are almost halfway! Yay! For ALL of you, now is the time to reflect...

  • Are you happy with how your classroom culture has evolved?
  • Are you checking for understanding at the highest levels?
  • Are all students cognitively engaged at all times?
  • Do your lessons include a quick closure activity to solidify new learning?

Are there a few things you would like to improve or change? If so, start planning for a "new" first day and begin redesigning your systems and procedures to roll out on Monday, January 7th. It is important to own this process now, as what you allow WILL continue. Do you need help? Feel free to speak with Dave, me or your colleagues to gather ideas.

I pray that you all have a wonderful week!

Have You Heard of CHAMPS to Help with Classroom Expectations?

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Classroom management can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. As teaching becomes more stressful with increased accountability standards and high-stakes testing, a well-managed classroom is key to maximizing student learning opportunities. The more time teachers have to spend correcting behaviors and getting students’ attention, the less time students have to learn (and this leads to very stressed out teachers)! Using CHAMPS is a positive and proactive approach. Just like you plan lessons to teach a learning target, CHAMPS allows you to teach behavior expectations throughout the school day. However, CHAMPS is just one component to use in tandem with your classroom management system.

What is CHAMPS?

CHAMPS is a system of expectations that works with any set of rules, rewards, or consequences that you are already implementing. It can even be used if your school has a specific classroom management program in place. For example, at DCMS we have the Bs: Be Reliable, Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. Those are common terms all teachers use.

CHAMPS is part of Randy Sprick’s Safe and Civil Schools and is a research-based program with over thirty years of classroom research.

The CHAMPS acronym stands for:

  • Conversation: Can students talk to each other during this activity?
  • Help: How do students get the teacher’s attention and their questions answered?
  • Activity: What is the task/objective? What is the end product?
  • Movement: Can students move about during this activity?
  • Participation: How do students show they are fully participating? What does work behavior look/sound like?
  • Success: When students meet CHAMPS expectations, they will be successful!

According to Safe and Civil Schools, CHAMPS strategies are easy to implement and will:

  • Reduce classroom disruptions and office referrals
  • Improve classroom climate
  • Increase student on-task behavior
  • Establish respectful and civil interaction
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Teaching CHAMPS

In order for CHAMPS to be successful, students need numerous opportunities to practice what each expectation looks and sounds like. One easy way to do this is to have the students become actors and actresses. They can model examples and non-examples to show their friends. This provides them a fun way to learn expectations.

Once students have been taught what CHAMPS looks like, then before each “activity,” the expectations need to be explained. This can be done before whole-group, before students are doing independent work, before transitions between activities, and before guided reading or guided math and workstations.

In addition to CHAMPS, it is important to also positively praise and reward (wampums) as much as possible when students are demonstrating the expectations. By the same token, if students are not following the expectations, then teachers need to follow through with their classroom management system.

What CHAMPS Looks Like

If you are teaching to the whole group, then CHAMPS expectations might be the following:

  • Conversation: Silent
  • Help: Raise your hand
  • Activity: Do your own work
  • Movement: Stay seated
  • Participation: Independent

If you are doing guided reading or working with a small group but students are at workstations, then your CHAMPS expectations might be the following:

  • Conversation: Partner voice
  • Help: Ask a friend
  • Activity: Do your own work
  • Movement: Responsible movement
  • Participation: Work with a partner

The key to CHAMPS is that expectations are explained before the activity begins. In addition, through modeling and practice, responsible school behaviors have been taught.

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Upcoming Events

  • School Board Mtg - Monday, 12/10, @ 6:30 PM at South Elementary cafe
  • MS Band Concert - Tuesday, 12/11, @ 7 PM in the gym
  • 8th Grade Choir @ DHS - Thursday, 12/13, @ 7 PM at DHS
  • Semester Celebrations (Individual by Grade Level) - Thusday, 12/20 PM
  • NO Students - Friday, 12/21; Grades are due @ 3 PM - sharp.
The application is extremely simple to complete. It appears that they approve grants monthly. Grant submissions are due the 15th of each month. Go for it!
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Upcoming Meetings

  • PLC - Wednesday, 12/5, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • Faculty Mtg - Tuesday, 12/11, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM for Suicide Prevention Training 2
  • PLC - Wednesday, 12/12, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM
  • DLTA Rep Mtg - Friday, 12/14, in Marsha's office
  • Holiday PLC Celebration - Wednesday, 12/19, in The Bat Cave @7:25 AM


  • Shorts, Longs, & Coaching Observations – Expect that we will be visiting frequently and maybe even multiple times in a week.

  • Attendance Must Be Taken EACH Period – Attendance must be taken each period. This is not optional and cannot continue to be forgotten. At this point, this is considered a minimum performance expectation.

  • Cell Phone Violations Procedures are found here at the following link. Please familiarize yourself with the process.
  • Friday School / Detention Supervisor Sign-Up – Please sign up to supervise a Friday School or Detention for the good of the school culture using the links below. Detentions will now be on Thursday AM and Thursday PM.

Detention -

Friday School -

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December Fun is Here! Secret Santa Starts Next Week!

All activities are meant to be fun and not to offend anyone. No one has to participate, but it is more fun if you do. :)

  • Christmas/Holiday Spirit Week – (for staff and students) Within reason, hats and other Christmas/holiday spirit wear are acceptable this week only providing the items are not a distraction to the learning environment. Should any item prevent teaching or learning, you have the right to confiscate the items. Please turn in any confiscated items to the office with a student name attached.

· Monday, 12/17 – “No Sweat Day” – Wear your favorite sweats!

· Tuesday, 12/118 – “Red and Green Day” – Wear your favorite red and green outfit.

· Wednesday, 12/19 – “Christmas/Holiday Hat Day” – Wear your Santa hats, elf hats, etc.

· Thursday, 12/20 – “Santa Day” – Wear your Santa gear to feel festive; beards, hats, etc.

· Friday, 12/21 - “Ugly Sweater Day” – Does this need an explanation?

  • Cookie Exchange – Friday, 12/21 @ 11 AM in the administrative conference room. If you want to participate in the cookie/candy exchange, email Marsha. It is not too late to get in on the fun! So far we have six participants.
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About Us: Mission & Collective Commitments

We are a collaborative group of educators committed to ensuring high student achievement.

We commit to…

  1. Focusing on student proficiency of Indiana College & Career Readiness standards, not just coverage of material.
  2. Working collaboratively to benefit all students with a focus on results.
  3. Join forces to learn by doing on a daily basis.
  4. Using frequent common assessments that inform and drive our instruction.
  5. Providing intervention and enrichment based upon the formative data.
  6. Furthering a culture that uses value-added language, encourages one another, and celebrates successes.