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Teacher: Lori Kellum who teaches at Guion Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis, IN. Lori Kellum can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Sportsperson of the Day

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To encourage appropriate personal and social behavior from students in Physical Education class. Promote student honesty, integrity, and good sportsmanship.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2, 3-5

Materials Needed: Various laminated sport balls, non-permanent markers, Sportsman of the Day nametags, sportsman jar filled with goodies

Sportsperson of the Day

One of my classroom incentives is my Sportsman of the Day award. At the end of each class, I choose a boy and girl to be the sportsman of the day by using the following criteria: The four "R's" - rules, responsibility, respect, and relationships. If the students follow the classroom and game/activities rules, if they demonstrate responsibility by wearing tennis shoes to class, assisting others, taking care of equipment, helping clean-up, show respect and kindness to others during class time, and if they work to develop positive relationships with others during class, then they have the opportunity to be selected sportsman of the day. To serve as a reminder, these criteria are posted in the gym. The four "R's" are discussed at the start of the school year and reviewed throughout the year.

If chosen, the student autographs their name on a laminated sports ball, (one for each grade level), that was purchased at a local educational store. The balls are approximately 1 X 1 in size. There are one per grade level and are clearly visible when entering the gym. Students are constantly looking to see who in their grade level has received the reward, or look for a friend or sibling(s) names. At the beginning of each month I wipe them clean and we begin again. They are given a Sportsman of the Day name tag, get a reward from my Sportsman of the Day jar, and become a line leader. I record when each student has received this incentive to carefully reward all students various times during the school year.

On certain days classes may not have a sportsman of the day because all have struggled following the four "R's". I also have done the opposite and have rewarded more than just one boy and one girl. The important part to remember is that the student must EARN the reward. They should not just receive the reward because they have not been chosen yet. This would jepordize the purpose of the incentive. The students must demonstrate the criteria regularly during class.

The sportsman of the day at my school wears a special name tag, autograph sport balls, and receive a reward from the "Sportsman of the Day jar." The students names are also entered into the school citizenship of the week jar. Teachers and staff members throughout the day promote seeing a student wearing the sportsman of the day nametag.

This incentive program has been successful for the students in following class expectations and redirecting students to appropriate behavior. During class when I mention "Who is going to be the sportsman of the day" the students stay on task. Before class I have approached a student that has behavior problems and tell them I will watching their choices during their participation.

All of the special area (Fine Arts) teachers now participate in this reward program (Music - Musician of the Day, Art- Artist of the Day). Throughout the day, teachers recognize any students chosen and compliment them on a job well done. It has become a wonderful program to incorporate the schools Life Skills focus and redirect or encourage appropriate behavior in class.


Teacher rewards can vary.

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Posted on PEC: 5/29/2004 and has received 75 votes.

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