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Teacher: Lili Markey who teaches at Arrowwood Elementary in Saginaw, MI. Lili Markey can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Old Trophy Use Idea

Rationale/Purpose of Event: Encourage students to be demonstrate positive sports behavior and to reinforce teamwork as a class.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Old trophies for soccer, basketball, football, tennis, etc.

Old Trophy Use Idea

This summer while cleaning, I came across about 20 old sport trophies from my children. They no longer wanted them when asked. I couldn't bear to toss them out. We took a picture of them, then peeled off the metal label and put that into a scrap book. I brought the trophies to school and made up new labels (paper and lamination) and am using the trophies as a class "team" trophy.

Here is an example of one of the trophies. The soccer trophy says: "5th Grade Soccer Sportsmanship". After having all of my 5th grade classes, I leave the trophy on the teacher's desk of the 5th grade class that displayed the best sportsmanship during their PE class. The students are very excited to see me come to their classroom. I don't say a word, just quietly sit it on the teacher's desk and leave. The next morning, I pick the trophy up and start again. As another reward, I am keeping a tally of which class gets the trophy the most, and they will get an extra reward at the end of the unit. This has really helped the classes to work as a team, encourage ALL students in their class, and strive for better sportsmanhip. (And it didn't cost me a dime!!) You can have a different trophy for each grade level or specific units you teach.

Affective values need to be taught and reinforced as it is a great way to encourage positive classroom behavior. Class positive behavior reinforcement should be an emphasis.

This is also the perfect time to personally speak life into those kids who struggle by pulling them off to the side and explaining that one person can ruin it for their class by continually making poor choices. Students must understand that their choices often times don't just affect them, but others involved. Ask them directly, do you want to be "That" person. Some students still may not care and a the teacher should recognize this and not hold the ENTIRE class responsible for one child's behavior.


You could have the teachers leave the trophy in your mailbox at the end of the day & save yourself the trip. They are often busy and I don't want to put another thing on their list. It's nice to go down and see their classrooms, too!

Respect, Empathy/Support, Positive, Determined, and Integrity are just a few other behaviors that perhaps can be included in the recognition process alongside of teamwork and sportsmanship.

Align your behavior rewards system with that of the school/district. Partner with classroom teachers or meet with administration to implement a system that expands positive behavior recognition through your entire school.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Teach a lesson on sportsmanship BEFORE you start. Review what you are looking for as far as sportsmanship each day as a gentle reminder to students.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

The best part about this is that our regular ed students really go out of their way to help the ASD and CI students who are mainstreamed into my PE classes.

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Posted on PEC: 1/20/2012 and has received 46 votes.

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