On the first day of the Backpack Middle School summer band program this week I told the students that I had come across a great deal at the trophy shop in our small Hoosier town:  100 trophies for $1.00.  They are small, flat, round, copper-colored, and, as luck would have it, even have my picture on them… if you think I look like Abraham Lincoln.

As I have mentioned before, I regularly give out pennies to students when I forget their names, which helps me to learn their names, and helps them feel better when I forget.  But when a student excels, they are rewarded with a BandLand trophy.  This week I have probably awarded about 50 of them for such things as learning a new song or answering a question correctly.  It has been an easy, affordable, and excellent way to motivate students to achieve during a time when there are no grades to give.  A few students have earned more than one trophy, which has led to some friendly competition as they track who has received the most.

It seems that these little trophies are worth much more than a penny.


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