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Reward Amazing Students with The C.H.I.P. Trophy: DIY Classroom Management

Step by step instructions for making C.H.I.P. (Caring helpful independent polite) Awards. Great for elementary school students - From I Want to be a Super Teacher
Looking for a fun, creative (and cheap!) DIY reward to add a little something new to your 2-3 classroom management toolbox? Try C.H.I.P trophies!!

Fun and creative DIY rewards teachers can use for kids!! Step by step instructions for making C.H.I.P. (Caring helpful independent polite) Awards. Great for elementary school students in 2nd and 3rd grade. Click for pictures and instructions. #education #classroommanagement #diy

What is the C.H.I.P. Trophy?

The C.H.I.P. trophy is a shrunken chip bag glued atop a red plastic cup with a label taped to the front. C.H.I.P. stands for Caring, Helpful, Independent, Polite. The CHIP trophy is the ultimate classroom reward! You can give one away during weekly class meetings or whenever you deem a student suitably caring, helpful, independent, and polite. Third graders find these irresistible and will do almost anything to get one – including always saying please and thank you.

Step by step instructions for making C.H.I.P. (Caring helpful independent polite) Awards. Great for elementary school students - From I Want to be a Super Teacher

The C.H.I.P. Necklace

After the success of the CHIP trophy, I decided to see if wearing a shrunken chip bag would also entice my students.  Yep!  Thus, the CHIP necklace was born.  This is simply a shrunken chip bag with a hole punched in it, tied with yarn. If the CHIP trophy is your ultimate behavior reward, think of CHIP necklaces as your honorable mentions.

Step by step instructions for making C.H.I.P. (Caring helpful independent polite) Awards. Great for elementary school students!

During the summer, make 25-30 CHIP trophies so they can be ready to display (somewhere unreachable) for the entire school year. These make a great conversation piece for back to school night, and you can start talking about being caring, helpful, independent, polite people on the first day of school!

Step by step instructions for making C.H.I.P. (Caring helpful independent polite) Awards. Great for elementary school students - From I Want to be a Super Teacher

Students love these chip bags glued to cups. Seriously!

At a parent conference a few years ago a grandmother related how excited her grandson was to bring home his CHIP trophy, saying he was so thrilled they decided to use it as the star on their Christmas tree.  Siblings of past students relate how their brothers/sisters/friends won the trophy when they were in third grade and how the dog ate/mutilated/stepped on it and made their brother/sister/friend cry.  I often hear from parents of trying to throw away their now 14 year old child’s dusty CHIP trophy, but it had to be put in the “special things” box because their teenager refused to part with it.

Every year as you burn your knuckles smacking down shrinking chip bags in the oven, your significant other will wonder aloud, “Is that really worth it?”  The answer — ABSOLUTELY!  When you are tagged 6 years later in a picture of a now Jr. High student holding their beloved CHIP trophy, a long-healed finger burn will certainly be worth those moments of “Ouch!”

How to make a CHIP Trophy

1. Put a chip bag (must have a foil inside) in your oven at 250-300 degrees (you can try shrinking more than one but I suggest one to start)
2. Watch it.
3. Keep watching it.
Nothing will happen.
Then . . .
All of a sudden . . .
The corners will start to curl!
4. Get your spatula and smack the bag flat
5. Flip the bag
6.  Repeat steps 4&5 until the bag is as small as you’d like it.
7.  Let it cool, hot glue it to a plastic cup, smack on a label (Mine say CHIP Trophy Mrs. Smith’s Third Grade Class) and start rewarding caring, helpful, independent, polite people!

Try this out and let me know how it goes in the comments. Did you burn any knuckles?  I swear it will be worth it when you see the smiles on your little kidlets’ faces when they earn one. Life highlight for sure!!!

Want more ideas from the Summer Tasks for Teachers series? You can find them HERE.

Have a fab day Super Teacher,

22 Comments

  1. I love this idea! I'm going to share it with my friends. Welcome to the blogging world.

    Michelle
    Teach123

  2. Just the way you are dressed in the photo tells me you are a FUN teacher! I am your second follower. Keep up the good posts and followers will come. When you have time, check out my math blog as well. http://gofigurewithscipi.blogspot.com/

  3. Sorry Tammy — A Solo cup is just one of those red plastic cups you can buy at the grocery store. They usually come in sets of 25-100. I recommend using the ones without any texturing on them since the labels tend to stick better that way. I think "Solo" is the brand name. In class we just call them "red cups".

  4. I'm following your blog too. I love the polka dot background! I recognized your name from the TpT message boards. I always enjoy your comments and have used some of your free products in my classroom. Thanks!

  5. Kelly Kaiser says:

    Absolutely adorable. I am definitely doing this next year. And I think I will have to make a headband for myself. Thanks for all of you do to make school a fun place to be for the kidlets and passing on inspiring ideas to teachers.

    1. Thanks so much Kelly! I’m so glad you might be able to use it. The CHIP headband also works as a “don’t bother me, I’m working with a small group right now” crown. Just make sure you take it off before you head down to the lunchroom. 🙂

  6. Terri Stahlheber says:

    What a darling idea! Question…You mention having them on display for the year, also how a student used theirs on their Christmas tree. When do you give these/send these home?

    1. Every Friday I award one CHIP trophy at our class meeting. At the beginning of the year I display all 30+ trophies on top of the cupboards and every Friday a kiddo takes one home. I’m so happy you liked the idea! 🙂

  7. Are these full size bags or mini chip bags? I am going to facebook request friends to start saving!! haha

    1. They’re the mini chip bags, which works really well once school starts. Give it 3 weeks and you’ll have an entire box full of them once the kids realize they can bring them to you after lunch. 🙂

      1. Now that is a great idea!!! Thanks!!!

  8. Katie! Do these bags still have the chips IN THEM?? OR fo they actually strive for an empty bag of chips??

    1. Hi Shelli! The bags should be empty. I make sure there are no left over chip crumbs at the bottom too, just to make sure no fires are started in my kitchen. 🙂

  9. Lisa Heit says:

    Such a cute idea! I am going to use this idea this year! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. I’m so glad you might be able to use it Lisa!

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