June 2016 - Amber from TGIF (Third Grade is Fun)

How to Get Started with Brag Tags

What are Brag Tags?
Brag Tags are an incentive program for the classroom.  It allows the teacher to "brag" on a student for their exemplary behavior, project, teamwork or academics.  It also allows the teacher to find outstanding qualities in each and every student.  These qualities are displayed on their brag tag necklace and encourage students and celebrate their successes.

Where do I hang the Brag Tags?
I have my Brag Tags hanging on a bulletin board using thumb tacks.  This system worked for me all last year.  I didn't lose any thumb tacks from the students getting their necklaces off and on.  I am going to add one addition next year though.  Name tags!  Sometimes it was hard for my students to find their necklace in the sea of Brag Tags necklaces. 

Here are two other different methods.  

Lori (left pic) from Live Laugh Love Second uses command hooks on a narrow section of her classroom wall. Brooke (right pic) from Teach Outside the Box uses library book pockets to have her students store their brag tags.  I have also seen teachers use pocket charts.  The calendar pocket charts would work perfectly.  

How do I store the Brag Tags?  

I store my Brag Tags in a large index card box and I just put Post-It notes at the top of each so I can easily find them.  It takes up so very little space that I actually keep them out on my desk.  

My friend, Anna from Hanging with Mrs. Hulsey, uses this organizer.  She bought it from Lowe's for less than $20.  She also has a blog post about how she uses Brag Tags in her classroom.  Check it out here >> Brags Tags:  How to Use, Store, and Manage Your Tags.

Where can I buy the chains to hang the necklace on?

How often do the students wear the necklaces?
I allow my students to wear their necklaces anytime they want during class.  However, I don't let them take them home or wear them during P.E./recess.  I want them to take pride in them and display their positive attributes for all to see.  
When do I hand out Brag Tags?
This is something that you will have to decide based on what works for you and your classroom. Each teacher needs to do what works best for their classroom.  I honestly do a bit of all of these methods.  I don't have a set "time" to hand out brag tags because I want it to be random and unexpected.

* Hand out brag tags right as soon as you see a behavior you want to commend and reinforce.  (I personally use this method as often as possible, as I feel it should be something the kids see and not just hear about days later.)  If we are having a Science STEM challenge, I will award a Super Scientist brag tag as soon as we tally up the results.

* Hand out brag tags at the end of the week.  Have a little awards ceremony at the end of the day on Friday.  I think this method works well for certain brag tags.  For example, if I am looking for someone that exemplifies a certain quality all week long, I will write in my lesson plan book initials of kids that have shown those qualities and see if they keep it up.  I may give out a "Helpful Hound" Brag Tag to a student that I saw being helpful to classmates throughout the week.  

*Hand out brag tags at the end of the day.  If I am handing out report cards, I also hand out brag tags at the same time.  I award a lot of character brag tags, but I also award academic brag tags too.  I give honor roll brag tags and perfect attendance brag tags for each quarter.  

*There are a few Brag Tags that ALL of my students earn.  For example, we have all earned the "100 Days of School" Brag Tag because well, we SURVIVED!  My students also all get ONE field trip tag and we write the places we went on the back.

* Special occasions - I award a brag tag to each of my students on their birthday (or half birthday if they have it during the summer months) instead of giving them a certificate.  There is a free birthday brag tag you can download.  

Do the students take them home?
Not until the very last day do I let my students take their Brag Tag necklaces home.  It is like taking home a mini-scrapbook.

How often do I hand out Brag Tags?

I don't lavish my students with Brag Tags.  Some weeks I may hand out just a few 3-5 (and that means very few students receive one that week).  Other weeks I hand out a lot (and most of the students receive one).  It just depends on what is going on.  Sometimes we may have a science STEM project going on and I may award a few for that.  I just try to "catch" my students displaying certain qualities (perseverance, kindness, positive attitude) and so each week is different.  My students know that receiving a Brag Tag is special.  They are not expected, therefore I don't give them everyday. 

The truth is here:  There are no rules, but your own when it comes to Brag Tags.  Make it work for you and your classroom!

Click here >>> BRAG TAGS <<< to check out the brag tags in my store.

Brag on!
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