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Have you seen the pictures floating around Pinterest? Maybe you've heard people on Instagram going on about brag tags. But you just keep thinking, what on earth is a brag tag? What does that mean and what are they for? Let me help explain.
What is it?
Plain and simple it is a behavior management system. Tags are made with specific positive behaviors. When a student demonstrates that behavior, they are rewarded with a tag. Negative behaviors aren't recognized and students (hopefully) work hard and demonstrate appropriate behaviors in an attempt to earn a tag.
How do you give them out?How you distribute tags is entirely up to you. You can give out a tag to the entire class, an entire group or an individual depending on the behavior demonstrated. You can pull out one or two specific tags and tell the class you will be on the lookout for those behaviors. You don't want these to be impossible to obtain, yet you don't want to give them away constantly. It should be something that students really have to work for and something that truly celebrates behavior that you want to see.
How do you store them?
Again, this is entirely up to you. Pinterest is full of different ideas to store them. Some teachers use a toolkit with drawers (designed for nuts and bolts), while others have found success with sliding them into a pocket chart (like this 100s chart). I use them with my after school religious ed classroom so I am limited on space since it is someone else's classroom during the day. I've found that small kits designed to hold embroidery floss work well because I can easily organize my tags and it is portable so I can take it home with me each week. I think the important part is you being able to see them so that you remember what tags you have available and what behavior you want to focus on. I leave my kits open on my desk so I remember to glance at them and hand them out when needed.
What do the students do with them?
Students add their tags onto a necklace generally. They don't have to but this seems to be the most common way. They could also have a smaller chain that could hang from a backpack. Many teachers who use them in a traditional classroom have a bulletin board where each child has a place to hang their necklace. Since I teach in a different environment and it isn't my classroom, I can't display them like that. Instead, we added an envelope to the back of each child's folder that they can store their necklace in. When they get to class, they are allowed to wear it during our hour and a half session and before we leave they take it off and safely tuck it into their envelope. We allow them to go home with our students each week so that they will share with their parents. If you are using them all day, every day in a classroom, you will probably want to have them kept at school.
Are there other ways to use them?Tags can be given out for more than just behavior. Special events like first day of school, field trips, etc. could mean a new tag for everyone. I also give out homework tags, prayer tags when my students memorize a prayer and lesson tags that help the students remember what we learned each week. These aren't required and they aren't part of the behavior management system but they do add some more tags for the students and create excitement.
What else are they called?Some teachers don't love the term brag tag. I have to admit, teaching in a religious setting, I didn't love what the word brag represented. We decided to call ours STAR tags. I've seen people call them swag tags. Call them whatever you want, but if you are searching for sets to buy or ideas online, try using the term Brag Tag.
How do you prep them?I print mine on cardstock, in color and then laminate them. I cut them apart and hole punch each one. Yes, this takes time. But it is only costing me my time, paper and ink expenses. That makes it way cheaper than when I was constantly refilling a prize box. You can read about how I ditched my prize box for brag tags HERE. I've found it easiest to do the prep work before school starts. I will still add tags throughout the year as I think of ones we need, but I have the majority ready to go at the beginning.
What are some of the brag tags options out there?There are a lot of brag tags out there. It is just a matter of finding a style and content that meet your needs. Most of the ones that I have created, have been specific for a Catholic or Christian school since that is where I use them. Some of my recent additions have been my Catholic Brag Tags Volume Two which includes virtues, gifts of the Holy Spirit, fruits of the Holy Spirit, specific Catholic activities and more.
bundled up my Catholic Brag Tags, Catholic Brag Tags Vol.2 and my Christian Brag Tags.
kid themed and tribal/woodland theme.
HERE to get you started. The possibilities are endless and Teachers Pay Teachers has a lot of sellers with a wide variety of brag tags available for you. If you can't find a set that meets your needs, contact a seller about making you a custom set.
Do you have other questions about brag tags? I am not an expert and definitely use them in a slightly different setting than a traditional classroom but I have quickly fallen in love with BRAG TAGS and would love to help answer your questions!!