This year, I'm going to begin to implement this little teacher trick called Brag Tags or like my students prefer, Swag Tags. I started last year implementing this strategy with my students and they loved it. The only thing is that I started towards the end of the year and I so regret it. But it's time for new beginnings and here it is!
So what are these Brag/Swag Tags many teachers are talking about? This is a positive classroom management tool that works wonders. Students are rewarded a tag or tags for positive behavior. For example, students may earn a tag for being a good listener, super friend, following directions, walking in line, and so forth. As students earn the tag(s), they place it on a necklace to create a complete chain with some new bling-bling (brag/swag tags). The necklaces are kept in school all year. Students may take the necklace home at the end of the year and they may wear it during school days. Now, do they have to wear it everyday? That's up to you. My preference is that this is a really cool and special swag that must be EARNED, so I let my boys and girls wear it on selected days.
So where do you begin? I have no idea, just kidding! LOL!
Step 1 - Get Supplies
So you will need patience, perseverance, and some helping hands! My kiddies and I spend 10 hours laminating and cutting over 2,000 tags. Now, don't get scared. I'm an overachiever and since it's summer, I figured to get it all done now for the year.
Get yourself a really good storage system. There are many containers out there to select. My personal favorite is the Akro-Mils 64 Drawer Plastic Parts Storage and Craft Cabinet from Amazon. Who doesn't love Amazon? Especially when they have it on sale!
Next, get a HUGE pack of Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches (200 pack) with a great Scotch Thermal Laminator TL901. Again, Amazon saves the day.
You will also need a Fiskars 12" Surecut Deluxe Paper Trimmer from Michaels (don't forget the coupon) and Sparco SPR01796 Heavy Duty Adjustable 3-Hole Puncher from Amazon.
You also need some bling-bling, like these cool Nickel Plated Ball Chain Necklace 24in. 2.4mm Size #3, Pack of 50 from Amazon.
And lastly, a HP printer that qualifies for the HP Ink Program. I bought my HP Officejet Pro e-All-In-One Printer 8610 from Staples and I LOVE it! I printed allllllll of my tags in color from this one little cool gadget! The HP Instant Ink Program will save your life and you can always print in color without worries. There is a monthly plan that you can select ranging from $2.99 to $9.99. The plans are based on the number of pages you would like to print every month, not the amount of ink! Do I hear a sign of relief?! :) HP will send you the ink before you run out, so no worries about buying expensive ink. Just make sure to buy a qualifying printer, click here to see if your printer qualifies.
And even more good news... You get 30 days for FREEEEEEEE!! I just checked the site and they are offering 3 months for FREE! Go for it! Feel free to use my reference link to get your FREE month(s) trial... http://try.hpinstantink.com/fhGfm
Step 2 - PREP TIME!
There are so many beautiful tags out there. I created my own over the past 2 weeks and I was able to create over 60 of them! I know, I still can't believe it myself.
I also thought about how am I going to know which student has what necklace? I like to use the number system in my classroom, so I decided to create cute little tags that are numbered. I also included blank ones, just in case I get a new student later in the year. So all I have to do is print, laminate, cut, and put each one on a necklace. Guess what? This is FREE in my TpT Store, just click here and/or on the pic. How cute are they?
Now for the tags... More printing, cutting, laminating, and organizing. You can do it! I promise! Here is a pic of my Bundle 1 that has 25 different tags. Click here and/or on the pic. Since there are 15 tags on one page, I printed 3 of each tag so it could last me the whole year. Of course, I know some tags I will have to refill throughout the year, like I Lost My Tooth, but I'll cross that bridge later.
Of course, I couldn't stop there, so I created another bundle. Yes, Bundle 2 is here! More cuteness! What do you think?
Since I also teach the Cambridge International Education curriculum, I created a file that consists of the 5 Cambridge learner attributes: responsibility, engaged, innovative, reflective, and confident. These tags can also be used as my growth mindset unit, so it's like a 2 for 1! :) Feel free to click here and/or on the pic to see it in my TpT Store.
Then my kiddies and I decided to have a HUGE printing, laminating, and cutting PaRtY! You can imagine the look on their faces, mind you, they are young adults! :) I printed the PDF pages at 97% so the tags would be a bit smaller.
I cut one tag about half way to use it as a label for the drawer. Just use tape to stick the tag to the front of the drawer.
I organized the tags in the drawers. This storage unit is so good that I could place 2 sets of tags in one drawer! Happy moment!
Of course, I use one drawer to place the necklaces.
And now for some Teacher eye candy, like for realz!
So you know how my heart felt... like looking at more eye candy... :)
Step 3 - Present to Your Students
Watch those smiles! It's important to set rules so students know their expectations. So I will create an anchor chart of rules with the students. For example, some rules may include...
Step 4 - Let Your Parents Know
Involve your parents by letting them know about this classroom management tool. I wrote a letter that I will print on color Astrobrights, yes, Astrobrights and Amazon to the rescue! Everything is better in color! I will send home the letter during the first week of school.
Guess what?! My parent letter is FREE in my TpT Store. Just click here! I know, I know, what a time saver! Hey, anything to make things better for all of us!
Step 5 - Make a Display/Bulletin Board
Show off your kiddies' hard work by making a display of the tags. I have to be honest, I deleted my bulletin board pic! :( I know, I'm so sorry! I will upload it when I get back in my classroom.
Basically, just create a bulletin board with your title... Brag Tags, Swag Tags, whatever you call it. I placed hooks on the wall and placed a picture of the student next to their hook. I bought Tool Bench Adhesive Hooks - 9 Pack from Dollar Tree. I just reinforced the hooks with my hot glue gun.
Now enjoy your moment of hard work and watch your classroom management system roll like the wind! This is great for those special visits, if you know what I mean. LOL! :)
So, what classroom management tool do you implement? What do you think of brag/swag tags? Have you used them? How? Are you a newbie? What's your plan?
I would love to hear from ya!
As always, make every moment a whoop-whoop moment!