Do you want to use Brag Tags with your upper elementary students, but worry that they won’t be excited about collecting the tags or that the clip art is a little too young? I ♥ Coloring Brag Tags solves both those issues! Instead of cutesy clip art, each tag features a unique background for your students to color!
If you are brand new to Brag Tags, then you can read all about them in this awesome post from Angie at Lucky Little Learners. She has been using them in her classroom for years and says they have made a huge difference in how her students behave. In a nutshell, Brag Tags are small tags that are given to students as rewards for demonstrating positive behaviors. Students collect their tags on a chain as a necklace or a large binder ring. I love the concept and thought it would be fun to create colorable Brag Tags for older students.
My first problem was that Brag Tags are usually laminated by the teacher before they are given to students. Laminating first means that students can’t color the tag. I almost gave up the idea until I remembered my early days of teaching. This was before the days of personal laminators, and I often used clear contact paper and even packing tape to add durability to classroom resources. It’s pretty easy, especially for small items, so why couldn’t students do it themselves? I made a prototype and tested it myself – sure enough, it’s not that hard. And so I started drawing.
I designed the tags to have a width just a skosh under 2″ so they could be “laminated” with a single piece of clear packing tape on each side. The rounded corners make the shape more “tag-like” and give them a smooth finish. I focused on attributes relevant to the upper elementary classroom and gave each tag its own, unique design.
The tags come 15 to a page for easy printing. All you have to do is print and cut on the dotted lines.
Here are the steps a student will follow after he or she gets a tag. You could even write a short note on the back to personalize the tag before giving it to the student:
As you can see, this makes your job easier – all you have to do is print the pages and cut out the rectangles on the dotted lines. The students do the rest of the work themselves – they color, “laminate,” cut out, and hole-punch their tags. This, of course, gives them a greater sense of ownership and pride in their tags, which will probably mean they will work harder to get them. I suggest using well-sharpened colored pencils for coloring. They are more forgiving than markers, inexpensive, and come in so many wonderful colors! You may want to set up a supply area or center with colored pencils, clear packing tape or pre-cut contact paper rectangles, scissors, and a hole-punch.
Younger kids like to wear their Brag Tags as a necklace, but older students might prefer to collect them on a large binder ring. You could keep them all on hooks in a central location – perhaps on a wall behind your Brag Tag supply area or center. However, if you do not want such a public display, then students could keep them at their desks. One idea is to use Command removable hooks on the sides of students’ desks or even inside cubbies, if you have them (please note that this is an Amazon affiliate link).
Most kids will love coloring their own tags, but what about kids who don’t like to color? Since the tags are meant to be a reward, not a punishment, forcing them to color them would be counterproductive. Instead, students who don’t like to color could use a single colored pencil to lightly shade (by angling the pencil tip) the entire tag. I did these ones and I think they still look pretty good.
There are currently 50 different Brag Tags, but I plan to make more. I will probably add the new ones to the original product (and raise the price) rather than creating a second batch, so by purchasing now, you will get any new ones for free!