Do you want to use Reward Tags (similar to 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 Reward Tags solves both those issues! Instead of cutesy clip art, each tag features a unique background for your students to color!
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If you are brand new to Reward 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, Reward 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 Reward Tags for older students.
My first problem was that Reward 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 Reward 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 Reward 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.
Some comments from teachers who love I ♥ Coloring Reward Tags:
“No more complaining that they already ‘got that one’ since they get to color it themselves. The kids love it so I am extra happy. Thank you! “- Brinn H.
“This was probably the best thing I purchased all year. My students compete rather aggressively (so the speak!) for these! I have a small class of 7, but they are all tier 2 boys… They build borders around their desks of brag tags and literally brag about how many times they’ve earned “Made a Wise Choice” or “Gave 100%” and so on. It’s been great!” – Samantha E.
“As usual, a WONDERFUL idea! Kids never know when one is coming their way, so they are trying to earn them ALL! THANKS!” – Vickie L.
“I am a middle school EC teacher and these brag tags have been an awesome reward to turn around some problematic behaviors! It has also been nice to show appreciation to my kids who are consistently deserving. Thank you!” -Rachel P.
“This is the BEST version of Brag Tags I have ever seen! So great for a 5/6 grade mixed class!! Thank you!!” -Deanna I.
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