I have a secret obsession with Brag Tags, but I have never been able to commit. Why? All that cutting is just a major turn off for me. I do not want to spend my summers cutting all those sheets. This summer, however, I decided that I did want to take the leap into Brag Tags so I took a trip to Michaels. Then an amazing idea hit me!
Goal and Behavior Lanyards
While I was browsing around Michaels, I found the bead necklaces. I added them to my buggy and kept on looking around the store. I picked up some cardstock…for all that printing I was going to have to do. I then decided to stroll into the jewelry section…which I never do. Then, the most amazing thing caught my eye…
Pony Beads! I heard angels sing…maybe it was my stomach growling, but still..it was magical! The idea hit me when I saw the cute letter and number beads that I could just use those to set goals and acknowledge growth.
Why lanyards and not chains?
I immediately went home and started brainstorming ideas for rewards and “charms”. However, as I strung them on the necklaces I realized what a chore it would be if they fell off or if I had to rearrange the order. Multiply this one chain by 18 and that might take the better half of a day to accomplish in the classroom. I wanted something easy…remember? I decided to jump on Amazon…I found lanyards and small chain links that can hold charms or bead sets together without having to mess with all of them when adding.
Goals and Rewards
I’m still working on what goals and rewards I will acknowledge in my classroom. We are a PBIS school so I will let my students “buy” beads with their tickets if they want to add some color to their lanyards. I know that there are mixed feelings about rewarding students for growth and learning objectives, but I also believe in celebrating success whether it is big or small. Here’s what I’ve decided on so far…
- 120 = when they can count aloud and on paper/write numbers 1-120
- 100 = when they know 100 sight words
- 150 = when they know 150 sight words
- 200= when they know 200 sight words
- letters = guided reading level and growth
- stars = awesome student behavior
- gold star = student of the month
- animals = might represent a math skill or reading strategy that we are learning
I would love to hear your suggestions! Be sure to leave them in the comments below this post! We can all learn and grow by sharing ideas.
Storage and Daily Use
I am going to add student names on a slip of paper and use these the first few weeks of school as name tags. After that, lanyards will be worn on Fridays. I like the clear name tag pouches because they zip. I originally thought they could store their tickets in here, but that will get too crowded and will probably make them rip. My students will store their lanyards in their cubbies, but I am also considering hanging them on command hooks above the caddie area. I’m still thinking…
I’ve brainstormed and thought a lot about how this will work and look in my classroom. One thing I know for sure is that this is a better option for me than Brag Tags. I’m not dissing them, but I just can’t commit to that amount of prep work. The cost is probably about the same by the time you calculate ink for printing. I’ll update this post as the year goes on though and share my thoughts and reflections. If you would like to shop the materials that I used, you can click here to buy them from my Amazon shopping list.