Starting the School Year with Brag Tags

You have these brag tags but now what?!  Let me give you my top tips to starting the year off right with brag tags.  First, let me congratulate you on making the right choice.  Brag tags are going to transform the culture of your classroom.  They will motivate your students to make positive academic and behavior choices.  I am going to share seven tips that will get your classroom management system up and running successfully so you can have an awesome year with your students.  Let’s get started.

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Prep for the year

It’s not as daunting as it sounds.  Print, laminate, cut, and hole punch your brag tags over the summer.  Notice the order.  There is no need to cut the tags out, laminate individually, and then cut again.  Save yourself the time.  Oh, and don’t hesitate to recruit some help from loved ones.  Notice the slight smile on my husband’s face?!

Implement brag tags in your classroom today with the help of this teacher! She shows exactly how to use brag tags with students. There are brag tag displays, brag tag storage ideas, brag tag necklaces, and brag tag freebies. A perfect classroom management system for recognizing positive behavior!

Storage Plan

You have your brag tags all prepped, so what’s the next step?  Find yourself a storage system that works for you.  I have seen many options used such as the ones below.  The one that I highly recommend is the 64 Drawer Brag Tag system that you can get off Amazon.  Click below for my affiliate link:

Akro-Mils 10164 64 Drawer Plastic Parts Storage Hardware and Craft Cabinet, 20-Inch by 16-Inch by 6-1/2-Inch, Black.

The reason that I love this drawer organizer system is because I can get 64 different brag tags to fit and store nicely.  I also love that it can be delivered to my front door in just two days.  Gotta love Amazon Prime!  One question I often get when it comes to my drawer organizer is how I made the drawer labels.  Simply cut an existing brag tag until it fits on the front of the drawer and tape it down.

Implement brag tags in your classroom today with the help of this teacher! She shows exactly how to use brag tags with students. There are brag tag displays, brag tag storage ideas, brag tag necklaces, and brag tag freebies. A perfect classroom management system for recognizing positive behavior! #bragtags #classroommanagement #rewardsforkids #classroomorganization

Display Plan

Brag tags can be displayed in many different ways as well.  Most teachers prefer to have the kids collect their brag tags on necklaces.  Then the necklaces are hung on the wall or on the side of the students’ desk.  I use these editable name tag templates for my brag tag display.  Some teachers use an assigned number for each student.  The necklace chains that I recommend are from School Life.  Click below for my affiliate link:

Ball Chain Necklaces

I have also seen teachers use library pockets stapled to a bulletin board, key rings, and pocket charts.

Implement brag tags in your classroom today with the help of this teacher! She shows exactly how to use brag tags with students. There are brag tag displays, brag tag storage ideas, brag tag necklaces, and brag tag freebies. A perfect classroom management system for recognizing positive behavior! #bragtags #classroommanagement #rewardsforkids #classroomorganization

If you don’t like the idea of necklace chains, pocket charts, or key rings, how about a book?  Brag tag books are another great option because they don’t take any of the materials I have listed above, they are portable, and you don’t need to laminate the tags.  In addition to those perks, the brag tag book offers 2 brag tag collection pages (1 with journaling lines for the students to write about how they earned the tag), 3 templates for reflection, and 3 templates for goal setting.

Brag tag books are a nice storage option for students' brag tags. If you don't have room for brag tag necklaces or brag tag rings, definitely take a look at this option! #bragtags #classroommanagement #rewardsforkids #classroomorganization

Here’s another peek at the brag tag book!

Inform the Parents

I have a letter that I like to send to parents that explains what brag tags are, how we use them in the classroom, and how they can be earned.  This clarifies a lot to the families because my students don’t get to take their brag tags home until the end of the school year.  Your students will talk about their brag tag necklace all the time at home.  You can grab this parent letter for free by clicking here.

First Tag Ready

Here’s a pure gold tip for you.  Not only should there be a name tag on the display but there also needs to be a name on the necklace itself.  If your student takes off their necklace and forgets to hang it up, the necklace owner can be identified by the name on the first tag.  The first tag that I like to use is the Welcome Back or I Love School brag tag.  Simply use a permanent marker to write the child’s name on the back of the tag.

Anchor Chart Introduction

On the first day of school we go over this anchor chart.  It is a great visual for the kids to see my expectations.  Notice how I make a couple of things clear through this anchor chart.

A brag tag anchor chart is a great way to start off the year and is also a great visual for your students when it comes to using brag tags in the classroom. This post is so helpful because it is filled with tips for implementing brag tags, brag tag storage, brag tag displays, brag tag freebies, and brag tag necklaces. A must read for sure! #bragtags #classroommanagement #rewardsforkids #classroomorganization1.  At the top of the chart it states that “Your teacher wants to brag about good choices you make!”  We elaborate on what the word brag means.  I also explain to the kids that I am the one doing the bragging.  Not only that but I am the one that is bragging about the positive choices.

2.  Another important point to make here is that the kids are welcome to wear their necklaces in the classroom.  My students don’t wear them to lunch, gym, or recess.  This will keep the brag tags for getting lost or damaged.

3.  As you see, I also make it clear that the teacher is the one to decide who and when someone gets a brag tag.  You will want to make this very clear or else you will go crazy having kids tell you all about the nice things that they are doing for others, how they picked up someone’s pencil, how they wrote a beefy sentence, how they have been participating extra hard…you get the idea.

4.  Taking care of their brag tags is another important point that I make with my students.  At this point I tell them that if they are done wearing their necklace, they should place it back on their hook and not leave it laying around.

5.  Wear them, don’t play with them.  As soon as our brag tag necklaces become a toy, I take them away to be hung up on their hook for the rest of the day.  It only takes one time for this to happen.  They don’t like having their necklace taken away from them.

6.  You get to put them on yourself.  Friends can help too.  This will prevent you from having to open and close necklace chains all year.  Don’t get me wrong.  The first few days of school I do have to show them how to open and close the chain.  I give them a few minutes to practice this each day during the first week of school.  After a little practice I have about 95% of my students able to do this independently.  The 1-2 students who still struggle know to ask a friend.

7.  Hard work pays off.  This is a common theme in my classroom.  Brag tags are a reward to motivate those who are working hard.

First Week

During the first week of school, I make it a point to get every student a brag tag each day.  This is definitely not something that I continue all year.  I also don’t keep track of who has earned what tag.  That’s just way too much work!  The reason I like to start the year with everybody earning a tag every day is because it creates excitement in the system.  It also gives the kids something to feel proud about.  I think of it like “selling the concept”.  I want to show the kids that brag tags are a big deal.  Trust me, I don’t know what it is but just the brag tag display with the chains hanging creates quite the excitement!  “Mrs. Olson, what are brag tags?”  “What are those necklaces for?”  “When are you going to tell us about those?”

Implement brag tags in your classroom today with the help of this teacher! She shows exactly how to use brag tags with students. There are brag tag displays, brag tag storage ideas, brag tag necklaces, and brag tag freebies. A perfect classroom management system for recognizing positive behavior! #bragtags #classroommanagement #rewardsforkids #classroomorganization

If you haven’t made the jump into brag tags yet, allow me to send you some free brag tags.  Upon signing up for these brag tags, you will receive a couple more emails that give some more tips and tricks along with some brag tag resources.  If you already plan to incorporate these into your classroom but still want some free goodies, make sure to sign up!

As you can see, brag tags are a passion of mine.  I love them because I have seen what they can do for my classroom.  I have created 15 different sets of brag tags in my TPT store.  You can check them out by clicking on the links below:

[bragtagbundles]
I have also written two other brag tag posts that teachers have found to be beneficial to them.  You can read them by clicking on the links below.

No More Treasure Box
Brag Tag FAQ’s and Answers

Here’s a Facebook Live Broadcast that explains them too!

If you found this post to be helpful, feel free to use the image below to pin to your Pinterest board for future reference.
Implement brag tags in your classroom today with the help of this teacher! She shows exactly how to use brag tags with students. There are brag tag displays, brag tag storage ideas, brag tag necklaces, and brag tag freebies. A perfect classroom management system for recognizing positive behavior! #bragtags #classroommanagement #rewardsforkids #classroomorganization

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase. For more information about my Disclosure Policy, please visit this link.

71 Comments

  1. Beckie

    Excited to start these this year!!! Thank you the terrific resources.

    Reply
  2. CYNTHIA

    I just have a question. Do you print these out at home? Or do you go somewhere?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Cynthia. Some of my brag tags I print at home and some I print at school. I know of some teachers that print at a school supply store. I think it all depends on each person’s preference and resources. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Cindy

    I am going to start using the Brag Tags this year with my kindergarteners. I end up buying prizes every week spending between $5 and $10. I believe they will be a success. I want to know if you have them printed in color at home or do you take them to an office supply store to get them printed? About how many of each is needed?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Cindy. I print mine at school and at home. I do know some teachers send them in to be printed at an office supply store. I think it all comes down to personal preference and the resources you have for printing. I print about 2-3 sheets of each tag that I use with the exception of my birthday brag tags (I need less of those) and spelling/100% tags (I need more of those). Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Cindy

        Yes. Thank you so much. So excited.

        Reply
  4. Michelle Verner

    Very excited to try this out

    Reply
  5. Latasha Chavis

    Thank you so much for sharing!! After reading your posts, I am looking forward to using brag tags for the upcoming school year. I’m sure they’ll be a big hit with my kinder kiddos!!! ?

    Reply
  6. Cherie Anderson

    I love the idea of the brag tags. I do have a question. You give each child a brag tag on the first day. When students get a 100% on a test or caught doing something good, do you add the brag tag to the tag they already have? How often do you give out the brag tags?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Cherie. My kids keep their brag tags on a necklace. Every time they earn another tag, they just add it to their necklace. By the end of the year, their necklaces are full and they are so excited to take them home. I give about 1-2 tags to each student each week. That being said, I don’t keep track of who gets what tag and when but that is an approximation. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  7. Nova

    I bought one of your brag tag sets — so adorable! But I’m having trouble fitting them into the little drawers of the 64 drawer chest. They’re a couple millimeters too wide. How did you get yours to fit?? Did you trim them? I’m using your tags, so I can’t figure it out… 🙁 Please advise?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Nova. The brag tags for these drawers will need to tip on their sides just a little bit to fit, they don’t lay down flat. I was still able to fit 30+ tags in each drawer doing it this way. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  8. Leane

    Hi! These look wonderful! I’m just curious as to how often you give these out and about how many your students accumulate by the end of the school year?

    I’d like to find a balance so that my kindergartners are earning enough brag tags to stay motivated but not so many that I’m constantly printing and laminating to try and keep up!

    Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Hilda Torres

    Hi I will be teaching 4th and 5th grade next year. I really want to start using these, but I’m not sure if my 5th graders will think they’re too childish. I’d like to hear from someone who already uses them in 4th or 5th grade. Thank you

    Reply
  10. Karen Roberts

    Love your ideas

    Reply
  11. Paty

    Hi,
    Will start using brag tags with my 3rd graders…I’m not going to laminate them so the students can write the reason, date , score, on the back of the tag.

    Reply
  12. Cindy Torres

    Sounds amazing! I would like to try this…Just wondering if the kids count them and then it turns into a competition. Just thinking I would like to avoid hurt feelings.

    Reply
  13. Sheila

    Just wondering what age students you would recommend using brag tags with? I teach 4th graders and am considering incorporating them.

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Sheila. If I am being honest, I created the brag tags thinking that they’d be most appropriate for grades K-3. That being said, I have had grades 4-6 purchase and implement them in their classrooms and love them. Surprisingly, I’ve even had middle and high school teachers implement brag tags! So, long answer short, yes, I do think they would be appropriate for 4th grade.

      Reply
  14. Ammie B

    I love this idea! I was thinking I would want them to take them home monthly? What are your thoughts? Or maybe print them and they glue them into a book? I think the necklace may get on my nerves? Or what if a student doesn’t earn one?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Ammie. Thanks for your comment. If you don’t like the thought of brag tag necklaces, I do have the brag tag books in my TPT store. If you want to be able to send them home for the parents to see on a monthly basis, I think the books are a better idea. Just my thoughts! 🙂

      Reply
  15. Erin

    I am so excited to get started with my Brag Tags. I’m ready to print, and since this is my first time using Brag Tags, I’m not sure how many of each tag to print. Suggestions anyone? THANK YOU!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Erin. I think that the number of brag tags you print depends on your total number of brag tags that you have to choose from, how many you plan to give out each week, and how many students are in your class. I distribute, on average, 2-3 brag tags per student per week. This is not a concrete rule as you can do what works for you in your classroom. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  16. Cheri

    How do you put the brag tag books together?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Cheri. The brag tag book pages can be folded in half and stapled or cut in half and stapled. If you wish, you could print the pages back to back as well to save on paper.

      Reply
  17. Lydia

    I bought your Brag Tags Bundle. I’m so excited to use them this year! How do you incorporate Class Dojo while using brag tags?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Lydia. I use Class Dojo to manage our daily routines and I use the brag tags to reward the specific behaviors that go above and beyond my expectations. We earn and collect our dojo points all month. For every 10 dojo points, the student earns a brag tag. They are responsible for letting me know once they have earned their dojo tag. At the end of the month, we reset our points and start over. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  18. Carol

    Hi, Angie. Do you have an issue with the drawer cabinet tipping over? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Carol. I’ve never had my drawer cabinet tip over and the kids are the ones that are opening and closing the drawers the most as they are the ones grabbing their brag tags once assigned.

      Reply
  19. Heather

    When do you have students add their new tags to their necklaces? At the end of the day? Or do they add the tags the moment you give it to them? Or store them in their desk until Fridays?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Heather. I like to reward the brag tags in the moment. I tell the student which tag they need to grab from the drawer and since they are pre-punched, they can add it to their necklace right away. If I am in the middle of instruction, they keep the tag at their table until a better time. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  20. Melanie Meredith

    The plastic container you have pictured with brag tags, where did you find that. The drawer system might be too bulky for my classroom right now, so something streamlined with what I am looking for to use this year.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Melanie. Here’s a link to the plastic container/organizer. If you don’t need one with the 64 drawers, there are others that you can find on there as well. Hope that helps! Brag Tag Organizer

      Reply
  21. Portia

    I am excited to do brag tags this year. I love the idea of positive attitude in my classroom and think this will help behaviors. I am a little worried about how my sped kiddos will react though.

    Reply
  22. Sherri

    Very informative!!! Definitely will use this coming year!!! Thank you!

    Reply
  23. Amber

    Do you print on regular paper? If so when you laminate do they still lay flat it will I need to print on and laminate card stock?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Amber. I have always printed my brag tags on regular paper, laminated, and then cut them out. I laminate at home but also at school sometimes. Even the school’s laminating film (which is very cheap and thin) works great and I have no problems. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  24. Nancy Williams

    I teach a special reading program for 1st gr. My students come to my class 45 min per day. How could this work for me?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Nancy. I definitely think that these can work for your students in your setting. If their classroom teachers don’t use brag tags, I would keep their collection in your classroom. You could display them on necklaces, binder rings, pocket charts, library pockets, or brag tag books. Here’s a link to the brag tag books if you want to learn more: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Brag-Tag-Book-2622388 Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  25. Donna

    What do you do if a student loses his/her necklace?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Donna. To be honest, I haven’t had that happen. I have had a student wear theirs home accidentally but it came back the very next day. Our brag tag necklaces are a very big deal. They take care of them way better than any other item they are responsible for, it’s crazy! 🙂

      Reply
  26. Kristy

    I’m wondering if your editable pictures/names that you display on your bulletin board are included in any of your bundles?
    Kristy
    (Kindergarten)

    Reply
  27. Kendra

    I would love to have your parent letter for the brag tag book (instead of the necklace). Can you send me a copy like that? Also, all of your brag tags fit in the book, right?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Kendra. Yes, all of my brag tags are sized to fit in the brag tag book, great question! As for the parent letter being edited, I’d be happy to do this for you. Please email me at angie@luckylittlelearners.com and I will get that to you!

      Reply
  28. Beth Bunn

    Thank you so much! Can’t wait to use these with my sweeties. God bless!

    Reply
  29. Denise

    I just bought 4 sets of the brag tags. I am so excited to use these this coming school year! To keep with my frog themed classroom, I am calling them, “Toad”ally Terrific Tags. Thank you for everything! !

    Reply
  30. traci cutler

    I’m super excited to be starting brag tags this year! Thank you for a great guide!!!

    Reply
  31. Vesta Wynkoop

    I love this idea! I am looking forward to starting the year with something new and FUN (as much for ME as the kiddos) We do not have a color printer at school and it is cost prohibitive for me to print as many as I would need on my printer at home. I know you said they also come in black and white. I can’t imagine coloring ALL of them myself, but I am going to try. I was thinking another option would be to have a 10 minute Brag Tag coloring time at which the kiddos could color they own. Do you have any other suggestions? In all likelyhood I will use the books, because I like the reinforcement idea of them writing why they recieved the tag.By the way I loved the vedette, as I found the explanations very helpful. Thanks and have a wonderful new school year!

    Vesta

    Reply
    • Jenny Owens

      I have used the black/white tags copied on colored paper, and they are still really cute. The kids are always excited to get a tag, whether in color or on colored paper.

      Reply
  32. Cary

    My first graders always struggle with keeping their lunch numbers at the beginning of the year. I’ve decided to write their lunch number on the back of their “Welcome Back to School” tag. They will be able to wear the tag to lunch until they memorize their numbers. Crossing my fingers that this will work!

    Reply
  33. Denise

    I am so excited about your brag tags! I posted one of your videos on fb and a fellow teacher at my school came up to me and said she was so excited about the video and watched the whole thing. She’s going to start using them too! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing idea! I can’t wait to be passing out brag tags!

    Reply
  34. Lisa

    Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  35. Amy Graham

    It would be awesome if you could create some for a Music Teacher!
    I can use some of the generic ones, but would be great with some specific music tags!!

    Reply
  36. Christy

    Do you ever give a student the same brag tag twice? It would be hard to track , how do you do that?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Christy. I do give the same brag tags to kids more than once. I also don’t keep track of who gets which brag tags and when. They don’t seem to mind, they are just excited to add to their collection.

      Reply
  37. Karen Graham

    Just watched your video. Unfortunately it stopped working right at the end. I will be a first time user and wanted to thank you for sharing your fabulous idea.

    Reply
  38. Smithf707

    Very efficiently written post. It will be valuable to anyone who usess it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing i will definitely read more posts. gaceeabgedagaabc

    Reply
  39. Amanda

    I teach Preschool and decided to give your Brag Tag idea a try! I even made my own. At first there were a couple bumps to even out (my 3-4 year old class would not stop fiddling with them around their necks so we now hang the tags on the hooks where they kept them before) but now it works awesome! Thank you! Students are excited to earn them and excited to show their parents when they get picked up. I even made books that allow them to take the tags home at the end of the week. It is such a great idea and after tweaking it to fit my classes needs, it works out so well!

    Reply
  40. Julie

    I purchased your brag tags, got them all printed out and sorted into a nice container and then…kept forgetting to hand them out! How often do you give them out and do you have suggestions for how I can actually remember to use them??? 🙂

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Julie!
      Thank you for your message. I distribute brag tags “in the moment”. I tell the child which tag they have earned and they go over to the drawers to grab it. They are all pre-punched so that they can be added to the necklace right away. If I am in the middle of instruction, they put their brag tag on their table until a better time. I don’t keep track of who gets which brag tag and when so they will end up getting more than one of the same kind of tag. Hope that helps!

      Angie Olson
      Lucky Little Learners

      Reply
  41. Crystal

    I used brag tags for the first time last year in 4th grade, but there were a couple months I didn’t award anything because we were just too busy and I forgot. Planning on doing a much better job of it this year. Last year I tried so hard to keep track of what brag tags I had given out, but that was too much work and I would forget to mark some down. Towards the end, the kids didn’t mind receiving the same tag again, as I always brought it back to what they had done. We had brag tag Friday, and they could wear their brag tags all day. I would award them in the morning announcing what they had earned it from that week and everyone would clap for each other. I tried to look for something for everyone, but I had an extremely rough class this past school year.

    As for my storage, I have made a lot of brag tags. I have collected almost 100 different tags from people on TPT and needed a way to store them. I bought a hanging jewelry organizer that was front and back. I can fit 2 brag tags in each pocket. I hung it up in my closet and can easily swivel it to the other side if I need to. I haven’t actually put any on the other side yet, but as I continue to grow my collection, will probably end up using it this year.

    I highly recommend using brag tags! The kids love receiving them!

    Reply
  42. Maria

    Thank you for sharing some freebies with us! I am trying this out for the first time this year and I’m very excited about it. I purchased your multiplication ones on TPT and that will save me some money this year because last year I did ice cream for that. I appreciate your hard work and again, thank you for sharing some free stuff it is truly appreciated.

    Reply
  43. Eva

    I have my brag tags printed, laminated, and cut. I am so excited to introduce the concept to my third grade students. #bragtagsrock #excitedteacher

    Reply
  44. Alison

    What size hole punch do you use?

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      I use the standard hole punch.
      Thanks Alison!

      Reply
  45. Linda

    I love the Brag Tags. The suggested drawer fits the brag tags, but needs to be numbered on the outside of each drawer to indicate which tag is inside. 64 drawers – great
    I do not use necklaces. Instead, I got large binder rings and the tags are attached to their book bags. Easy to open and the students love to display them to friends and family.

    Reply
  46. Eva Griffin

    I love these brag tags! They are my favorite resource.

    Reply
  47. Beckie

    I’m new to Brag Tags this year. I think I have things set up an ready, but now the questions are coming! First one; do you allow students to earn the same brag tag multiple times? For example, earning a 100% on a test. Or, do you do something different that stands in place of the second, third, fourth, etc “tag” earned? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Angie Olson

      Hi Becky!
      Thank you for your message. I distribute brag tags “in the moment”. I tell the child which tag they have earned and they go over to the drawers to grab it. They are all pre-punched so that they can be added to the necklace right away. If I am in the middle of instruction, they put their brag tag on their table until a better time. I don’t keep track of who gets which brag tag and when so they will end up getting more than one of the same kind of tag. Hope that helps!

      Angie Olson
      Lucky Little Learners

      Reply

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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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