For the past few years, I have been using reward tags in my classroom with a huge amount of success. In my room, we call them Bulldog Tags because students wear them around their neck like a dog tag and our school mascot is the bulldog. The first year was rough and there were a lot of flops. Through trial and error, I have found the 3 key points that have made using award tags a hit! I’m going to share those with you as well as the materials I use and how I prep the tags.
Reward Tag Tip #1. Prepare them ahead of time!
If I had to say there was ONE secret to success, I would say it was this one. Having your tags printed, laminated and hole punched BEFORE the year starts, makes the process smooth. When they are all ready to go, it is simple to grab it and hand it out.
I keep my tags behind my desk. I have a hardware and craft storage container that I keep academic tags in and a small basket that I keep behavior tags. When I need one, I take it from behind my desk and hand it out. During the summer, I spend some time printing, laminating, cutting and hole punching the tags. It’s something that is pretty easy to do while your binging Netflix shows.
Reward Tag Tip # 2. Be picky about what you give them out for!
I don’t hand out a bulldog tag just for existing. I use them mostly to encourage academic skills and growth.
Here are some examples:
-mastering math facts
-passing reading levels
-scoring 100% on a test
-mastering a concept they have been struggling with
I do have a few non-academic ones:
-at different stages on Class Dojo
-maxing out a character on Go Noodle
-special days like the 2nd day of Second Grade
Reward Tag Tip #3. Make a big deal out of it with a celebration!
When I give students a bulldog tag, I do it one of 2 ways. If it is an academic tag, I hand it out during morning meeting. This allows me to share their success with the whole class and allows others to be proud of them. If it’s a behavior related tag, I try to hand it out in the moment to reinforce good decision making.
If it is a Class Dojo tag, I make a big deal by making all kinds of fanfare trumpet noises. Dun dun duh duh! It may seem like a bit much, but it helps the kids get excited.
Award Tag Resources I Use
(The links that follow are Amazon affiliate links. This means, I may receive a small commission, from Amazon-not you, if you purchase any of these materials. I cross my teacher heart that I ONLY recommend products I know, love and use!)
I use a 64 drawer hardware and craft storage unit.
For student wear, I buy lanyards and three inch rings. I have tried smaller rings and other lanyards, but these have worked best.
Need some Award Tags? Check these out from my TPT store!
How I Prepare
First, I print and laminate sheets of tags.
Second, I cut and hole punch
I have found 2 different ways to cut and hold punch.
One way is to cut around the edge and then cut into long strips of 5 tags. Use a hand held hole punch to punch down the strip of 5 tags. After the holes are punched, cut the individual tags apart.
I have found that I can line up 2 rows of tags and cut them at the same time, but any more than that and they start slipping. This causes the cuts to be uneven.
The other way is to cut the tags apart and place a small stack in a large hole punch.
That’s it! A few hours over the summer and my reward tags are ready to go for the year!
Do you use award tags? I would love to hear how you prep and store. Drop me a line in the comments or shoot me an email!