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Something to Brag About

Oct 15, 2015 12:43PM ● Published by Jim

Pictured L to R: Alexa Lopez, Ashton Recheck, and Nolan Schultz

By:  Beaver Dam Unified School District - Beaver Dam, WI

Everyone loves praise and recognition for the hard work they do, kids included. Best practice is to provide students with at least 5 positive comments to every one negative comment. This 5:1 ratio helps students understand what is expected of them, builds self-esteem, and reinforces the positive behaviors students are exhibiting.

“Brag Tags” are a new way for students at Prairie View to receive this positive recognition and to show others the positives as well. Brag Tags are necklaces that each student at Prairie View has that are filled with colored beads and plastic tags that represent positive behaviors. The idea of Brag Tags was brought to Prairie View by Heidi Graff, a Prairie View fourth grade teacher. She had seen Brag Tags promoted elsewhere and thought it would be a wonderful way to acknowledge great student behaviors. Ms. Graff commented, “Brag Tags are a fun, cool way to recognize students for all the wonderful things they do each day at school! The kids are really excited about the tags and motivated to earn as many tags and homework beads as possible! By the end of the year, I expect the necklaces filled with lots of tags and beads, all of which represent the many accomplishments of a successful school year!” The Prairie View Parent Teacher Organization quickly jumped on board, supported the idea of Brag Tags, and purchased the Brag-Tag materials for the school. Kelly Kuenzi, Prairie View PTO co-president shared, “I think Brag Tags are a great school-wide incentive that will help promote and reward positive behavior and hard work. They will motivate students to have responsible, respectful, and safe behaviors at school.”

Each classroom at Prairie View has an area where all the Brag Tags are displayed. On Fridays and during special occasions, such as positive behavior assemblies, students wear their Brag-Tag necklaces at school. Right now the necklaces are rather bare, but throughout the school year, students will earn colored beads for behaviors such as turning in homework or completing reading activities. Each month students also have the opportunity to earn a special school-wide tag for a specific behavior such as respect, responsibility, or trustworthiness. Even within art, music, and physical education classes, students earn special tags for their behavior, performance, or effort. So as the year progresses, students’ necklaces will become increasingly colorful and abundantly filled with acknowledgements of their successes.

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