Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Reasons to use Brag Tags for Effective Classroom Management

5  Reasons Why Brag Tags are your
BEST CHOICE for Effective Classroom Management

Summer is here and I’m so happy to have the time to update a few popular resources from my store, do some bargain shopping and catch up on my blog! Thanks so much for sticking with me!  If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been much better about giving updates there on all the bargains and fun ideas I’ve been finding! So please take a look when you have a chance! Another great thing about summer is that as teachers, we have time to breathe! I like to use summer to think about what’s working and what’s not in my classroom.  Maybe you do too?  One thing I’d like for you to consider for this coming school year is changing up your classroom management system.  A while back I wrote a blog about my Brag Tags system, which was a real miracle worker for my class!  Once I got my (now NEWLY UPDATED!) Brag Tag system up and running, it was so easy to maintain!  I loved seeing the changes in my students, and the atmosphere in my class, which was both remarkable and heart-warming! I urge you to give it some serious consideration and here’s why:   

Brag Tags for Positive Classroom Management

1.     The most important element of any successful classroom management system is that it’s based on being proactive rather than reactive.  Brag tags are right on point with this--as their purpose is to encourage productive and positive behavior, and to reward with positive attention. We know all too well, that ALL kids want attention, and if they don’t get it for positive behaviors, many times they’ll eventually try to get it for negative behaviors. The proactive structure of my Brag Tags set is the basis for its phenomenal success!

2.     Another key element of a great classroom management system is that not only are classroom expectations made clear through its use, but they’re in positive language and are easy for the teacher to implement and maintain. Everything you need to set up my Brag Tag reward system is enclosed in the packet, including how, and when, to use each tag/necklace. At the end of this post, you can take a look at some of the ways that I organized the tags so that they’re easy to set up, maintain and distribute to students.  Take a look!

3.     Anytime you have a classroom management system that encourages cooperation you know you’re onto something good! The actions and character traits that Brag Tags recognizes definitely impress upon the kiddos how important it is to be helpful and cooperative.   Creating that kind of climate in your classroom carries over into small group learning, whole group learning, and many other types of interactions in which cooperative learning is essential.

4.     As teachers, we’re often, forced to spend so much of our time dealing with negative behavior that we don’t have the time, energy, or means to celebrate positive behavior! Here’s a vivid and sad example:  At the beginning of the year we always learn the squirrely kids’ names first because we’re dealing with them so much right away, that we don’t learn the “quiet one’s” names until later! Sad, but true, eh?  Brag Tags fixes that problem! When I first created this system a few years ago, I kept an ongoing list of all the positive behaviors that needed rewarding and that’s how I came up with many of the brag tags! For example: Giving extra effort, identifying many different (and wonderful!) character traits, and rule followers, just to name a few.

5.     POSITIVITY! If a classroom management system is fun for both teacher and students it will automatically be successful!  The psychology of ‘rewards over punishments’ will always win over strict rules and authoritarian management.  The brag tags system creates so many opportunities to build your students self-esteem and raise their self-confidence level, all while making your classroom run much smoother! All of this equals LESS STRESS for YOU!

Brag Tags for Positive Classroom Management

Here’s everything you’ll need to set up the Brag Tags system!:

And FYI...your little nuggets aren’t the only ones who’ll appreciate being recognized—check out what happened at the end of this year at my school!:  Teachers and staff absolutely love being called out for their traits and successes too! In fact, here’s a REALLY FUN SET of staff brag tags for you!

So, this school year, consider saving your sanity and check out my brag tag system for managing your class with ease and FUN!
Here are some pics of  how I use it!

Brag Tags for Positive Classroom Management

 Samples of each necklace that is included! 250+ options!

 In this $1.99 container I found at Hobby Lobby, I store the key rings & binder clips + all the "future" tags. I organized each container with a purpose.

I used rubber band loom storage containers I found at Meier. You can find containers like these at any craft store such as Michael's, Joann Fabrics & even Walmart.

I included this organizing sheets plus a ton of tech tips! I ended up highlighting where I put each tag with different colors. I am planning on making a "BRAG TAG" cover sheet using that same color I used to highlight. All of the "I am" and "I can" tags are in pink so I will use pink paper for the cover for that particular container.

Click here or below to grab your set!

The first five to comment with your email & your favorite part of this blog post will win a set of these brag tags!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Back to School Decor Ideas

I collaborated with Lakeshore Learning, the ultimate teacher store, on a back to school decor project. Of course, I could NOT pass this up! Several years ago, I started getting into bright neon and chalkboard and the Chevron & Dots Starter Pack they sent me is the motivation I needed! Without further ado, I'm hoping you will find some inspiration here!

The original inspiration for this bulletin board idea came from my sweet friend, Jodi from Fun in First. 

I call this "Restroom Review" because that is just what it is. This is in our hallway right outside our first grade bathrooms. I believe in utilizing every educational opportunity while I have my students and that includes in the hallway. 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board
The posters and math vocab were made by me but are not finished.

This hallway display is changed every Monday morning based on what unit we are on in Journey's. I also change the math vocabulary based on what lesson/topic we are on that week. I take the time in the hallway, while my "Hallway Monitor" is jotting down talking or behavior issues, I am reviewing our skills of the week with the students that are either waiting to use the restroom or the ones that are finished. I usually focus on one skill per day (2x/day restroom breaks). I never knew how valuable this would end up being. 
It's visually appealing and completely interactive with our entire grade level! Win-Win! 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board

I used the three different dot borders on this display. It really makes it pop and makes it very unique. Anytime we get visitors at school, they always comment on this board. 
When you layer border be sure to work slow and use just a few staples or even push pins to mark your first layer. Slowly add your second layer with limited staples and/or pins and then your third layer. After you have all of the borders placed perfectly, then add all of the staples you need to keep that baby up for the year. 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board

In case you were wondering, I used Astrobrights lined paper as a background for the black circle bulletin board letters by Teacher Created Resources

On the sides, I also used two different borders to match the rest of the board. Both can be purchased at Lakeshore Learning and are made by Teacher Created Resources. 

Restroom Review Hallway Bulletin Board

First Grade Burlap Pencil Bulletin Board
This board is several years old but I needed a trim update. I also used the chalkboard brights trim by Teacher Created Resources for this as well. I decided to mix up the dot trim on each side of the bulletin board to match the burlap letters. 

I get asked all.the.time for a tutorial for these letters and I didn't even to think to take pictures. I provided a TON of different digital versions of the word "Write" in my Ultimate Writing Station Bundle for those that were interested. 

Materials used: 
Neon Acrylic Paint 
Black Acrylic Paint
Paint Brushes
Sharpie Marker

I basically had a vision and it went from there. I cut a piece of cardboard into a pencil shape & used that for my pattern. Burlap is not the easiest to cut so make sure you have super sharp scissors. 
I used a sharpie to sketch the jagged pencil edges & then painted it hand. 
Next, I painted the burlap with the colors I wanted. I believe it was only one coat for each. 
I printed out a font I wanted and outlined it with a sharpie & then painted the inside with black acrylic paint. 
Fold the top over twine and use adhesive spray to hold the fold & you are done
This was one of the cheapest projects I have ever created!  

I hope you are inspired and got some new decor ideas!