Spark Student Motivation - Brag Tags and Freebie

I'm linking up again with Spark Student Motivation Saturdays. Hopefully this post will have a little more meat than my last few posts. Reaching the 400 mark makes me want to make my blog more useful by sharing successes, failures, and freebies. But the fluff is fun, too. I guess we'll see where this post goes! *fingers crossed* But it you're into fluff, maybe you want to check out {my Facebook page} or {my Instagram page}.

My students are totally digging {Reading Olympians}. I know that I've said that before. But I think that the clincher is the ability to earn brag tags and beads for their necklaces when they find words with one of the roots we're studying or pass the test.
After they cut out the root cards to add to their rings, I give them a recording sheet printed on the theme color of that god/goddess. For example, everything related to the Nike set is orange. So I print the recording sheet for the Nike set on orange. It serves a couple of reasons. One, it's easier to find. Two, aka the real reason, is that it reminds me what color bead to give them. I also included all of the roots for that set at the top so they could keep them straight. I only give them five lines because I don't want them to totally bankrupt my bead stash.
 Now I will admit, earning the beads isn't motivating to all of my students, and I didn't make this activity mandatory. However, some of them have made it a competition amongst themselves of who can get their five first. I allow them to turn in their sheet at any time. I look it over when I have a minute and initial or OK the entries that are correct. Then I hand it back to them with their beads. When they have earned five, then I keep the sheets so that they know that they've maxed out on that color and so that other students can't copy from them.

When we finish the set, I administer the 10-question matching test provided by R.O. Well, that's not true. I give them the one that I condensed into a half-sheet of paper. Anyway, if they score 8/10 or more, they pass the test and earn a tag for their necklaces. Not everyone passes the first time, so I switched letters around and made a retake version. I had one kid take the test four times before she passed. That was how determined she was to earn the tag. Another student scored 3/10 for her first test, studied, then retook it and scored 10/10. She was so proud!

I have had good experience with the company that the R.O. use to make their brag tags, but I can't justify spending money on them when I figured out how to {make my own}. I know that the quality isn't as good, but they do the trick.
I print them out on paper (I would do cardstock if our copy machine was so finicky), laminate them, cut them out, and punch a 1/8" hole. You can download your own template by clicking on the picture.
This week I have been working on grade-level graduate tags. I haven't listed them on TpT yet (still working on the title and credits pages), but if you leave a comment this weekend (before midnight Sunday CST - please include your email if you're a no-reply blogger) telling me that you would like a copy, I will send them to you when I'm done. I have them made for preschool-6th.
Go check out other ways to keep kids motivated these last few weeks of school!



  1. Love this! I'd love to get a copy of the graduate tags!

  2. Brag tags are such a great idea and can used for so many things! I love how you personalize them for your class! Where did you find the necklaces? I definitely will incorporate these in my class next year! Thanks for linking up and sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. I love this idea! I always find such great ideas on your blog. :). Thanks.
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. My kids actually really like the Reading Olympians stuff too! I love what you're doing with the beads and tags. I like the idea of having the kids be on the lookout for words that use the roots. A half sheet sized matching test is a really good idea too!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

  5. I LOVE this idea! I am a new teacher in 5th grade and we are moving toward Common Core Standards. I think I could incorporate this brag tag idea beautifully. I'd love a copy of your graduate tags! Thank you so much for sharing!


  6. I really like the idea - my kids need all the help with root words and vocabulary development they can get!

    I would LOVE the brag tags - thanks Diane!

    Joy in the Journey

  7. I would love a copy of the graduate tags! I'm hoping to use brag tags next year!



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