This will be my third year using Brag Bracelets. I first created them to give my birthday students something to wear as a way to feel special the entire day. I used to have a certificate waiting for the birthday student on their desk. Now, I have the brag bracelet waiting for them signaling others to know it’s their birthday too. Then I created them for my firsties as a quick way to send the students home with a reward for having role model, outstanding, or good behavior according to the clip chart. It was a hit with my firsties!
While I was editing and creating more bracelets last summer, I sent my son’s middle school friends home with the different brag bracelets for good behavior in my home. And it was also a hit with them! Last year, I gave the birthday and whole brain learning bracelets to my 4th grade students. They couldn’t wait to get them either!
Brag bracelets provide a fast and easy form of positive reinforcement for students’ behavior and academic effort in school. This immediate award is a positive boost reminding students of their worth. You can use them throughout the school year to encourage students to apply their best work ethic while boosting self-esteem. Since students wear these charms home, parents will get to see first hand the award(s) their child has earned.
Brag bracelets help manage your classroom, but you can use them with other behavior management systems too! In fact, I encourage it! There should always be a second or third way to manage behavior. One way won’t work for EVERY student. When I taught first grade, I had the behavior clip chart. This year in 4th grade, I’m using Whole Brain Learning and Growth Mindset. Before the bracelets, I used tickets (from Amazon) or a classroom economy to earn privilege coupons or a prize from the prize box. I’ve always had more than one classroom management system active in my class. This way you don’t overuse one system while students continue to responding to your management strategy as you first introduced it to them.
Since students wear these charms home, parents will get to see the award or reminder. It’s a simple way for you to inform parents of notices or how their child is doing. It’s great for parents who don’t always check their child’s backpack! These slips can open and/or improve communication between you and your parents while setting the tone for a productive school year!
Brag bracelets can be less expensive than brag tags. There are no chains or display bins needed. Also, there is no need to spend money on your treasure box because students are happy to collect these or show them off! However, if you want to have a treasure box or give out coupons, you can certainly customize it to fit your style.
These brag bracelets are similar to brag tags, but have an easier set up. Brag bracelets can take less time to prepare than brag tags. There are color and ink friendly versions. You can print the black and white version on brightly colored paper (from Amazon) or cardstock paper (from Amazon) to make them pop! Then cut the bracelets using a paper cutter (similar from Amazon).
You can keep the bracelets together by putting them in a document protector and keep them in a binder or use a binder clip to group them to hang on a hook or put them in a bin. Another option is to laminate them to keep them more sturdy. I recommend using cardstock paper to keep them from ripping.
Modeling is a great technique when teaching expectations. I act out the behavior I do not want in my classroom first, then show the behavior I want to see from my students. I usually have my students role play for the class which is fun. Be prepared for lots of giggles coming from the students.
I make is very clear that students earn them, I don’t give them out for just any reason. Another rule is that I decide who earns them, students can’t ask for them. And since these are my class awards, I don’t give them anything outside of my supervision.
I teach my students to get the bracelet themselves. I also have them learn how to put it on themselves or with a buddy. If a student doesn’t know what to do or where to look, I have a “Teacher’s Assistant” as a student job to help.
Early on in my teaching career, I was told (repeatedly) to give specific praise when observing a student doing something good. I developed a habit to not just say, “Good job!” but “Good job with walking in the hall quietly, Jordan.” I use specific verbal praise and on the spot have my students get their brag bracelet from the bracelet binder. The only time I can’t give them out on the spot is if we are in the hall, field trip, or basically not in the classroom. You can hand out the bands at the end of the day if you are using a clip chart.
There are so many ways to give out the brag bracelets. You can award students for being a secret student, STAR student, best effort, academic achievement or growth. For counseling groups, they can be used for social skills, friendship, and self-esteem. You can hand them out to individuals or as a group. I think handing them out individually has more of a positive impact, but that will take habit and routine that you must establish.
You don’t want to overuse brag bracelets. You want them to be a special award that continues to promote your behavior and academic goals. Not every student will get one each day or week. Some students will get the same bracelet for the expectation that was met. Some students will need more guidance on how to earn than others. I do not give them out for mediocre behavior. However, a student who has had behavior challenges meets a behavior goal that was set, I can find them one easily since there are so many brag bracelet choices.
I do not monitor which brag bracelets I give out to each student. I think they should be given out genuinely. But if you would like to use a tracking system, you can do what works for you.
Another idea is having the students collect the brag bracelets all week and wear them on Fridays. There are so many options and different ways to customize this reward system to meet your teaching style!
You can have students wear them on their wrists by attaching them together using a glue stick, staple, brads, or tape. You can also put it in your students’ planner or take home folder since parents check these nightly. I’ve had my students either use a paper clip or glue it in the planner with the top of the bracelet sticking out so that parents would see it easier.
Another option Aincludes putting it on your students’ backpacks (like pictured from Amazon). Some kids want to collect their brag bracelets instead of wearing them. You can also punch a hole through it giving each child a ring to keep like charms. The brag bracelets should be theirs to keep! I think it’s important to keep it fun for students by allowing them to wear or display the bracelets in their individual way.
Another bonus to using bracelets, while saving ink at the same, is to have your students color them. Most students would be happy to take a short break from academics and color their award!
In my EDITABLE Educational and Reminder sets (The Editable Behavior and Positive Affirmation/Character Traits/Growth Mindset Brag Bracelets are coming soon!), there are both an ink friendly and a color version. Reminder slips are easy to prepare and will save on paper by not printing on full or half sheets of paper. Print them on red or brightly colored paper. If you like the background of another bracelet and would like it in place of a bracelet, create a duplicate slide with the background you like, delete the text, and copy/paste the text and rectangle box of your choice.
Editable Positive Affirmation/Growth Mindset/Character Traits Brag Bracelets-This set positively states the potential of favorable actions by what students CAN do.
A special thanks to Sassy Pants (my daughter) for helping me make this video!
Because students have to earn them, students are motivated to work hard and make good choices. You can take these ideas and make them your own.