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Jul 22, 2017

How to Use Brag Tags with UPPER ELEMENTARY Students!

I’m certain you are familiar with this popular behavior management strategy – the use of brag tags in the classroom! They are not a new concept, I remember earning a few metal dog tags myself for AR reading in elementary school. Brag tags are typically used to reinforce positive behavior by rewarding students with meaningful tags. If you catch a student doing something exceptional, you can hand them a tag to add to their growing collection. Some examples can include conquering a STEM challenge, acing an exam, having a great day with the substitute teacher, etc.

Students can place their tags on a key chain or wear them on a ball chain necklace.

Brag tags are most frequently used in early primary grades. Many of the tags you find will have “cutesy” phrases that might not interest your upper elementary students.

Here are ways you can implement brag tags with older students! (Upper Elementary Students 3-6th grade) 

1. Encourage students to accomplish higher-level academic challenges with brag tags relating to STEM challenges, growth mindset, NGSS, and more!

2. Have HASHTAGS with clever and creative phrases that your 3rd-6th grade students will appreciate. #TeacherForTheWin

3. Have brag tags that encourage the use of technology. Many upper elementary classrooms use Google Classroom and Google Apps. It’s a great opportunity to reward them with a #TechGenius or #SpeedyFingers brag tag.

4. Instead of just saying “great teamwork”, you can hand them a #TeamworkMakesTheDreamWork


5. Older students may prefer to wear them on lanyard or keychain instead of a ball chain necklace. I guess it’s cooler? #Whoknows

6. There are many benefits to using brag tags with older students. They recognize that brag tags must be earned by accomplishing goals and challenges. It is their responsibility to not misplace their brag tags. This can help students develop organizational skills in the classroom!

If you think your students might enjoy this classroom reward system, be sure to check out this resource! These brag tags are 100% Editable! This resource contains a PDF file and a editable PowerPoint file. 175 total pages, 80 unique upper elementary brag tags! 

Jun 6, 2017

Summer STEM Challenges!

Teacher friends,
Summer is finally here! Woohoo! Many of you are counting down the last few days of school. This time of year can be quite challenging while trying to keep students engaged and learning. This is the PERFECT time to keep students busy with STEM activities and summer resources!

These summer challenges have science, technology, engineering, and measurement activities for your upper elementary kids that will really get their brains going until the end of the school year!

Challenge 1: Floating Noodle Castle Challenge!
Students must design a floating castle with noodles and toothpicks! Four to five students are assigned per group. Each group is given noodle rings that are cut ½ inch wide. Students should be easily able to cut the rings into smaller pieces if needed.The castle must stay connected at all times in the water. Students have one hour to complete this challenge. 
***Creativity points are awarded in this challenge. ***for more information on the challenge, scroll down to the end of the post!

Challenge 2: Water Balloon Catapult Challenge! 
Students must design a catapult or slingshot that propels a water balloon into the air. The group that can propel the water balloon the farthest wins the challenge. Students have three attempts to create their best catapult.  ***for more information on the challenge, scroll down to the end of the post!

Challenge 3: Slip-N-Slide Challenge! 
Students must construct a Slip-n-Slide that effectively accelerates an object through its course. The Slip-n-Slide can have turns, hills, and decorative features in its design. The object must be going fast enough to complete the slide but not too fast where it could cause injury to the rider. Three different objects must be tested – students can decide which objects they think will accelerate at the right speed.  

Integrating summer activities into the classroom can sometimes be tricky with upper elementary grade levels, but with STEM, celebrating summertime will be a blast!


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