Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Brag Tags in Middle School ???

After much debate and consideration between me, myself, and I, I thought, "yah know, Jenn, you've been thinking about this for quite some time now. you're in a spiffy mood. why not write a blog post and have teachers give feedback via comments on your blog?"

And so, here it is - I'm putting this post out there in hopes of receiving feedback and comments about using Brag Tags in the MIDDLE SCHOOL classroom.

My one-in-a-minion dollar question : 
Could brag tags be used in the middle school classroom?

[click any picture above to be taken to the respected blogger/creator's post]

These are all so stinkin' cute !!! 

I feel like I have seen so many posts this summer about Brag Tags. I began to think and consider using them in my classroom, had I still been teaching 3rd grade.  But with moving to 8th grade, teaching 3 sections, and approximately 90 kids - ughhhh....... *insert blank face emoji*

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

I could see it working ... in it's own unique way.  But I feel like it would also be too much of a hassle, managing giving out brag tags while still wisely spending a 80-minute block period teaching literacy - reading AND writing. It would also require A LOT of brag tags. Did I mention I'm teaching 3 sections? Did I mention that it'll be like .... 90 students ??

Would middle school students even care to receive a tag?

How much paper will this cost since it's 90 kids?

Will kids steal each others' when I'm absent?

Would kids be considered "cocky" for receiving a Brag Tag? I do NOT want to be the cause of that ...

So bloggers, what are your thoughts? I'm going from 3rd grade to 8th grade ... and I've got NOTHIN'! :( *insert crying emoji*

H E L P ! ! ! 

please. :)


Jameson Michelle said...

Hi! So I am about to write a novel :)

I am elementary trained and have a STEM certificate. I got hired in my district in middle school. I was a bit bummed out that I did not start my career in 2nd grade like I thought I would. I went into my first year teaching trying all of these programs that I knew worked in elementary. Kids laughed at me, kids disrespected me, kids hated me.

And why wouldn't they. I was treating them like overgrown 2nd graders.

I am going to be very honest for the kids that I know (6-8th graders in a low socio-economic, inner city school). My 6th graders MIGHT buy into the idea of brag tags, my 8th graders would think I was nuts. They would not for one second care that they had something saying they are showing "studious behavior" hanging form a chain, and they certainly would not brag about it as that would make them a "nerd."

HOWEVER I can understand where you are coming from, and here is my suggestions:
Use the tags more like currency. Pass them out on the sly and have students collect them. Allow students to trade them in for things like "sit where you would like," "use pen today," "sit in the teacher chair," "bump up a quiz grade," "extra credit." Things that do not cost money. You could have them use them to pay for things that they should have like pencils, notebooks, or other supplies with high value. The trading in will make it less of a "brag" and more of the idea that nothing is free. Trading them in means you will also get them back and not need as many.

As for numbers...figure out how many things they can trade ("choose your own seat" ect) and how many things they can buy (pencils, bathroom passes). Then you will just have to make a reasonable number of tags per person. I would say 5-7 per student.

Your new 8th graders are getting to the age where they need to start taking responsibility for doing the right thing not being rewarded for doing the right thing. Middle school is a whole new ball of fun. But what I have learned is you have to treat them like high-schoolers - knowing they are still more like the 3rd graders you have loved! They want to be independent but need a lot of hand holding still. You are going to be great!

Lessons With Coffee

Jeannine said...

I have taught middle school for many years and I can pretty much bet that the majority of yours will not be into public recognition in the form of a necklace. However, my students were highly motivated by earning special privileges like sitting by a friend, free time, extra computer lab time, no homework passes, snack days, etc... You may consider coupons instead. :) Good luck with your new adventure!

Creative Lesson Cafe

Unknown said...

I'm using Class Brag Tags with my 5th and 6th graders. I post them on a board behind my desk. They are actually competing with each other to see which class gets the most!

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