Raving About Reward Tags

I love reward tags! I've used them for several years, and I can honestly say that they have had a positive impact on my students, year after year.

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All About Reward Tags
Reward tags are a classroom/behavior management tool that allows you to quickly and easily recognize, and encourage positive behavior and student effort. Best of all, they motivate students to make good choices. They are little tags that students earn for making good choices, working hard, setting a good example, demonstrating a positive attitude, and so on.

Students collect tags throughout the school year and add them to a chain necklace.   

Why I Love Them
I have found reward tags to be extremely motivating for my students. They love earning these special tags. Like, love, love, LOVE earning them. They especially love showing them off to their friends, and they take a great deal of pride in earning new tags. What I'm trying to say is, they have been really effective in encouraging my students to be the best that they can be.

I also love that they give me the ability to quickly recognize behavior on the spot.  I can immediately recognize students for their efforts in a significant way.

How I Use Reward Tags
I use reward tags to recognize my students' behavior, attitude, effort, and character. I firmly believe that when students' behavior, effort, attitudes, and character are on the right track, academic success will follow. But, the great thing about reward tags is that they really can be used however you want!  Honestly, there is no right or wrong way to use them.  

Introducing them to Students
I don't waste any time when it comes to introducing reward tags to my students. On day one, I give each student the same reward tag, usually one that marks the beginning of the year, like the one below that reads "This year will be awesome!" No one earns their first tag, everyone gets one.

There is definitely more to it than just giving the students their first tag, though. I cover the following in our discussion:
  • I explain what reward tags are.  
  • I explain how the students can earn them (and I make every effort to start awarding them as soon as possible thereafter).  
  • I go over the procedures for when students can wear their reward tags and my expectations for students when they are wearing their necklaces. Keep reading for these details. ;)

How Students Earn Reward Tags
I hand out tags whenever I see that a student has earned one. I cannot stress enough that in my classroom a student must earn his or her tags. And, again, they earn a tag based on their behavior, attitude, effort, and work habits. I do not hand them out lightly, nor do I use them as a form of bribery. 

For example, if a student stands out because they are working especially hard, persevering through a tough assignment or situation, or being super helpful or kind, I would award a tag.

The Necklaces
Whenever my students earn a new tag, they get to wear their necklace for the day.

On Fridays, all of the students get to wear their necklaces for the entire day.

At the end of the school year, the students take their necklaces home to keep forever!

NOTE: I have a strict hands-off policy. My expectation is that when a student is wearing his/her necklace, that he/she does not touch it, pull on it, play with it, etc. If a student chooses to play with his/her necklace, he/she has to remove it. I explain this at the beginning of the school year as part of my expectations. Bottom line, if a student is busy fidgeting with the necklace, they aren't focusing on their learning, and that is why it has to come off.

I've had lots of people ask me where I purchase my necklaces. I typically buy mine from eBay. But, if eBay isn't your thing, rest assured, you can also find them on Amazon.

Storing Reward Tag Necklaces
When the necklaces aren't being used, they hang on the wall behind our classroom door.  They are numbered to match the students' numbers, which makes it easy to keep track of the necklaces.

My classroom is extremely small and this space is just perfect for tucking them away, yet keeping them accessible to the students at the same time.

You can grab these number cards HERE for free! :)

Storing Reward Tags
I store my reward tags in DMC floss organizers. I removed the lids and this gives me easy access to the tags. I need to be able to see what I have, so this is perfect for me. I store them on the shelf behind my desk so it's really easy to find, and grab, a tag quickly!

I have five organizers full of tags ready to be handed out. Having a collection of tags this size might seem overkill, but it gives me variety. I never run out. During the summer, I reprint/stock up tags that I've run low on. I always print my tags on card stock and then laminate for durability.

Reward Tag Resources
I recently made a few sets of tags, and I'm loving them! What I love most is that there is space above the words and images to accommodate the hole punch. I want the words to show! The kids have earned these tags and I hate for the recognition to be punched out and lost.

A Freebie for You
If you've read this far, I have a little freebie for you! You can download the colored tags below by clicking here. Don't worry, there is a black and white version too.  Keep scrolling!

If you prefer to save ink, then black and white reward tags are for you! Click here to grab this black and white set. I hope you can use it.  Enjoy!

More Reward Tag Related Posts
I have a few more reward tag posts that you might find helpful:
Reward Tags {Tips and Tricks}
Reward Tags {All Your Questions Answered}
6 Reasons to Use Reward Tags in the Classroom
Getting Started with Reward Tags
Tips for Prepping Reward Tags

Reward Tag Resources
Looking for a more complete reward tag collection?  Be sure to check out my resources on TPT.  I have lots of options available. Click on an image to learn more. :)

 I also offer black and white reward tags for those who prefer a more ink friendly option.  :)


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  1. I love these! So excited to implement these this year! Great job! Where do you get your necklaces???

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I searched everywhere for the necklaces until Mel from Seusstastic shared that she found some on Ebay. So, that's where I bought mine! :)

      Here is the listing to the last batch I ordered: http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-COLOR-Wholesale-Lots-10pcs-Ball-Metal-2-4mm-Beads-Chains-Necklace-Finding-/371325669352?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&var=&hash=item5674bc0fe8

      I hope that helps!


    2. OH WOW! Thanks a million for sharing! I'm sure my students will love them too! And thanks for sharing the necklaces' link too. I can't wait to try them!!

  2. So, so, so cute! Thanks for the freebie. I love how you've organized them, too! ;)
    Always Kindergarten

  3. You should brag -- these are great!

    1. Aw, you are seriously too sweet! Day made. ;) Thank you so much!


  4. These are adorable! What a great idea! Thanks for describing how you store them too.
    First Grade Found Me

  5. These are simply adorable, and I just KNOW primary kids in my building would love them. I'm teaching ESL next year....must start thinking of how to incorporate language learning into this somehow!!! Thanks for the cute share! -Emily

  6. My kiddos have such a hard time getting the clasp open. I'm looking for other ideas this year. Thank you for the freebie, I love you designs!

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  8. Thanks for sharing!! You ROCK! !

  9. Thanks for sharing!! You ROCK! !

  10. Thanks for sharing!! You ROCK! !

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  12. I'm an EFL teacher and am soooooo looking forward to using these! They are totally awesome! The kids are going to love them and the simple fact of winning one will have them more eager to learn than usual! Thanks so much for these!

    1. Yay, that's awesome! I hope your kids do love them. They are a great way to motivate your students. Have fun!


  13. Thanks, Brooke! I'm so glad you like them! They are such a useful management tool. Here is a link to purchase the floss organizers on Amazon (copy and paste into your internet browser):


    Thanks for stopping by!


  14. Hi. I have just come across these and I think they look awesome! I just have a quick question...do you ever take a tag off a child? I would never normally take a reward off a student once they have earned it however, I have several very challenging students this year and I'm wondering if would work both ways for them??? Thanks!

    1. Hi Garry,

      Thanks for stopping by today! Once I give a student a tag, it is theirs to keep. Taking them away is not part of my system. I think the answer to your question boils down to using your professional judgement.


  15. In my 18 (going on 19) years in education as a Teacher, Instructional Coach, and now a School Counselor, I've seen many many great ideas/creations by other educators and have bought many of them. BUT I have to say this is one find/concept that STANDS ABOVE most others. What an AWESOME idea! What a AMAZING way for students to have buy-in while learning to self-monitor and take ownership in learning personal responsibility. Tag me as IMPRESSED! WOW!
    Thank you!

  16. Thank you for the detailed instructions of how you use these in your classroom! I teach a 4 day, 4 year old preschool class from 9:00 - 12:30 and am considering using these this year. Do you think that they would work or that they could grasp the concept? I know when I've used stickers for listening, cleaning up, etc. the ones that do not get one at the time, become sad or sometimes even cry. I explain that I "caught" these students doing what they were supposed to be doing and maybe next time they would remember and might get one. What do you think? Thank you!


I'd love to hear what you have to say!