All the students’ Brag Tags hung on a door
Each year I endeavor to come up with a new year-long incentive for students to earn rewards while completing tasks such as practicing, learning scales, etc. In the past I have used incentives such as Bead Chains and the Wall of Wow. I have found these incentives to be very rewarding and motivating for students. Because the progress of each student is kept in the studio, other students can clearly see the progress of their friends, cheer each other on and be encouraged when they see others working to complete tasks also.
This past year I found a neat classroom incentive on Pinterest called Brag Tags. I found Brag Tags to be very adaptable to what I wanted the students to accomplish that year.
The idea is that each student earns a tag for different tasks completed.
Students could earn practice tags. For older students, the practice minutes were counted. Younger students were urged to practice five times a week and earned a tag for that. Originally I only made the 100-minute and 150-minute practice tags for the older students, but several students were practicing 200 minutes each week. One student started practicing 250 minutes a week just so she could choose the “emerald” designation!
Key tags were awarded for completing technical practice (scales, chords, arpeggios, etc.) in the assigned key.
Students could earn other tags for:
- Book Graduation – completing a book
- Note Ninja – mastering assigned notes on treble or bass clef (these were quizzed with flashcards or the app Flashnote Derby)
- Excellent Extra! – learning a piece on your own
- Metronome Master – tapping or playing the rhythm of an assigned section with the metronome
- Pawsome Performance – playing in a recital, concert, talent show, etc.
- Theory Wiz – completing assigned theory pages
- Happy Birthday To You – having a birthday
- Cool Composer – composing a piece or short melody
Each week most students earned 2-3 tags and collected many tags throughout the school year. Rewards were given for every 600 minutes of practice. Therefore, students who practiced 200 minutes per week earned rewards more quickly than students who practiced 100 minutes per week. Ribbons were added to the bottom of the practice tags when a reward was given.
At the end of the school year, students were allowed to take their Brag Tags home with them. It was fun to see the excitement as students showed their tags to parents and siblings.
I designed the tags with the use of PicMonkey. Then I printed out the tags and laminated them. The chains were necklace chains from Hobby Lobby.
It was a great incentive and reward system to use in the studio as it served the purposes of motivating students and building community.
Let me know if you try this incentive!