As the weather gets warmer and students start counting down the days until the summer school holiday, how will you keep their attention? One answer might be badges! Customised badges are a great tool to keep young learners engaged and focused. They can help cultivate learning in the classroom and can be used to reward students’ hard work and achievements. In this post, we look at a few creative ways you can use badges in the classroom to motivate, reward and incentivise for a strong finish ahead of summer.
1) Badges as a Class Incentive
Badges are a great tool for classwork management! One idea is to set up a collective goal for each class, such as reading a certain book. When the goal is achieved, everyone earns a special badge. Or, you could create groups of students within each classroom and reward the group that has the most points at the end of the marking period with a specialised badge. To add to the collective spirit of the incentive, teachers can also get involved and award badges to students who outscore them, perhaps by reading more total pages than the teacher did!
Another idea is to inspire school spirit and creativity with a badge design competition. Ask a classroom to create their own designs and then vote on a favorite. We can help you turn the winning student design into a special badge for everyone.
We suggest looking for fun designs and styles featuring animals, seasons or school emblems and colours. This enamel bee badge, for example, would be a great “busy bee” badge for a student that went above and beyond with assignments or classroom chores.
Popular badge types include cost-effective enamel badges, which are durable and thus great for students who collect them year after year. Another good choice is soft PVC rubber badges, which lend a tactile, playful look and feel that will resonate with younger students.
2) Individual Motivator
Some students can lose focus throughout the year, especially as summer approaches. To keep students motivated, reward them for specific skills or practices that they master during your class. For example, you could design a badge for a specific learning objective (like multiplication or spelling), and reward students who master that objective with a daily, weekly or monthly badge ceremony. Turn it into a year-long game with a goal for each student to have a badge for each objective by end of the year. Track their progress in a wall chart that students can mark off themselves.
Another fun, motivating idea is to tap into pop culture with a special badge featuring a movie, character, sports team or joke that will resonate with students. For example, this Harry Potter themed badge would be a welcome award in most classrooms. Many of our badges can be produced in minimal time, especially our classic button badges, so you can create popular badges to leverage any trending tastes.
3) Differentiator Tool
Badges are a great way to highlight and award individual or groups of students within your classroom. They serve as a welcome alternative to a trophy or plaque because they’re such a popular, wearable item. And there is no shortage of clever ideas for ways to identify and reward students. For example, outside of typical academic subjects, you could create special badges for participation in school activities, like a School Buddy Badge or a Hall Monitor Badge. These badges will help others identify these special students and also provide them with positive recognition for their efforts.
Another group-based idea is to form teams of students based on subjects in which they excel and award each group a special math, science or reading badge. Other students in the class could then go to these “student experts” with questions about classwork on that subject. Students could earn badges in those particular subjects when they’ve successfully had all of their questions answered by the expert.
Lastly, why not offer your surplus badges for sale at a school store or online? This could help bring in a little extra money to go toward a special fundraiser for an upcoming field trip or student outing.
We hope this post inspires you to think about just some of the many ways you can use badges to cultivate learning in your classroom. Badges are a cost-effective, creative and positive addition for students of all ages. Please get in touch with us today and tell us more about your classroom and how we can help you end this school year strong and special!