Students Who Need to "Ketchup!"

I'm linking up with "Head Over Heels for Teaching" for her newest linky party:

Here's one strategy I use for motivating my students to turn in their HW: "Students Who Need to KETCHUP!"

At the beginning of the year, all of most of my students are organized, prepared, diligent, and consistent in turning in their homework. Now, restlessness has set in, crayons have "walked away," homework folders have ripped, and...chaos ensues. My lovely kiddos are really slacking when it comes to homework these days, so I've been brainstorming ways to keep them accountable, let their parents know, and keep track without staying at school til 8pm each night. 

I've come up with two ideas I want to share:

1. "Ketchup" Board 

Put this sign on your whiteboard or on a poster board displayed in a prominent spot in your classroom.  When students don’t turn in their homework, they get put on the Ketchup List, or a list of students who need to catch up (“ketch-up” - get it?!?).
When their work is turned it, they may erase their name.

If, at the end of the week, their name is still on the board, have them fill out the “Uh-Oh” form, which includes space for the student to write the assignments, an action plan for turning in work on time, and a signature line for both the student and parents. 

Click here to visit my TpT store and download this packet for FREE! Ketchup List Homework Management.

2. No Late Homework Party!
Using my "Ketchup" board, I'm going to keep track of the students who NEVER have their name put on there. Then, at the end of the month (or quarter, depending on how you want to do it), we'll have a NO KETCHUP party! I haven't exactly decided what that will look like - good thing I've got a month to plan for it :)

What other strategies do you use for keeping track of homework, holding students accountable for missing work, and/or rewarding students for no late homework? I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. Here's my post about what I do...


    1. Yes, this is exactly I was thinking of! Thanks for sharing, Diane :)

  2. Cute idea Jessica!!! I have a treasure chest in my room and students who turn in their homework on time earn a coupon. They need to gather 5 coupons to get a treasure! We also have a school-wide incentive each nine weeks. Each nine weeks, those students get to participate in a fun activity planned by a committee.

  3. OMG! How cute is that "Ketchup" Board??!! I love that idea-great approach-firm, but friendly. I like it for classwork too. Thanks so much for joining my first linky party!!!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  4. I really like your "ketchup" notes to be sent home to parents each week! What a creative way to approach this management issue!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  5. This is a topic I LOVE -- I teach second grade, which (I feel) is right about the time they're starting to become more independent and need to start being accountable for getting their work back to me on time.

    I have literacy contracts each week - with a list of the work they're going to have done by the end of the literacy block on Friday. Those who don't finish have a "working lunch" with me in the classroom. I'm collecting so many great ideas from the "Saturday Spark" link-up, thanks! :)

    Ms. BBZ - Integrated Learning in Second Grade


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