Tried-It Tuesday: 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. Bit it isn't long before restlessness sets in, pencils "walk away," homework folders rip, and...chaos ensues. My lovely kiddos can sometimes start slacking in the homework department, so I've brainstormed ways to keep them accountable, let their parents know, and keep track without staying at school til 8pm each night. 

Here's one strategy I use for motivating my students to turn in their homework on time:
 Students Who Need to KETCHUP!
 Here's the idea: 
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. 
Then I put the small ketchup bottle on their desk – I bought it at the Dollar Tree – to remind me that they owe me work.
For added accountability, I would also have the students 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. 
This system worker really well in my classroom - 
and I hope it will in yours too!

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Incomplete Homework Management: Ketchup List

Visit Holly's blog to check out other smart ideas teachers have tried:


  1. I love this system! Thank you so much for sharing all of the materials! I look forward to trying it out!

  2. Love this system too! I've used "ketchup" and super "pickles"(those who finished and turned everything in on time for the entire week get an extra p.e./recess/free time). My partner teacher and I take turns taking one group or the other. Works quite well and is a motivator for 4th graders. Love your form! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I already have plans to use this in my classroom this year. The ketchup bottle will be a great motivator to get that missing work turned in!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. This is great, Jessica! Thank you so much for the freebie too! One downfall to departmentalizing in 4th is now I teach three sections of math and it is tough to keep this accountability except with my own homeroom. In homeroom we have bits of down time to keep on them about missed work but do not have that time with the other two sections. I taught 6th grade for eight years on a departmentalized team and we had "yellow slips" where students would fill one out when they didn't complete an assignment. Yellow slips were delivered to homerooms in a folder pocket that hung by the door. Each student had their own "clip" of yellow slips on the board for our homerooms and we would know exactly what they owed for each teacher during homeroom time and study hall. If we didn't have these slips, students would tell us that they didn't owe anything or "didn't know". Imagine 6th graders saying that!? Haha! Thanks for linking up!
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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