"Ketchup Day" in the Art Room

Have you ever had a handful of students not finish their work on time EVER? Are you tired of using your valuable planning time putting artwork into portfolios? Does it take too much time away from your lesson to pass out work for students to put into their portfolios or to take home? I WAS! Oh my gosh, and if I only passed out work and portfolios while the students just "waited"... I can't begin to tell you how many behavior problems I would have.  
Ever since seeing a painted ketchup bottle on many blogs, I have loved the idea of a "Ketchup" catch up day.  I don't think I ever successfully pulled one off or timed it right until this year. 
After each project most of us can agree that usually 3 to 4 students aren't able to finish within the "planned" project time due to illness, taking their time, or really doing their best. I do not include, "Due to misbehavior" because I nip that pretty quickly. 
Let's start with what "Ketchup Day" is.
"Ketchup Day" is a day for students to catch up on incomplete artwork. 
When is Ketchup Day? After every two projects. 
How long are most projects? Kindergarten through 2nd grade projects can take up to 2 days. 3rd - 4th grade projects can take 2 to 3 days to complete. 
Table folders filled with unfinished work. Portfolios underneath. 
How to prep for a Ketchup day
After each project, I put finished and graded projects for each class together with a clip and place it behind the class's portfolios in the bin. Unfinished work stays in the table folders also located behind the portfolios. 
Folders at top with unfinished work. Below are finished artworks ready to be handed out. 
How I "Ketchup"
I start with explaining that today is a Ketchup day which means we are going to catch up on work not completed, do some free choice, and put completed projects into their portfolios. 
If your artwork is in your folder it means you need to catch up. Materials needed for catch up are located on my table or at the sink.  Once you finish your work raise your hand for me to check, and then you may do free choice. 
Materials ready for catch up.
If you have no work in the folder then you are finished and may do "Free Choice" today. 
I will then allow the catch up people to get their materials. To avoid a stampede, the finished students will be called by table to get their first free choice activity. 

How I pass back work
Once students have been at work for about 10 minutes I explain that I will call names and pass out portfolios. They don't need to do anything with their portfolio except put it on their table. 
More finished and non-finished work.
Then, I explain that when I call their name this time I will be handing back graded artwork that needs to go into their portfolio. I also instruct students not to add to their finished artworks. 
Because students are working on free choice while I am passing back work, there are little to no misbehaviors because they are kept busy. 

I then go around and pick up the portfolios. I do this because I have been passing out work and have not been able to see what they have been working on. 
If you wish, during older grades students can pass out portfolios and work for you. 

I hope this helps many of you struggling getting students caught up and shows you that you don't have to use up your precious planning time putting work away. 


Mrs. C said...

I love this! Thanks for posting it!!!

Jen said...

I love the Ketchup idea. Super cute. And yes, inevitably, someone or many are behind. Great idea!

Beth Carter said...

We just had ketchup this past week!

Beth Carter said...

We just had ketchup this past week!

portfolio website said...

Love the idea and the execution! The idea is simple yet convincing and the execution made it special. Sometimes little things produce great results like in this case.

Rina k6art.com said...

I just had ketchup day with the sixth grade. It was our first - there were 5 projects in the folders. Lots of materials! I like your idea of having a catchup after a set number of projects (maybe 3).

Thanks for posting!

Kim Maki said...

Wow, I love Ketchup day idea. I totally agree with you that there is always a hand full of students who don't finish their work for a variety of reason, and having a ketchup day every so offen would give these students that chance to ketchup with their fellow students. I can't wait to have my own ketchup day.

K Hyman said...

Saw this earlier and thought "cute idea" but didn't comment. Then I was over at the Dollar Tree on Friday and they had fake ketchup bottles. I bought one for each school Since I use a document camera and set a lesson focus under it as the class comes enters each period, I know I will put this ketchup bottle to use very soon!

Nina Richard - Online PhD UK said...

Just love the association of school projects to ketchup. I may find it weird, but there seems to be a connection between them. You have reminded me of my elementary grades when mom always scolds me for doing my projects pass the set deadlines. Well, I always appease her with high grades after submission.

tryggvirafn said...

Hmm, good job! This is really something!

Valentin said...

This is cool!

Anonymous said...

ketchup-catch up! lol!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I teach K-8, only 12 hours a week, so your wonderful ketchup day gives me permission to ease up and let those finish their projects and the others to have free choice! Love it!

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