Saturday, March 9, 2024

Have Your Students Organize Their Work with "Ketchup," "Mustard," "Mayo," and/or "Pickle" Folders!

Are you looking for an organizational system that helps your students keep their paperwork organized?  Are you tired of dealing with lost assignments, crumpled papers, and messy desks?  Then look no further!  These “Ketchup,” “Mustard,” “Mayo,” and “Pickle” folders will help create organized, responsible, independent learners!

Ketchup Folder

Here’s How They Work:

Each folder stands for:

Ketchup = Catch-Up on your Work

Ketchup Folder

Mustard = Must-Do Work

Mustard Folder

Mayo = May-Do Work

Mayo Folder

Pickle = Pick your Work

Pickle Folder

Pick and choose from my premade folder covers and labels to create the folder system you would like to implement in your classroom.  Choose from multiple left and right pocket label options to place on the inside pockets of each folder.  

Printable Folder Labels

The labels come in two sizes.  The larger labels can be printed on full-page label sheets.  You can also print them on regular paper and tape them in the folders.  

Ketchup Folder Labels

The smaller labels can be printed on 2 x 4 labels.

Catch Up Work Folder Labels

In my classroom, each student had a red Ketchup folder.  Any unfinished work, such as morning work, center work, math worksheets, etc. a student did not have time to finish would be placed inside their Ketchup folder.  It would be placed on the “Must-Do” side.  Any fun activity pages/packets they had to do for fun would go on the “May-Do Side.”  During the day if a student had extra time, they would take out their Ketchup folder and complete any work that was in it.

Ketchup - Catch-up Folders

I had my students keep their Ketchup folders in their desks.  But you can also create a turn-in basket for your folders.  

Unfinished Work Folders

This will help you really keep track if a student’s work continues to build up in their folder.  

Ketchup Folder Basket

This download also comes with basket signs to create your own turn-in basket.  

Pickle Folders

Each sign comes in two different sizes.

Ketchup Folder Basket

I used one of the plastic display stands to place my sign in.

Here’s How to Assemble Your Folders:

Each folder cover is EDITABLE in PowerPoint.  This allows you to personalize each folder cover by simply typing in each student’s name, their student number, your class info, or any other info you would like to include.

1. Use plastic folders to make your classroom folders.  

Classroom Folders

2. Pick your folder cover.  Duplicate the slide to create a cover for each one of your students.  To duplicate the cover, right click on the slide and select, “Duplicate Slide.”

How to Make Ketchup Folders

3. Type in each student’s name, their student number, your class info (or any other info you would like) on the folder.

Ketchup Folder Covers

4. Once all your text is added to the covers, save the file as a PDF and print your covers from that PDF file.

Ketchup Folder Covers

5. Print the covers on full page sticker label sheets like the ones found HERE.

Pickle Folder Covers

6. Peel off the sticky back and carefully stick it on the folder.

Pickle Folder Covers and Labels

7. You can use self-adhesive laminating sheets to place over the cover label if you want your labels to have an extra level of protection.  This is not necessary though.

Ketchup Folder Covers and Labels

8. Decide what size pocket labels you would like to use for the inside of your folders.  The larger labels can be printed on full sheet sticker labels.  Or you can print them on regular paper, laminate, cut, and staple or tape them onto the folder pockets.

Mustard Folders

9. You can also choose to print the smaller pocket labels on 2” x 4” labels.  Add packing tape over each label for extra durability.

Classroom Folder Covers and Labels

10. Create a turn in tub in your classroom for your folders using the premade signs.

Classroom Organization System

Not only are these folders a great organizational tool for students, but they also serve as a great classroom management tool to put into place at the beginning of the school year!

Classroom Organization


*You can also use the Ketchup folder cover to create your own classroom absent folder.  

Absent Folder

Place the Ketchup folder on the desk of an absent student.  

Absent Folder Covers and Labels

Throughout the day have classmates collect and place all handouts, worksheets, etc. in the ketchup folder.  Once the absent student returns to school they can take the Ketchup folder home to complete their missed work.  They will then return the folder with all their completed work in it.

Classroom Folder Covers and Labels

Click HERE to download my Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard, and Pickle folder covers and labels from my TpT store!

Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard, and Pickle Folders


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