Exit Tickets have come to be very popular over the past few years of teaching. I remember back when I was in high school we had a lot of “end of period quizzes” that could be considered roughly the same thing as they were allowing teachers to assess what we had mastered over the course of a period of time.
What is an Exit Ticket?
In my classroom an exit ticket can take on many different forms but it serves as a valuable tool to help develop a quick understanding of where my students are in their understanding of a topic. As a math teacher, Exit Tickets can be computational, a word problem that students must decipher and compute, OR an open-ended response where students must demonstrate their own thinking and express their process to get from the beginning to the end.
Incorporating Exit Tickets
From my experience of Exit Tickets, I have done them two different ways. The most common way is that the students will take part in the lesson/activity for the day and then will complete an Exit Ticket before leaving based on the skills and objectives that we covered in class. This allows teachers to take a quick glance at the level of understanding each student is at.
Another way that I have done Exit Tickets with students is to literally give them to them as they are exiting my class and for them to use to further their learning at home by looking up information or applying prior knowledge to build upon a concept. Many times these are called Entrance Tickets as they are used to allow a student to enter the classroom for the day but also can take the place of a bellringer.
Developing Exit Tickets
When you are creating your Exit Tickets, it is best to use the same format repeatedly so that your students can get started immediately without much assistance from the teacher. I have always tended to use two different methods in my classroom that seem to work well.
First is the Stoplight Exit Ticket (seen above). This method is very simple and allows my students to also give input on where they think their level of understand is based on the red, yellow and green of a stoplight. With an exit ticket in this format, I can ask computational problems, open-ended questions and just about anything because they are being turned into our Exit Ticket tub rather than place anywhere that others can see.
The other method that I started to use in more recent years is what I call Post It, Prove It. With a Post It, Prove It I will ask the class a question based on the lesson that really allows them to show me what they know. During Exit Tickets they are completely allowed to use their Interactive Notebooks as it only furthers the amount of times they are exposed to the materials.
I’ve learned a few things over my time using the Post It, Prove It strategy in my classroom:
- Giving immediate feedback to students is key to keep motivated
- Students should write their names on the back of the Post It underneath the sticky part so that their name is not seen by all students. Once I made the Post It semi-anonymous using this method it seemed to give my students the freedom to start writing more and sometimes even using a second Post It.
- The only materials you need for implementing the Post It, Prove It strategy in your classroom are Post Its (or any other sticky note), chart paper, and a marker to write your question. Students will also need their writing utensil to complete their sticky note.
Evaluating Exit Tickets
When it comes to evaluating Exit Tickets, a grade is very subjective. Most of the time I did not count Exit Tickets as a grade in any form or fashion where there other times I wanted to hold students accountable for their responsibilities in middle school.
I also developed a sense of grading based on a scale of a pre-composed basic rubric. I determined what I was looking for based on the question that was asked and took off points based on what wasn’t there. Remember in the end only you know your students and what will work in your classroom so you must decide what is best.
If you are looking for resources on how to implement Exit Tickets and Entrance Tickets in your classroom, feel free to checkout my Editable Entrance Tickets as well as my friend Meg (from Fourth Grade Studio) who has created a resource on Using Entrance Slips.
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