What are exit tickets? How do you use them in your classroom? What benefit do exit tickets have for students? How do you grade exit tickets? Each of these questions are concerns that I hear on a regular basis from teachers who know how much I LOVE using them!
I started using Exit Tickets in my classroom in 2011 on a random basis to quickly assess students skills. I took these as a pop quiz for students and graded every single one of them. I learned that doing them this way students HATED them! They seriously started fearing the possibility of an exit ticket showing up because it was a quick assignment that they knew was going to be graded. That was the LAST thing I wanted to do as a teacher. Many of my students are already filled with math and/or testing anxiety and this just made it worse.
What is an Exit Ticket?
An exit ticket is a valuable learning tool that teachers use to quickly determine a student’s level of understanding on a given topic. Exit Tickets are typically a sheet of paper containing a question (or questions) about the material that has been taught that day. The benefits of an exit ticket outweigh any negatives that I have seen. With the short nature of an exit ticket it allows you as a teacher quick assessment on the skill that has been taught. I totally ditched warm-ups in my classroom and replaced them with doing exit tickets at the end of class because I was able to get more information from my students this way and use those valuable first few minutes preparing our Interactive Notebooks.
Different Types of Exit Tickets
Over the course of the past few years I have used several different types of Exit Tickets to keep things fresh in the classroom. Some of the exit tickets have been 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. The good thing about any of these is that they are easily turned in and checked at another time. As you can see on this open-ended exit ticket there is also a stoplight that allows students to also give input on where they think their level of understand is based on the red, yellow and green of a stoplight.
Another type of exit ticket that I created was the Post It, Prove It. I enjoyed using this method quite often because not only did it change things up for students but who doesn’t love Post Its? Not only do students get to prove their answer in a given amount of space but it also allows for confidentiality when they put their names on the back underneath the sticky part of the Post It. If you would like to prepare ahead of time you can also pre-print the question on the Post It.
Another source of exit tickets in the classrom is to use Task Cards. Mary from Teaching with A Mountain View has shared how she used them in her classroom where every student recieves the same exit ticket and then leads into a class discussion.
Using Wrong Answers
Wrong Answers? Yes! Allowing your students to improve from the wrong answers that they or their peers give will allow for a further understanding of the material. Meg from The Teacher Studio has discussed how she did this with her students and not only were they intrigued by this strategy but it also allowed them to dig deeper into their learning.
Another teacher that uses wrong answers to her benefit is Greta from MathInspiration. Check out her video as she explains the details of how they benefit the students in her classroom.
Grading Exit Tickets
Grading Exit Tickets is a uphill battle at times. There is a benefit to not grading as it allows you to get students to openly express their answer without fear of getting something wrong. When I am grading I typically use a rubric that allows students to be evaluated based on the standard and their level of mastery.
Sherrie from Middle School Math Rules talks about how she grades exit tickets in her classroom. The checklist that she uses could easily be my Formative Assessment Data Trackers. These allow for beginning, middle and end of the year assessment of each standard.
Looking for Templates
There are many different types of freebie templates on Teachers Pay Teachers and blogs. One of the latest that I have found is by Shayna of Science Teaching Junkie. You can also grab my Editable Stoplight Exit Tickets available in multiple formats.
How are you using exit tickets in your classroom? What benefits have they provided for you and your students?
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