My Take on Exit Tickets

Exit tickets, or exit slips, are really big in classrooms right now.  They give a teacher a quick snapshot of what a student did or did not understand so the teacher knows if the next day should start with a review/clarification or can move on to the next topic.  Well, when I adopted exit tickets in my own classroom I didn’t want too much extra work for myself (yes, I said that out loud) and I wanted my students to be able to show me on their own what they learned however they wanted (within reason of course) rather than everyone answering one or two pre-set questions.

So that led me to my own version of exit slips, 3 examples of which you can see below.  The top one is for President Johnson’s Impeachment Trial, the bottom left is about the Space Race, and the bottom right is about propaganda geared towards men during WW2 (it’s asking men if they want to be a war hero or a couch potato).

my take on middle and high school exit tickets

my take on middle and high school exit tickets

So what I have my kids do on the front of a piece of paper, is give me some sort of representation of what they found most interesting that day/week in class.  This gives them the chance to be creative, be visual, and do anything other than write an essay to show me what they learned (one student wrote a haiku about the Boston Tea Party once, that was pretty cool).

Then on the back, they very honestly answer 2 questions:
1) What are 3 other things you learned today/this week that you understand well enough to explain them to someone else?
2) What are you still confused about or have questions about, essentially, what did I not teach you well enough?

I’ve been very lucky that since I implemented these exit tickets, I really have most of the time received honest answers to those questions.  I think this style of “show me what you learned and what you still are confused by” puts less pressure on the kids because there isn’t one question of the day with a right or wrong answer, it gives them a chance to do some self-reflection, and it gives me way more interesting pieces of student work to look over at the end of the day and a more well-rounded representation of what was understood and what wasn’t.  If you’re looking for something new to try this year, I’d definitely recommend this, it’s student tested and approved 🙂

Oh and to clarify, I either address what the students wrote for #2 before we start class the next day (especially if it was mentioned a few or more times) or I’ll respond to it on the back of their exit ticket.

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