Recently I got in a conversation with some teachers about use of exit tickets, which seem to be a relatively common instructional strategy. As we talked, we were surprised to realize several of us had made the same mistake when we first began using this idea.
Basically, exit tickets work like this: Near the end of class, the teacher presents the students with a question. Students respond to the question in some way, with no more than 2-3 sentences, and taking no more than 4-5 minutes. I typically had my students write their answers on index cards. Other had students write on sticky notes. One used a digital response system.
I had my students hand me their index cards as they left the classroom, as if it were actually a ticket to get out the door.
The mistake? Collecting the responses but then doing nothing with them.
The tickets are a chance for the students to reflect and can be a quick check-for-understanding for me, but I at first I was missing the opportunity to use the tickets as a means of formative assessment – actually DOING SOMETHING with the information – using the responses to assist in planning instruction for the next day.
The responses can be used for several purposes: to determine if the class in general understands the content from that day and is ready to move on to new material tomorrow, to uncover skills or information that need review and additional practice, to identify particular students who need additional help, or to group students for the next day’s lesson based on their current needs or interests.
Exit Ticket Ideas:
1. Summarize the Day’s Content
- Describe something new you now know about the battle at Gettysburg.
- Draw a diagram of the water cycle, labeling the four parts.
- Write the first step to solving the problem on the board.
2. Reflect on New Learning
- Write one question you have about what we did today in class.
- Write two new things you learned today.
- Write one thing about today’s topic that you want to know more about.
3. Gather Opinion
- Which short story did you prefer? Why?
- Do you think we met the learning objective for today? Why or why not?
- What one thing from today’s lesson do you think is most important to remember? Why?