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3 Steps to Creating a Quality Exit Ticket

This well-known formative assessment is one of the best ways for educators to gain valuable insight into students’ understanding. 

While they only take a few minutes, exit tickets give students an opportunity to demonstrate and reflect upon their learning, and provide teachers with an efficient measure of mastery. Exit tickets require purposeful planning to produce worthwhile data. So how do you create an exit ticket that gives you meaningful data and an inside look into your students’ thinking?

1. Establish the Routine

Before sitting down to write the exit ticket, it’s important to think about what structure will be best for you and your students. While exit tickets are naturally quick, you want to implement them in the least invasive way possible. Try a few of these methods and see what works best for you and your students.

  • Post-it Note or Note Card: Hand out a blank post-it or note card and display the question(s) on the board. This method works especially well if students have a place to store materials by their desk.  
  • Loose Leaf Paper: Students use their own paper to answer the prompt. This is best if students have their own binders or workbooks.  
  • Worksheet: Create a separate exit ticket worksheet that you quickly hand out at the end of class or staple to the work they are working on.

2. Scaffold the Questions

Depending on the grade level you teach the most impactful exit tickets have three questions that get increasingly difficult. In order to get quality data, every student should feel comfortable attempting the first question. From there, create questions that require a deeper understanding of the material and ask for students to explain their reasoning.

By scaffolding the questions, teachers can see where the breakdown in learning and misconceptions occur. In order to create a scaffolded exit ticket, use resources like Bloom’s Taxonomy to identify key verbs to use in each question or check out existing curriculum like EngageNY so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

3. Give an Opportunity for Student Reflection

Exit tickets are a unique experience to get inside a student’s head and allow them to share how they are feeling about the material they’ve learned: What stuck with you today? Write one question you still have after today’s lesson? What are you still confused about? Creating a simple reflection prompt at the end of the exit tickets gives students a confidential opportunity to express questions, confusions or confidence.

While these are certainly a few effective practices for exit tickets, remember, like any classroom structure, make it your own. Take time to explore different systems and routines in order to find the most efficient process that produces the most valuable data. Comment below about how you’ve made exit tickets work in your classroom!


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