Exit Slips and Assessing Student Understanding

Data has become a central theme in classrooms today. We have formative assessments, summative assessments, reading level assessments, MAP testing, STAAR tests, other standardized tests, istation, the list can go on forever. The last thing we need as teachers is another thing to grade or another assessment!

We do need to check in with our students to make sure they mastered the lesson. Exit slips are the quickest and simplest way to check mastery, inform instruction, and plan a reteach for each standard, concept, or skill you cover.

Exit slips give you 2 types of valuable feedback:

1. How well did each student comprehend or master the lesson/skills covered that day?

2. How well did I cover the lesson or skill in todays lesson?

After an effective exit slip, which can be one quick question before students leave, you can get a good count of how many students grasped the concept. From there, you know if you can move on to the next skill, create a small group for covering that skill in more depth, or plan a full class reteach.

Exit slips also give students an opportunity to reflect on their own understanding.

You can use exit slips in any way that best fits your classroom and schedule. An exit slip can be as simple as students answering a question on a slip of paper, or as easy as logging an answer in your smartboard system.

How to start using exit slips today:

1. First, decide what data you are hoping to gather with your exit slips. Mastery of skill or content knowledge, or a progress check in the middle of learning a new objective.

2. How often do you want to collect this data? At the end of each day, week, unit…

3. Pick an exit slip! I like to have a variety of exit slips to choose from whenever I need them.

These can be as simple as a slip of paper that you have students answer a question on and hand you as they walk out the door.

Or, you can have a variety of exit slips to change it up. I like to print a few options for me to use through the week.

The best question you can use is the guiding question from the lesson, or rephrase the learning objective as a question. You can use a practice test question, math problem from the day, a writing prompt, or ask students to make a real world connection to something in the lesson. The list of possibilities here is endless!

This is so quick for students to complete and so quick for you to look over!

If you want a variety of exit slips on hand, I love this collection, PLUS it has digital versions you can use and save paper.

For added student reflection and self-assessment, use reflection pockets/baskets. Hang 2-3 pockets on the wall, or set out 2-3 baskets, for students to choose from when they turn in their exit slips. Label the pockets/baskets with 2-3 degrees of self assessment: “very confident”, “feeling good”, “not so sure”. You can use smiley face and sad face, thumbs up and thumbs down, or something relatable to your students!

Using this self-assessment turn-in system will help you see how confident a student is in their answer or if they were guessing, which is helpful in gathering exit slip data! Plus, it’s more fun for the kids.

I hope you found some helpful ideas to make your teacher life a bit easier!!

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