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[Classroom Assessment] 5 Creative Strategies for Engaging Exit Tickets

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 -- Scott Sterling

Most educators are familiar with exit tickets as a quick, effective formative assessment strategy. They’re a low-stress way to get a pulse on what material students understand and what they are still struggling with at the end of a lesson. However, the standard approach to exit tickets can get a little stale after a while—for both teachers and students. Looking for inspiration to break away from the standard mold of requiring students to write down an answer to an essential question on the day’s lesson as their “ticket” to leave the classroom? Check out these five creative ideas for more engaging exit tickets:

Tweet the lesson

Social media has become a part of many classrooms—why not take advantage of it for your next exit ticket? If you have a classroom Twitter account, ask students to tweet “at” you with a summary of the lesson they just completed. If you’re not actually using Twitter in the classroom, just have your students write a summary for you that adheres to the social network’s 140-character limit. Next-generation standards call for students to be able to “scale” their writing. This is great practice.

Encourage self-assessment

Instead of asking students “What did I learn today?”, try reframing your exit ticket question to something like “What did I accomplish today?”. The simple shift in language encourages students to be more self-reflective, and consider their own learning more critically. It will help them to identify the areas where they’re excelling as well as what they need more practice in.

Find real-life connections

Students always want to know why they’re being asked to learn the curriculum. Help them make connections between the classroom and the real world by asking students where they think the day’s lesson will fit into their daily lives. Is there a specific activity or task that they do on a regular basis to which they could apply it? Identifying some real-world purpose for their learning will not only increase your students’ engagement in the classroom, it will also help with critical processes of long-term memory formation.

Make an analogy

A good analogy can grab anyone’s attention. Try spicing up your exit tickets by asking students to make analogies to seemingly incongruous concepts. For example, ask “If today’s lesson were a pizza, what would the toppings be?” Or, “Which new vocabulary term would make the best name for a new car?” Students will have fun with a challenging opportunity to think outside the box, and this kind of activity is helpful in moving concepts from recall into the synthesis skill level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Open a parking lot

Try making your next exit slip a whole-class activity. Set aside some space on your board or easel for students to “park” their exit slips for everyone to see. You’ll be able to assess the learning of your whole class more quickly and easily, and individual students who are struggling will find out that they aren’t alone. This approach works great with Post-it notes.

Looking for more tips and tricks to freshen up your approach to formative assessment? Check out these 5 Unique Ways to Formatively Assessment Your Class!