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Why I Chose to Use Exit Slips

As I was preparing for my first formal observation of the year, I set out to earn a highly effective teacher rating on my state’s evaluation rubric. As I planned my lesson, I kept thinking my closure needed to be beefed up. What best practice could I use to clearly and easily address the following language on the rubric?

“much of student learning results from their reflection on what they have done, a well-designed lesson includes time for reflection and closure”

“A teacher’s skill in eliciting evidence of student understanding is one of the true marks of expertise. This is not a hit-or-miss effort, but is planned carefully in advance. But even after carefully planning, monitoring of student learning must be woven seamlessly into the lesson, using a variety of techniques.”

How could I make sure I met this part of the rubric at the end of my fourth grade math lesson?

Well, I decided to use an exit slip, which I called Math Class Exit Ticket. At the end of my lesson I gathered my small groups back into a whole group setting. We reviewed the math vocabulary that had been introduced during the lesson and strategies that could be used to solve a simple division equations. All of that information was listed on an anchor chart I had created.

Finally, I handed out the exit tickets. I told my students to complete the front using checkmarks and then write either one sentence the back about their learning from the lesson, or one question they still needed to have answered. They handed them to me as they left the classroom on their way to lunch.

Viola! I had found a way to “elicit evidence of student learning” and have my students complete a reflection of the lesson. (And yes, I earned a highly qualified rating on my evaluation.)
Ways to Use Exit Slips in Your Classroom
Robert Marzano, a renowned author and educational researcher, wrote this article about exit slips. He states exit slips can help students:

  • rate their current understanding of new learning
  • analyze and reflect on their efforts around the learning
  • provide feedback to the teacher on an instructional strategy
  • provide feedback about the material and teaching

I also think exit slips can:

  • quickly determine which students have it, which ones need a little help, and which ones are going to require more instruction on the concept
  • help teachers plan their next lesson(s)
  • be added to student portfolios
  • be sent home to parents so they can see what their child is doing at school

Examples of Exit Slips

Some teachers use index cards or half sheets of notebook paper and have their students responds to prompts such as:

  • What are five things you learned in class today?
  • Write three things you learned, two things you found interesting, and one question you have.
  • What do we need to discuss in the next class?

Others prefer to use printed exit slips. Here are some printable examples:

You might also like to read:

How would you use exit slips in your classroom? How often would you use them? Please share your thoughts and any other examples of exit slips in the comment section.
Paula L. Naugle is a veteran teacher with over thirty years of classroom experience. She and her fourth graders can be found using technology integration in most of their lessons. Some of their favorite tools include Skype, Google Docs and Hangouts, Edmodo,, and Glogster.
Paula is a moderator for #4thchat, which takes place on Twitter on Monday evenings at 7 pm CST. She is also an organizer for EdcampNOLA, and loves presenting at conferences both in person and virtually.
Her online presense includes: @plnaugle on Twitter, plnaugle on Skype, Classroom blog –, Professional blog –