Welcome to week 7! We are at the end! In week 6 we talked about getting your materials organized for math workshop. This week we are talking about using exit tickets in the classroom. When I was in college preparing to be a teacher, I remember my professors talking about exit tickets. However, I never really got in the habit of using them. I never felt like I had enough time to fit them in, but I am hoping I can share a little of what I have learned.
What is an Exit Ticket?
An exit ticket is a question (or several) that you ask the students to answer at the end of class. These can be done for any subject and any level, but they are very simple for math. 1-2 math problems that correlate with the lesson for the day are a perfect way to evaluate who understood the concept, and who needs more instruction.
Benefits of Using Exit Tickets
I really never understood how important exit tickets were until I began using them.They are essential in the math workshop or guided math classroom. You can use the results of the exit tickets to help you:
- Plan the specific lessons for the following day in teacher time (or whole group instruction)
- Choose specific math centers or activities for the following week
- Divide the students into leveled groups for the next week (or chapter or quarter whichever you choose)
How to Fit Exit Tickets into Your Schedule
All those years that I couldn’t fit exit tickets into my busy class schedule, I was missing a key piece of evaluation in my class. What I didn’t realize is that you can’t afford not to do them. The great thing about exit tickets is that they don’t take any time at all! Once the kids get used to them, they literally only take 5 minutes. Here are the steps for about the simplest exit ticket you can do:
- Have a student pass out a scrap of paper to each student. (I used to cut scrap paper from the copy room into fourths.)
- Write 1-2 math problems on the board. You can also do different problems for the leveled groups if you want.
- Have the students complete the problems to the best of their ability. I usually don’t give them any help or allow them to work together. To be an effective evaluation of their abilities, it must be independent. I always tell my students at the beginning of the year that while these are never graded, they do help me to teach better. Most kids really try their best.
- Have a couple of students collect them. Then I go over the answer(s). This one last explanation is a short review before I send them off.
Ways to Implement Exit Tickets into the Classroom
There are so many creative ways to begin using exit tickets in your classroom. But remember, if these seem too overwhelming to you, you can literally use scrap paper and start using exit tickets today. Here are some of the most creative ideas from around the web:
This is a simple way to have the kids turn in their thinking about a lesson. You could just give each student a sticky note to write on. This one could be used for any subject. For history, science, and language arts, you wouldn’t even have to give them a specific question. Personally, I like to have a little more concrete answers (for exit tickets).
The Texas Teaching Fanatic has a great post on how she completes exit tickets in her classroom. The kids would obviously love it because it is Twitter, but teachers will love it because the “twitter cards” for each student are laminated. The student just uses a white board marker to write their answer down and then puts it back on the wall on the way out of class. What a tree saver! Plus, I hate having a thousand tiny pieces of paper to keep track of each day. What a great idea!
The Primary Gal has an amazing post on exit tickets. What makes this display different is that the students are self-evaluating their answers. If they made a mistake, then they can learn from that. As seen in the picture, there are 4 “folders” that they students put their exit ticket in after they complete them. The pages in the picture are also available as a freebie on her site. If you look at her post, there are also a couple other options where you can customize the folders. For instance, you could have all the students who made a mistake with place value put their tickets in a specific folder.
I absolutely love this blog post by Erintegration on exit tickets. She has some amazing ideas for streamlining the process and making it engaging for the kids. She sells the iPad set shown here and a super fun emoji set in her TpT store! What I love about this is the free app she talks about at the end of the post that helps you take a picture and document all the little sticky notes!
All these ideas are so creative! Do you use exit tickets in your classroom? How do you make it work?
Check out the rest of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Math Workshops Series:
- Week 1: Have a Plan
- Week 2: Have High Expectations (plus a FREEBIE)
- Week 3: Have a Board
- Week 4: Know Your Kids (plus a FREEBIE)
- Week 5: Know Where to Find Inspiration
- Week 6: Get Organized