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Harnessing the Power of Exit Tickets

TXTS 4 Teachers

Harnessing the Power of Exit Tickets

Kimberly St Clair

Exit tickets allow teachers to quickly collect formative data to check for understanding and inform instruction.  An exit ticket usually consists of one to three questions or problems for students to complete at the end of the lesson.  The exit ticket aligns with the lesson objective and therefore provides insight on how well students understood the content taught. 

It is important to schedule time to analyze exit tickets after each lesson.  During this analysis session, teachers identify which students demonstrated understanding of the content, which students demonstrated some understanding, and which students demonstrated little or no understanding. Misconceptions and gaps in skills or processes become evident while analyzing the exit tickets.

The power of the exit ticket comes from the decisions and actions taken to increase student achievement based on data from the exit tickets.  Teachers can use data from the exit tickets to inform instruction for the very next day.  Instructional planning and delivery will differ depending on what the data from the exit tickets indicates. Here are some ideas on how to plan for next-day instruction based on exit ticket data:

  •   Design a warm-up or mini-lesson to address whole-class misconceptions

  •   Allocate additional time on the area(s) where students need more support

  • Group students according to need and reteach missed concepts in small groups

  • Assign partners (high/medium) to support each other while reteaching to a small group

  • Provide 1-1 instruction for students with the greatest need

  • Plan for teaching in chunks with purposeful checks for understanding

  • Provide additional examples and tools to help students be successful

  • Plan for additional practice on skills

  • Plan for students who have mastered concepts to teach/support others

  • Design extension activities for students who demonstrated understanding

Creating a routine of planning for exit tickets, analyzing the exit tickets after instruction, and then modifying next-day lesson plans to meet the needs of all students provide opportunities for all students to achieve academic success.