“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”  By Peter F. Drucker

Many teachers have use exit slips (also known as ticket out the door) which I believe is a crucial part of teaching and learning but I also think entry slips are just as effective and often overlooked. I like to use both of them for many reasons such as data points and/or as a reflection tool for not only myself but for the students. Here are a few different ways I use them in the classroom.

Entry Slips:

1. I like to use entry slips to see where the students are in their learning. I usually put four to five problems on the board and this is how I differentiate. If the student shows mastery they go right into math workshop or a Problem Based Learning (PBL) activity I have prepared. If they show partial mastery I would have a teacher assistant (or volunteer) work with the students until mastery. Where I, the teacher, would take the students that showed no mastery.I use this method often when I ‘flip the classroom’.

2. I like to use entry slips, when I know based on a pre-assessment  data, the students all showed partially mastery of a topic. I use this as a gauge to see where my lesson truly needs to start.

3. I like to use entry slips to start off a unit. I like to see what they want to learn about a unit. For example, I would ask something like, ‘What do you want to learn about place value?’ You will be surprised at what they will say. One year, I had a student say he wanted to learn about other place value systems such as the Mayan. Do you know that is my best lesson I think I teach now, years later! I have now turned it into a PBL project and the students love it! This type of entry slips helps my reflect and be a better educator, it also gets the student a voice in what they want to learn along with getting them starting to think about the unit we are about to start!

I do not use an entry slip everyday. I try to use them once a week. I do however use exit slips more often, sometimes daily.

Exit Slips:

1. I like to use exit slips to see how the students are doing on a unit. This helps me assess how the unit and the students are doing. I can then use this data to change my lesson plans or pacing. A prompt might be, ‘ Give me 3 things you have learned so far, 2 questions you still have and 1 thing I need to work on.’

2. I like to use exit slips to see how effectively I taught a lesson. On my door I would have a red piece of construction paper, yellow and green. I would give the students a question such as rate this lesson. 10-8 would be green, 7-5 yellow and 5-0 would be red. This gives me a quick visual and data point to help me improve the lesson next time. Sometimes you as the educator think that a lesson has ‘flopped’ and it really hasn’t or vice versa, sometimes you think it was great but the students don’t. This is a great visual to grasp that. I also use the red, yellow, green exit slips to see how the students comfort level with a topic is. We talk about before hand how each student has different strengths and weaknesses and I use the example of myself and another teacher. I am great at geometry and she is at fractions, doesn’t mean we can’t do it but we know it is not our strength. I do not use this type of exit slip until i have built that safe environment.

3. I like to use exit slips see if they have mastered or not mastered a concept. I sometimes adopt the essential question I have for the lesson as a prompt. I use this data for my next days reteach groups. A fellow co-worker, Jen Sieracki, uses what she calls ‘Ticket to Workshop”. After she teaches the mini-lesson, she has the students show their mastery and she uses this data for here reteach/small groups.

If you ‘google’ exit and entry slips you find lots of examples and prompts you can use. I would love to know if other educators use entry or exit cards differently. I can always improve my teaching!

* Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Comments on: "Why I Love Using Entry and Exit Slips" (1)

  1. Wayne Fisher said:

    Nice summary of how you use exit and entrance slips to impact your teaching and student learning. Both strategies are excellent examples of formative assessments. One of the formative assessments I used with my physics students was something I called a “Personal Statement” or a PS. For example, when the student submitted an assignment such as a problem set or essay, I expected to see a PS at the end of the assignment. The PS needed to be 1,000,000 words or less — really just one to two sentences — where the student reflects on what was challenging about the assignment or perhaps not so challenging. My goal with the PS was to help my students be reflective learners and to give my students ownership of their learning.

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