If you’re not using exit slips, you really should try them.
Basically, you give students a quick prompt at the end of class (or for elementary, at the end of the day or the end of a subject). Then the students have just a couple minutes to write an answer and turn it in.
Why You Should Use Exit Slips:
- Writing increases students’ participation. When you ask a question in class, one or two students answer out loud and maybe a few more have their hands raised. The rest of the class may be listening for the answer or they may be daydreaming – it’s sometimes hard to tell. When you instead ask all the students to write an answer to a question, everyone is forced to participate, and you can easily see whether or not each student is understanding.
- Writing helps students think deeply. When I ask my students to write out how they found an answer or summarize what today’s lesson was about, it forces them to think at a deeper level than just writing an answer. This clarifies their own understanding or reveals areas of misconception.
- Writing helps you know your students better. Students are surprisingly transparent in their writing, and when you read their thoughts, you start to get to know them better. You are also more in tune with how your students are learning and in what areas they need help.
- Writing increases students’ communication skills. This one is the obvious result, but the advantage should by no means be overlooked. In today’s society, it doesn’t do much good to have knowledge if you’re not able to communicate it. And with an increase in social media, blogs, and online articles, students need to learn to express their thoughts clearly and concisely. You don’t have to grade formal writing for this to happen. Consistently asking students to answer short, ungraded questions will help increase this valuable skill without adding extra pressure to you or them.
So now that I’ve hopefully convinced you to try out exit slips, let me give you a few ideas of what you can ask. Of course there are way more options than this, but these should get you started in the right direction.
Easy Exit Slip Prompts
- Write down two things you learned today.
- Pretend your friend was absent from class today and s/he asks you to explain the lesson. What would you tell him/her?
- Write down one question you have about today’s lesson.
- Write down one thing I can do to help you.
- What concept has been most difficult/confusing this chapter?
- What do you need to do to prepare for the upcoming test?
- What would you like me to review tomorrow?
- What is the most important thing we learned today?
- How did today’s quiz go? What can you do to improve next time?
- If you were writing a quiz over today’s material, what are 2 questions that you would put on it?
Do you use exit slips in your class? What are your favorite prompts?
- Article: “5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Writing in Your Classroom“
- Book: Content Area Writing: Every Teacher’s Guide
Photo by lacla21.
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