If you are looking for a flexible and quick way to assess student progress, math exit tickets may be your answer.
One of the challenges of teaching math in particular is how often students don’t feel like they’re “math people,” and how quickly they can feel like they’re falling behind. It is important to check in often on students’ math development and ensure they feel empowered and see progress. Exit tickets are a convenient way to make sure you are gauging your students’ strengths and challenges and can focus on the right math skills and concepts.
In addition to summative assessment tools like quizzes and tests, teachers need tools that can be used more formatively allowing them to quickly check in on student progress in order to adjust their instruction. Because exit tickets are fast and informative, they are a popular and effective formative assessment tool used to measure students' progress before the next day's lesson.
Try an exit ticket by presenting a question to the class after a lesson that helps to gauge their understanding of it. Ways to incorporate them into your classroom can be up to your teaching style.
Exit tickets are a popular and effective formative assessment tool.
One recommendation is to leave five minutes at the end of class to present a question. Give students time to submit their thoughts. They can hand a response to you as they are leaving your class. Or, if you are working digitally, share a one-question form with your students for them to fill out.
Exit tickets let teachers gain insight into gaps in a students’ knowledge and how they can better assist them in their learning. When you review the responses you should have a better idea of who understood your lesson for the day and who may need some more attention or practice tomorrow. You may also gain insight that leads to a different instructional strategy, such as focusing on small group activities for certain topics.
How to Make a Math Exit Ticket
An effective math exit ticket will relate to the lesson that you taught in class that day and should be a suitable way to review a students’ understanding of the topic. They can come in different formats, such as drawing a model, solving an equation, or writing a sentence or two. The two goals of exit tickets are that these can be completed quickly at the end of a class period and that the teacher can assess them quickly.
It may take some time and practice to write useful exit tickets. Make sure you are writing questions in a way that have students apply a concept and show comprehension. It’s best to avoid yes/no questions. Remember that these are not graded exercises, but informal assessments, and you should let students know that this is not tied to a quiz or exam.
You may also want to use exit tickets as a way to briefly assess prerequisite topics. For example, before teaching a lesson on adding fractions, you can give the class an exit ticket checking to make sure students are comfortable rewriting fractions with different denominators. Your students’ responses can help inform where to begin the lesson.
Examples of Math Exit Tickets
If you are looking for some exit ticket ideas for your math class, we have a few to share from our Into Math program for students in Grades K–8. Try these with your students as they relate to your curriculum. Of course, what topics you cover or questions you ask will always depend on you and your students. Feel free to adapt the ones we provide or write your own!
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