Class is almost done. Now you need to know which students grasped (and didn’t grasp) the lesson. And you need to know it quickly.
Formative assessment is a type of instructional assessment that allows teachers to collect real-time data to inform next steps. It’s low stakes (no grades), timely (happens in the middle of learning), and helps to improve the teaching and learning process.
Using Exit Slips in the Classroom
What is an exit slip in education? Typically a small piece of paper where students respond to a teacher’s questions or reflect upon their learning, the exit slip is one of the most popular formative assessment tools for closing out a class session.
However, not all exit slips in the classroom are created equal. An exit slip that truly works for the teacher will not only engage your students at the end of class but also give you the data you need to make the call on individualized instruction choices. To be sure you’re implementing an exit slips strategy that provides actionable insights, keep these pointers in mind.
Keep it fair: How can you be sure of this? Create your exit slip FIRST! Yes, build the student exit slips BEFORE you plan how you’ll execute your lesson. This way, you can align your exit slip assessment with your learning objective and plan how and when to tackle the trouble spots that the exit slip addresses. Doing so can help you avoid taking the entire class back to the drawing board.
Know what you don’t know: What information do you need to inform your next instructional choice? Maybe you already know which students still require extra practice on identifying a main idea from your observations in class. That’s not a good candidate for an exit slip. Align with a concept that you need to collect more data on—an idea, concept, or skill that you’ll be circling back to during the next learning opportunity.
Keep it simple: The most effective exit slips for information gathering are often the ones that are the least complex for the students to complete (and for you to review) while still giving you detailed information about what was understood in class. They can be self-reflective or application based. Regardless, one well-constructed multiple-choice question can often fit the bill. There’s no need to make copies of these types of exit slips either. Students can simply write their names and answers on a square of paper and turn them in on their way out of class.
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