Exit Slips & Freebie

One thing I like to do to check for understanding and see where we need to go next as a class is use Exit Slips.
There are SO many ways to use these! I love the flexibility and the quick opportunity to take a snapshot of your students' learning. I also like how their questions guide future lessons and help me reinforce concepts or introduce new concepts based upon what they're wondering.

Here's how I use them:

At the end of a lesson, I will have them show (using words, pictures and/or numbers, especially in math) one thing they learned. I typically do not have a class example, they will need to tell/show me what they learned all on their own.

Under that, I have them write one thing they want to know/still wonder about/want to learn/etc. This can be related to the lesson or it could be a tangent that was sparked during our class discussion.

Before they can transition to the next activity, I have them turn these in to me as their ticket out.

I always remind them that they will not be graded on this, it is just the opportunity to help "take the temperature" of our class- did we learn the important concepts or just skim the surface? What do we want to learn next? What did we think was the most important part? etc.

I also like to encourage them to write something in both sections- this takes a while to develop, but kids do write sentences in both after a few tries.

Here are a few examples after a lesson we recently completed after skimming Daily Life in a Covered Wagon to start our Pioneers Unit:

While I do not do these after every lesson, I do like to incorporate them here and there, especially if we are introducing some pretty complex concepts. Plus, I find it keeps kids more accountable to their own learning.

Do you use Exit Slips in your class? If you like my slip, feel free to download it here from Google Docs!!


  1. I have always heard of using these, but I think you are the first person to suggest using them after a LESSON, not the whole day. For my kids, I think looking back over the whole day might be too daunting, so I love this idea! I'm also thinking it would be great for a lesson that comes before a more 'fun' learning activity, like centers.

    Or, if I did use them at the end of the day, they could be a 'bonus'... those who get them done get to add them to a basket, and on Friday I choose someone to win a prize!

    You've given me so many ideas :) Thank you for sharing!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  2. Thanks, Jenny! You are so sweet :)

    I hope you can find these useful- I agree, sometimes to recapture the whole day in the last 5 minutes is really hard (even for me!). Plus, I find they only focus on what I said most recently, instead of the really important lesson we had at 9am! I like the end-of-lesson approach best :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. That's smart for letting the students reflect and complete the exit slip right after the lesson! I like this idea since everything is still fresh in their minds. Thanks for sharing! BTW, I'm a new follower! :)

    Cheers To School

  4. I like the idea of breaking it up into small chunks. I, too, struggled with the "whole" day approach years ago. Now, I use Quick Writes in their journals more frequently. I set the timer for 3-5 minutes and the only rule is that they are not allowed to let their pencil stop writing. They then graph the words written. At the end of the week, I take them home and read their thoughts. I learn so much about them that way. :)

  5. Thanks, Donna!

    Susan, I love the idea of built-in graphing for any project! Especially when it accumulates over the course of a week, they can really see how much they are growing :)