Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Entrance/Exit Slips

I have been using exit slips in my class more frequently and I am really loving them for a quick and easy formative assessment of students' understanding.  I really should call them "Entrance Slips" because I tend to use them in place of a warm-up the day after teaching a lesson.  We have 60 min classes, but I rarely have time to give an exit slip and prefer instead to let students start their homework assignment with any time left at the end of class.

If I use them as "entrance slips" I have them on student desks prior to class starting or I hand them to students as they enter my room.  The slips are designed to only take 3-5 min to complete.  Students complete the slip while I walk around the room stamping homework.  There is also an answer key projected on the SMARTBoard with assignment answers so students begin correcting the assignment once they have handed in the exit slip.

One of the things I really like about using the exit slips is that I choose the questions to write.  I have found this is a great way to get at students misconceptions, like question 4 above.  Quite a few students forgot that lines are infinite so you can't have one longer than the other despite what the drawing looks like.  My students also liked having the slips as an additional review tool for assessments.

 I have used the exit slips to form small groups for mini lessons.  I've gotten very positive feedback from my students about working in a small group focusing on only what they need.  They really appreciate not having to go through concepts they've already shown they mastered via the exit slip.  The exit slips give me a much better handle what concepts each individual student has mastered and what they need more instruction on.

I find I am able to check the exit slips very quickly so I can do same day feedback if I have time.  In the picture above, I created a checklist of the skills the students did not get correct on the exit slip.  The squiggly lines mean that student mastered everything on the slip.  I am able to see trends in students and even classes.  This allows me to customize my instruction and small groups to meet the needs of each individual learner.

Entrance/Exit slips are a very powerful formative assessment tool that you can use as a teacher to get lots of information very quickly.  My ultimate goal is to create learning stations for the concepts I am assessing and then if students need more practice they can either get a mini lesson from me on it or they can work individually, in partners, or small groups to work through the learning station.

Do you use exit slips in your classroom?  If so, how do you use the data you collect to drive instruction?  If not, I highly recommend you start using them.  It will take some work up front to create the exit slips, but I promise they are well worth your time and effort.


  1. Great post! It can be difficult to be so organized like this, but it really pays off and it sounds like your student feedback really encourages you. This blog post is an inspiration to teachers who desire that organization in their lives!

  2. I've tried to implement the use of exit slips in my classroom, but as you said I rarely have time at the end of class to do this. I've never given thought to using it as a warm up the day after teaching a lesson. This makes a lot of sense because students get an opportunity to go home and get more familiar with the content on their own through homework or just looking over notes, then they can apply as soon as they get to class, while they are still fresh. Excellent recommendation that I will definitely try. It may take me a little time to organize a chart to show what skills the students have mastered and which skills they haven't mastered, but overall a great tool. Thanks!!!

    1. I was definitely finding not enough time at the end of class and as you said, I like to see what they understand after completing the homework assignment. I can plan my mini lessons from the entrance slips feedback.


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