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.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Currently March

I am joining Farley for her  March Currently post.  It's a great way to connect with lots of awesome teacher bloggers and fun to see what everyone is up to.  Join the fun!

Listening:  My husband and I are on our annual weekend getaway to Madison.  My parents have the boys for the weekend so we are chaos free! Greg had to go down to his company meeting so I am chilling in the hotel room right now typing up this post.  Our hotel room is located on a busy road and our room faces the road so I can hear the sound of cars whizzing by.

Loving:  Greg surprised me yesterday that he had made dinner reservations at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Middleton.  We had the most delicious meal last night.  My favorite is their Spicy Lobster appetizer.  OMG is was amazing.  The whole dinner was phenomenal and we had the nicest, sweetest waiter.  It was and epic date night for sure.  After dinner we met up with one of Greg's coworkers and his wife and went out for drinks.  It was super fun to hang out with them again.

Thinking:  I'm trying to decide what I want to do with a free Saturday in Madison all by myself!  The possibilities are endless.  I can't believe I do not have to referee arguments and fights over who is sitting on what couch and then attend three different basketball games like I do every Saturday.  My first order of business is to decide Panera or Starbucks for breakfast.  A blissful day awaits me for sure!

Wanting:  I am really excited for my Amazon order to arrive.  I bought my oldest a new Otterbox for his bday (which was last month) and a 10 pack of thin Mr. Sketch markers, I did a blog post about all the books that were in my cart and I ordered ALL of them!  I already got my Teach Like a Pirate book, the rest of the order is coming Tuesday.  I will have plenty of reading material for our Spring Break trip to FL.

Needing:  I need to get over the fact that it is March 2nd and Spring Break is now less than four weeks away.  We told the boys the other night that we are going to FL and they went wild.  Cooper (my 7 yo) asked right away if we are going to Disney.  We will be staying with Greg's parents in the Villages and are thinking we will do a day trip to the Magic Kingdon.  I'm not a huge fan of  Disney (hate crowds), but I would like the boys to at least get to experience it.  We are going to be so busy with BB and LAX until we leave I am getting anxious just thinking about it.  If anyone has advice for a day trip to Disney or what to do/see near the Villages, let me know.  Also if anyone lives near the Villages and wants to meet up for a lunch or dinner let me know.

Like:  Sparkles.  I love anything sparkly or glittery, nail polish, make-up, clothes, headbands, shoes, you name it , I love sparkles.  I had a math class a few years ago that had a very challenging student (who I came to love) and when things would get crazy, I would say "sparkles' and smile.  It became our class inside joke and when I see those kids now (they are frosh) they still always mention sparkles!

Love:  Starbucks, that's self explanatory.  My favorites winter drink is peppermint soy mocha no whip. I also love their passion iced tea lemonade unsweetened.  I have found a way to replicate that drink and I drink it all the time year round.  If I forget to make a batch of the tea and have to go to school without my passion iced tea lemonade I know my day is going to be long and boring drinking plain old water.

Hate:  Stupidity.  I mean the kind where people pretend they don't know something so they can get out of work or avoid a conflict.  I have zero tolerance for it.