At the end of a lesson, how do you know what your students have learned? Do you give an assignment for every lesson? Do you ask each student a question individually? Do you have group discussions? Do you ever bother to ask your students what THEY thought of a lesson?
Once you've evaluated, what do you do with the information you've gathered? Do you just jot down a grade based on how well the students kept up? Do you modify the next lesson based on how far your students have come? Do you ask yourself if your approach is effective and consider making minor changes to the next days' plans? Hopefully your answer is "ABSOLUTELY!" But if it's not, don't be alarmed, you're not alone!
I think a lot of teachers get in a habit of making a plan (and an awesome one at that!), and plugging through those plans, hoping their kiddos get the concept by the end of the lesson or unit. But are we really meeting student needs?
Exit tickets are one simple way to evaluate an individual lesson. They are low-pressure for the student and allow them to give honest feedback on the classroom experience they just had. You can ensure that your students feel free to be honest by not requiring a name. This way, they can tell you candidly if they have no clue what just happened, if they thought the lesson was only worth 2 stars, etc.
Once you have this information, you can tweak your next lesson accordingly. Did 70% of your students totally miss the point? Did MOST of your students decide they were confident and ready to move on? Use the information to guide your planning. Review a particular point in the next lesson, change your approach, pull small groups for extra help, etc.
Another great thing about exit tickets is they are quick and easy! They'll take a few minutes at the end of class. Your students can hand them to you or drop them in a basket as their ticket out the door. They are simple to fill out, but provide a plethora of information.
Here are some other tips for using Exit Tickets in the Classroom.
Exit tickets are super easy to make. You don't even need anything fancy! You can just jot a question on the board & let your students scribble their answers on a corner of notebook paper. VOILA!
Or you can grab my Exit Ticket Pack for only $1 in my store! This pack includes exit tickets with six different questions, plus a blank ticket to add your own questions! It also includes the How To pages you see above.
Let me know what you think!