Skip to main content
Student is filling out an exit slip on their iPad

Reading and Writing Strategies

Exit Slips

Are you looking for a low-key way to assess what students have learned? Exit slips give you insight into how students are making sense of what they are learning and where you might need to adjust your instruction.

The Exit-Slip strategy requires students to write responses to questions you pose at the end of class. Exit Slips help students reflect on what they have learned and express what or how they are thinking about the new information. Exit Slips easily incorporate writing into your content area classroom and require students to think critically.

3 categories of exit slips

According to Fisher and Frey (2004), there are three categories of exit slips that teachers might employ.

1. Prompts that document learning 

  • Write one thing you learned today.
  • Discuss how today’s lesson could be used in the real world.)

2. Prompts that emphasize the process of learning 

  • I didn’t understand…
  • Write one question you have about today’s lesson.

3. Prompts to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction 

  • Did you enjoy working in small groups today?

Other exit prompts include

  • I would like to learn more about….
  • Please explain more about…
  • The most important thing I learned today is…
  • The thing that surprised me the most today was… 
  • I wish…

Why use exit slips?

Exit Slips are great because they take just a few minutes and provide you with an informal measure of how well your students have understood a topic or lesson. They are a low-key way for all students to share their understanding before leaving your class and they provide you with actionable information on what students have learned and where you might need to tweak your instruction. 

Let’s listen as a middle school teacher discusses why and how she uses exit slips with her students.

How to create and use them

  1. At the end of your lesson or five minutes before the end of class, ask students to respond to a prompt you pose to the class.
  2. It’s a good idea to have your prompt written down either on the exit slip you hand out or on the board so students can refer back to it as they respond..
  3. As students leave your room they should turn in their exit slips to you or in a predetermined bin in your classroom.
  4. Later, review the exit slips to determine how you may need to alter your instruction to better meet the needs of all your students and to see what students have learned.

Strategy in action

Let’s watch how one high school in Pennsylvania is using exit slips/tickets to better understand what their students are learning and how the exit slip data is used to tweak their instruction. 

Tips for success

  1. You can use and collect exit slips digitally (e.g., Padlet, Flipgrid, Google Doc) or hand them out in class to be completed.
  2. They don’t have to be fancy. You can use a slip of paper of sticky note for students to record their ideas if you’ve written your prompt on the board.
  3. Exit slips can be collected and used as part of an assessment portfolio for each student.