Formative Assessment – Revisiting the Exit Ticket

It gives me great joy to see teachers so passionate about formative assessment and its ability to measure their students’ progress that they blog about it. Kimberlee Fulbright recently shared a post at her blog, iTeach Fifth, titled Formative Assessment – Before you go, “tweet” what you know – that highlighted exit tickets.

Although I always formatively assess, I would like something tangible from time to time to show parents… this week I want to focus on Exit Tickets. I have asked higher-order questions at the end of lessons to check for understanding or have given a sample skill for students to perform, but I want to know what they are thinking as well – to see if they know whether or not they get it! Here is a little exit ticket I will be using this week: I tried to incorporate hash tags and twitter.

Exit Sign

Kimberlee’s use of hashtags and Twitter demonstrates how easy it is to use technology to support formative assessment and provide parents a little insight into student thinking as well.

The exit ticket is simply a question that is posed to all students prior to class ending. Students write their answer on a card or piece of paper and hand it in as they exit. This formative assessment technique engages all students and provides the all-important evidence of student learning for the teacher.

The exit ticket is a great in class assessment tool that can also help plan instruction. Teachers gain understanding of who knows what and if certain topics need additional instruction time — something that can be lost when one or two consistent hand-raisers suggest learning proficiency for the entire classroom.

We’ve also heard of teachers that group students in teams the next day based on their answers, with one of the students in each team having a good understanding of the solution or answer. This empowers students to help each other and gives them varied perspective on possible alternative answers. This self-regulation of learning can lead to student performance improvements, something we’ve blogged about before.

There are many formative assessment strategies and techniques that can provide teachers with minute-by-minute evidence of student learning and comprehension, and many of them are easy and cheap to implement. One of our blogs earlier this summer highlighted 22 easy formative assessment techniques that teachers can use. Be sure to check it out, and be sure check out Kimberlee’s blog as well. As always, we’d love to hear what works for you in your classroom, so drop a comment below.