Exit Tickets: Let’s Get Started

So you're on board with exit tickets, what now?

So you’re on board with exit tickets, what now?

Kattie: Remember those times my students got 0/10 questions right?

Sheri: Yes, and I thought I taught it right…but they didn’t get it.

Kattie: I kept asking myself why didn’t they get it? maybe it’s not why…

Sheri: I think it’s more about knowing why NOW rather than months later.

So you’re on board with exit tickets. You’re excited. You’re going to find out what your students know at the end of each class. You’re going to hold them accountable for each lesson. It’s going to revolutionize the way you teach and reteach your class. It’s going to be awesome, right?  So let’s get started.

Determine your end game

What do you want to know from your students? Maybe you put them into differentiated groups for the first time and want to know how well it worked. Or maybe it’s more straight forward like, “what are the steps of FOIL?”  Whatever it is, figure out your essential question is and teach to the ticket:

For example, if you’re assessing students’ ability to describe a character’s motivation using evidence from a story, make sure you teach what motivation means, how to determine it, and how to support it with evidence.

— Education Week TEACHER

Decide what you want to know

You want to come up with a way to assess your students’ learning. If you’re stuck, then there are plenty of ideas on the web. Plenty. Some of them are called closure activities.


After you’ve got your question, you’ve got your students, and you’ve got 10 minutes left in class, it’s showtime. You can go for the “everyone take out a scrap piece of paper and do this problem on the board” or “write your answer on a post it note and stick it to the poster before you leave.”


Afterwards, you’re probably sitting at your desk with a pile of slips in front of you, unless you’ve gone digital. You can either go the “got it”/”don’t got it” route of sorting it into two piles, with the respective names. You can even get crazy with using more in-depth categories like (can teach it, medium-high, medium-low, doesn’t get it at all) and pair students off the next day depending on their understanding level, also known as differentiation groups.

Going digital

Here at Gradeable, we recommend digitizing your results. Just take that pile of answers and scan those babies in. With tools like Gradeable, you can keep student answers on file in a digital portfolio, grade them anywhere, and even have them auto-graded. The digital portfolio is huge: it gives you the ability to compare results within a classroom, across the grade, and even from year to year.

Let it be your guide

Of the many benefits of exit tickets, my favorite is that it immediately guides better teaching. I read a great example over the weekend in the book Driven by Data: teaching without data is like not being able to see the score in a tight basketball game. You don’t know whether you should drive hard to the basket or milk the clock. Exit tickets help you find out what students don’t know and focus on that. Or you find out that they mastered something and move on, or even reward them with something interesting or exciting. Using this “good data” is checking that scoreboard.

Instead of giving out star stickers everyday, why not let students know where they stand?  You’ll know exactly what to teach and get the satisfaction of meeting your students exactly where they are to drive better learning.

Here’s what an exit ticket could look like on Gradeable…

exit ticket online

Like what you see? Join us at www.gradeable.com to get started. 

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