Exit tickets are my faaaavorite assessment. They give me important insights into student learning, they satisfy the need for writing and data from my admin, and, most importantly, they don’t take up too much of my time to teach and then later to grade.
Setting Up Exit Tickets
When you set up your exit tickets, you’ll want to choose 1-3 questions or items you would like to assess. Remember, this is a quick snapshot assessment, not a full quiz or test! Besides, you don’t want to create extra grading for yourself. Short assessments will cut down on grading time and give you more of your free time back.
These questions can be multiple choice, check offs, or short answers. I like short answers because my admin wants to see my students writing and it gives me a better idea of how I can improve my own teaching.
Choose Your Format
I have done exit slips two ways digital via Google forms and on traditional paper.
Pros of digital exit slips:
- Paperless – I dislike carrying tons and tons of papers around.
- Easy Grading – if you use Google forms, some answers can be auto graded. Students can also get their grades back right away.
Cons of digital exit slips:
- Time consuming – sometimes it can take a while for students to safely put down their instruments and take out their laptops or devices to complete. Every minute of high school band rehearsal is like liquid gold so sometimes it can be wasteful for students to get their devices out.
- Tech Issues – tech issues are unavoidable. I taught at a 1:1 school with laptops and the internet seemed unpredictable at times.
Pros of paper exit slips:
- Quick to hand out – It’s easy to use paper. Students already have pencils out and these slips can be handed out in a minute.
- Easier to ensure there’s no cheating – it is easier for students to look up answers on their devices.
Cons of paper exit slips:
- Paper waste – these slips will likely end up in the trash bin at some point. Plus they can weigh your teacher bag down.
- Easier to lose – with all the responsibilities of a band director, it can be easy to lose paper sometimes. Having everything online guarantees that it won’t be lost in a see of papers on your desk.
When to Use Exit Tickets
During marching band season, I record half time performances and we would watch some of them in class. I would have students write a quick reflection on one or two elements of the show.
After rehearsals, I would have students reflect on how the rehearsal went. This one is especially good if students are becoming demotivated or not behaving ideally.
At the end of the year, it’s great to have students reflect on accomplishments throughout the year and to set up goals for the summer and next year.
After performing a concert, we always do a little reflecting on how things went and what we could do better for next time.
Bonus: Grades in the Gradebook
Sometimes I found it difficult to make sure there were enough grades in the gradebook. After all, a performance based class is mostly about performing unlike a math class where students are writing every day. Exit tickets are a quick and easy way to get grades in my gradebook.