Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Exit Slips in the Primary Classroom

If you're not familiar with the Teaching Channel, I strongly encourage you to pop over and check out the variety of classroom videos offered there.  I have found so many of the videos to be informative on many topics, and most recently on assessment.  As professional teachers, we know all about assessment, we also have strong opinions about assessment.  This post will not touch on "high stakes" testing, which effects so many of us in these times of strong teacher accountability and APPR.  Rather, this post will focus on formative assessment, which I find to be the most useful.  Formative assessment is the ongoing type of assessment that "informs instruction".  This year, in my first grade classroom, I started using exit tickets at the end of my math block as a form of formative assessment.  My math block runs something like this: when I am introducing a new concept or skill, I will spend 20-30 minutes teaching the concept.  Then I will assign math stations and math small groups for the remaining 30-40 minutes.  I meet with a small group of students while the remaining students work in partner groups on a math station activity.  At the end of math block we spend about 10 minutes sharing what we worked on in our partner groups.  This sharing time has become a sacred aspect of both my literacy stations and my math stations, and my students cannot wait to share after stations.  After students have had a chance to share, I pass out the exit slip, which I call "the ticket out of math".  Students must complete the exit slip independently.  For first grade, my exit slips are just a half sheet of paper, and typically have one or two questions which relate to the skill I have focused on for the whole group lesson.  At the bottom of the exit slip students have a chance to evaluate themselves on how they worked during their station partner activity time.  I don't use exit slips every single day, I typically use them for the first 2-3 days after I have introduced a new concept.  These exit slips are very informative.  I can easily see who "gets it" and who really doesn't understand the concept.  Here are a few exit slips I have used, covering a couple of different topics.  Do you use exit slips in your primary classroom?