8 Engaging Exit Tickets From Formative
The Classroom

8 Engaging Exit Tickets From Formative

Laura Lewis
May 20, 2024

Exit tickets are informal formative assessments given at the end of a class or lesson. They’re a quick way to help you find out if your students understood the material you covered so you can adapt instruction to meet students’ needs. Exit tickets can also help you find confusing parts of the lesson and opportunities for reteaching. In this article, we’re looking at the types of exit tickets you can create for students, sharing some of our favorite templates from the Formative Library, and answering some of the most frequently asked questions about using exit tickets in your classroom:

Exit ticket prompts you can use in your classroom

Educational leadership professors Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey list three types of exit tickets you can use in your classroom: prompts that document learning, emphasize the process of learning, and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. We also think there’s a fourth category: prompts that extend students’ learning. Here are examples of the different types of exit ticket prompts you may create for your students:

Document learning

Prompts that document learning help you assess what your students understand and remember from the lesson. They also encourage your students to apply what they learned to other lessons or transfer these ideas to real-world situations. Examples of questions for this type of exit ticket include:

  • Name one thing you learned today.

  • Share how you could use today's lesson in your everyday life.

  • Solve this new math problem using the area formula for a square.

Emphasize the process of learning

Prompts that emphasize the process of learning focus on how your students learn so you can pinpoint areas to differentiate instruction and support students in thinking metacognitively. They help you assess students’ background knowledge and learning abilities. They may answer questions like: “Did my students understand the lesson?” “Did they have the skills necessary to complete it?” or “Are there gaps in their knowledge or learning that prevent them from fully understanding the assignment?” Examples of questions for this type of exit ticket include:

  • Fill in the blank: In today's lesson, I didn't understand...

  • What's one question you still have about today's lesson?

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how well did you understand today's lesson?

Evaluate the effectiveness of instruction

Prompts that evaluate the effectiveness of instruction help you understand if your lesson delivery or teaching methods resonated with your students. Student responses to these questions can influence future instruction. Examples of questions for this type of exit ticket include:

  • Did you enjoy working in small groups today?

  • What is one thing you would change about today's lesson?

  • What part of the lesson helped you understand this topic the most?

Extend students’ learning

Prompts that extend learning give students a chance to ask questions that weren’t addressed in the lesson and support a growth mindset. These questions can help you gauge student interest, engagement, and excitement for the topics covered in class. They can also help spark students’ curiosity and encourage autonomy in their learning. Examples of questions for this type of exit ticket include:

  • What is one more thing you would like to learn about today's topic?

  • Fill in the blank: What surprised me the most in today's lesson was...

  • Fill in the blank: Please explain more about...

Tips for creating effective exit tickets

Want to get the most out of the exit tickets you create for your students? Check out these tips:

  • Set clear expectations: Tell students exactly what you want them to share with you and how you want them to share it in every exit ticket prompt.

  • Tie tickets to lessons: Make sure the question or task in the exit ticket ties to a skill or lesson objective. This can make it easier to interpret students’ responses.

  • Keep it short: Keep exit tickets direct and easy to understand. The grades don’t matter; assessing what students know and how effectively you taught the lesson does.

  • Make tickets engaging and relevant: Come up with new and interesting ways to collect information through exit tickets, such as varying the types of questions you ask or how students can respond.

  • Provide feedback: Respond to prompts where students want you to provide more information. Add clarity, reteach where necessary, and expand the lesson where students are interested.

  • Use the data: Use exit ticket data to inform future instruction and differentiate instruction where possible.

  • Collaborate on common assessments: Collaborate with fellow educators to create shared exit tickets and exchange insights.

8 engaging exit ticket templates from the Formative Library

With Formative’s shared library of teacher-created and Formative-team-created content, you can always find examples of engaging exit tickets to use or customize to fit any lesson across subject areas. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Lesson Reflection (General)

This exit ticket, created by our Formative staff, emphasizes the process of learning and includes two questions to help students of any grade level reflect on what they learned in a lesson. It assesses how students felt about their performance and the strategies they used while completing the lesson. It asks students to rate their understanding on a scale of 1 to 5 and share any questions they still have about the lesson.

2. Emoji Exit Ticket (General)

This exit ticket from Liliana Gutierrez to emphasize the process of learning for early-elementary students has two questions that use emojis to help students explain how they feel about completing a lesson. It’s a great assessment tool for students who are still learning to read and write, or learning English. By using emojis and a short response option, students can convey their feelings about a lesson, their performance, or the topic even if they’re still developing their advanced language skills.

3. Likes and Dislikes Frequency Scramble (World language)

This ninth-grade Spanish exit ticket from Señora Wiesner to document learning contains four short answer responses that encourage students to rearrange simple sentences to express likes and dislikes correctly. This is a great quick check to see if students understand sentence construction in Spanish. With the data you collect from this type of exit ticket, you can determine if your students are ready to move on and learn about more complex sentence construction or if you need to reteach this skill.

4. Element, Compound, and Mixture (Science)

This science exit ticket from Rachel Piehler to document learning has five questions that ask students to identify an element, compound, or mixture from an image. This exit ticket uses both textual and audio components for each question and answer choice, giving students the option of reading the content themselves or having it read to them. It helps assess not just if students understand what these three science terms mean, but if they can match each term correctly to a visual representation.

5. System of Inequalities Exit Ticket (Math)

This exit ticket from Amber Iler. to document learning and emphasize the process of learning for eighth- through tenth-grade math students has four questions. Students look at systems of inequalities to understand how they work. The exit ticket contains two multiple-selection questions, a free response, and one multiple-choice question.

It uses a word problem and a graph to make sure students understand how to find and solve systems of inequalities in different situations. The last question asks students to rate their understanding and confidence in mastering the lesson to let you know if they need more practice before moving to the next math concept.

6. Point of View Exit Ticket (ELA)

This exit ticket from John Gergely for sixth-grade ELA students has three questions that assess each of Fisher and Frey’s three types of exit ticket prompts through short-answer questions. It asks students what they learned, what they still have questions about, and something they want to learn more about. All three questions provide you with information to learn where to adjust your lesson and instructional practices.

7. Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson (Social Studies)

This exit ticket from Shannon Eldridge to document learning for eleventh-grade social studies students has four questions that help students show their understanding of three presidents and their policies and reforms. Keeping these facts straight, especially when the topics slightly overlap, isn’t easy. The exit ticket uses matching questions to help students keep the information straight in their heads. It also lets you know which presidents and policies students need to review to make the right connections.

8. Exploring the Letter A (ELA)

This exit ticket from Kara Lyons, created to document learning for first-grade ELA, has three questions to assess phonics skills related to the letter A. It uses audio, video, and image content for the instructions, questions, and answers so students of all reading abilities can complete the assignment. It uses a variety of question types like audio response, drawing, and matching to help students show what they know.

FAQs about exit tickets

Want to know more about the basics of exit tickets? Browse the answers to some of these frequently asked questions:

Do exit tickets have other names?

Exit ticket is a commonly used phrase to describe an informal end-of-lesson assessment, some educators may use synonyms like:

  • Exit slips

  • Closing tickets

  • Reflections

  • Lesson checkouts

  • Wrap-up tasks

When should you use exit tickets?

As the name suggests, exit tickets are a good after-reading or after-learning activity. They help you see what your students learned before you “exit” the lesson. They also let you know if you need to go back and review or reteach any of the information. 

Another way to use exit tickets is to check for understanding at natural breaks throughout the school day. For example, if you wrap up instruction before lunch at the same time each day, try a lunch exit ticket before students leave the room. This can encourage them to recap what they’ve learned before they move on with their day.

How often should you use exit tickets?

You can use exit tickets as often as you like in your classes as long as you plan how to use them effectively and review the results regularly. Plan and craft your exit ticket prompts when you develop your lesson plans. Then choose a cadence that works for your class, like daily, weekly, or bi-weekly.

Why should you use exit tickets?

Exit tickets provide valuable feedback about what information your students retain and the effectiveness of your instruction. Some of the best reasons to use exit tickets include:

  • Getting quick, actionable feedback about how your lesson went over with students.

  • Letting you measure students’ comprehension of a topic in the moment, right after learning.

  • Verifying that students can use a skill, solve a problem, or answer specific comprehension questions based on your lessons.

  • Having students reflect on what they’ve learned.

  • Giving students the chance to express their thoughts, questions, or opinions on new information.

  • Teaching students critical thinking skills.

What question types can you use when making exit tickets?

The way you present the information for your exit tickets can vary. You don’t have to use short answers or fill in the blank for every question. Some of the question types you can use to collect information from your students include:

  • Short answer responses

  • Fill-in-the-blank questions

  • True or false questions

  • Multiple choice questions

  • Spot the error problems using Hot Text

  • Matching responses

  • Numeric responses

  • Inline choice for completing equations

Can you use exit tickets with any class size?

You can use exit tickets with any class size or group of students. They’re great assessments for after whole-class lessons, small group breakouts, or individual assignments. Students can respond together in small group assignments or on their own for whole-class lessons or individual assignments.

Can you use exit tickets for any subject?

You can create exit tickets for any class or subject. Use generic exit ticket responses across classes or make them more specific to fit the lesson or subject. For example, you can check students’ knowledge of ELA literacy skills, historical information in social studies, formulas in math, or key terms in science.

How can you make exit tickets more engaging for students?

Exit tickets are supposed to be quick and low-stakes, but doing the same thing repeatedly could get monotonous for students. Keep them engaged and enthusiastic about completing exit tickets and spice them up with themes or new activities to collect their responses. You can try:

  • Social exit tickets: Turn your exit tickets into mock social posts like Instagram grids, tweets, or TikTok videos.

  • Emoji reactions: Pose an exit prompt and have students respond with emojis and explain why they chose that emoji.

  • Tip jar: Have students write tips to each other to help them better understand the lesson.

  • Polls: Try a poll as a pulse check rather than having an open-ended response for students to answer.

  • Two truths and a lie: Have students write two things covered in the lesson and make up a lie that sounds like it could have been part of the lesson but wasn’t. Extend the activity by reading some of the responses and having the class guess the lie.

How do you use exit tickets in class?

Using exit tickets in class is easy! At the end of a lesson, share the exit ticket prompt and ask students to respond. You can use slips of paper, index cards, sticky notes, or a dedicated notebook for each student to collect responses. You can also ask students to respond orally and record the responses yourself. Use the information from student responses to adjust your future teaching and lesson plans, and to reteach and clarify information from the lesson.

For easier grading, trend mapping, and data collection, use a digital tool like Formative to write, distribute, collect, grade, and analyze your exit tickets. Formative also lets you provide exit tickets in a variety of formats to differentiate instruction. Use different question types like multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, drawing, audio or video response, and many more to collect information in a way that works for all your students.

With Formative’s data insights, you can review exit ticket data for individual students, across a class, or across all classes you teach. This allows you to get more real-time feedback to adjust instruction accordingly in the moment and meet your students where they’re at.

Create your first exit ticket with Formative

Visit the Formative Library to get access to free pre-made content developed by educators like you. Use each template as-is or customize it to fit your students and instructional needs. Use filters to find just exit tickets. You can also sort content by:

  • Subject

  • Grade level

  • Language

  • Public or internal school or district library

If there isn’t a pre-made exit ticket that fits your needs, create your own! Log into your Formative account and choose how you want to make your exit ticket. You can create a brand new formative, import content from Google, or enhance a .PDF or .Doc that already exists.

Don’t have a Formative account yet? Sign up for your Formative Bronze account to start creating digital exit tickets and tracking student progress today!

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