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Exit tickets as effective Assessment for Learning in Mathematics

Read about implementing this effective strategy...

Exit tickets are a quick, easy and effective strategy for Assessment for Learning at the end of a lesson. A question relating to the lesson content is put on the board or on the exit ticket itself, and the students work independently to complete the question. The teacher then collects in the exit tickets to review the learning of each pupil in order to inform their future planning and teaching of said content.

Exit tickets can be formatted in different ways, as shown on the Year 7 exit ticket about co-ordinates. A printed ticket may just include a question, or can also have an added section where the pupils can relay their confidence in the topic to the teacher. A question can also be displayed on the board and each pupil given a post-it note; this is especially useful as it is less planning and printing for teachers who will no doubt have a pack of post its on the desk ready to use!


The main benefits of exit tickets

  • Instant feedback to inform future planning

The main advantage of exit tickets is the quick and instantaneous feedback the teacher gains. It is not a case of waiting till marking an end of unit test to realise that a pupil has not understood a certain concept. Instead, any pupils who have not fully grasped an idea can be identified for the teacher to make appropriate provisions, or it may be the case that the class as a whole need more work on said topic.

  • Organise intervention

If there are only a few pupils who have been identified as needing extra support from the exit tickets, the teacher can quickly put an intervention method in place so that these pupils are not at a disadvantage to the rest of the class as they continue to learn the new content. Again, it is much more beneficial to put these interventions in place as the topic is being taught, opposed to after the topic is finished and the class are ready to move on to the next unit of work.

  • Misconceptions or silly mistake?

A pupil’s answer on an exit ticket quickly flags up whether there is a misconception about a topic or they’ve just made a silly mistake; one can be quickly corrected and rectified by the pupil, the other needs more solid intervention put into place. On the post-it note exit ticket shown, a pupil had simply put the wrong units (cm rather than %) on the end of her answer but had provided all of the correct mathematical working; quick verbal feedback from the teacher whilst handing back the tickets meant the pupil could quickly correct her mistake.

On the other hand, if there is a clear misconception by a good handful of pupils (as seen on the exit tickets below – thinking a negative scale factor will make a shape smaller), further time in lesson going over the concept as a class is more effective opposed to planning several intervention groups.

  • Provide reflection for students

Exit tickets are not only useful for teachers, but they also allow students to reflect on what they have or haven’t understood, rather than simply packing away at the end of the lesson and coming back to the topic during revision time and hoping that the idea will have magically clicked!