All too often, teachers spend hours designing quality lessons that they believe will lead to a wonderful learning experience for all students in their classes. However, with more classrooms becoming increasingly diverse in student needs, teachers sometimes feel overwhelmed in planning for every possible scenario--English language learners at all levels of learning the language, students with special learning needs, native speakers of English with weak educational backgrounds, students from economically disadvantaged home settings, etc.
So within such a setting, what can teachers do to ensure that the vast majority of students master the major concepts of the lesson? In two words: EXIT SLIPS. This tool provides quick assessments of how well each student understood the lesson. Since they are ungraded, students do not stress over them. When teachers explain that this tool will help identify students who struggle so that the teacher can devise additional instructional tools to help them, students welcome them. After all, if they do well, their self-confidence soars. If they don't do well, they know that the teacher will help them grasp the lesson.
Here are some video clips on teachers using these tools to guide their instruction. The first one is on the use of exit slips in a high school math classroom. The second one demonstrates their use in a 3rd grade classroom.
Remember that exit slips are good for all grade levels and in all content areas. Use them and watch student academic performance improve dramatically!
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