Exit Cards | Facing History & Ourselves
A person holds a glass door open with a backpack over one shoulder.

Exit Cards

Students share how they are feeling, what their needs are, and what goals they’d like to set in an exit card.


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At a Glance

activity copy


English — US


  • Advisory
  • Civics & Citizenship
  • English & Language Arts
  • History
  • Social Studies


  • Culture & Identity
  • Equity & Inclusion


About This Activity

This routine provides an opportunity for students to share how they are feeling, reflect on their performance in class, communicate their needs, and set academic and personal goals. When teachers follow up one-on-one to discuss exit card responses with their students, they will foster trust and help students who are struggling academically or emotionally to feel heard and valued.

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Lesson Plans

Steps for Implementation

The 3-2-1 and S-I-T: Surprising, Interesting, Troubling teaching strategies work well for exit card responses. You could also adapt the Emoji Emotions opening routine for this closing routine by offering five emoticons for students to choose from to express how they are feeling about their understanding, participation, or overall well-being. 1  Here are a few other prompts you might consider for exit cards:

  • What Do You Need? 
    • What is something I can do as your teacher to support you in this class? 
    • What is something other students can do to support you in this class? 
  • Don’t Misunderstand Me
    • One misunderstanding someone might have about me is . . .
    • But really, the truth about me is . . .
  • Where Am I?
    • Today I accomplished . . . , and you can see this by . . .
    • I still need to . . .
    • My next steps are . . .
  • Works for Me!
    • This week we used the following strategies . . .
    • These strategies worked best for me because . . .
  • 1Adapted from Differentiation in Middle and High School: Strategies to Engage All Learners by Kristina Doubet and Jessica Hockett (ACSD, 2015).

Create exit card handouts or project the prompt and distribute index cards for students to record their responses. Regardless of the format, it is important that students’ ideas are valued and heard. Use the exit card responses to inform future planning and communication with individual students.


Create exit cards for remote learning using Google Forms, Google Docs, Padlet, or Flipgrid. When students are learning from home, exit cards can help teachers build in regular check-ins so students can share what they are feeling, raise technology issues, get support with time management, and connect privately with their teachers. It is important that students’ ideas are valued and heard. Use their responses to inform future planning and one-on-one communication with students.

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