Exit Cards

Rationale

Exit cards require students to respond to questions or prompts on a piece of paper that they will pass in to you before they leave class. These cards provide you with immediate information that you can use to assess students’ understanding, monitor their questions, or gather feedback on your teaching. For students, exit cards serve as a content review at the end of a daily lesson and enhance their metacognitive skills.

Procedure

  1. Prepare
    Students should have a pencil and paper. Teachers can prepare half-slips of paper with typed questions or write questions on the board for students to answer.
  2. Students Respond to Prompt
    Often, teachers have students complete exit cards during the final five minutes of the class period. Since exit cards must be turned in before students leave class, it is best if the prompts are specific and brief. They typically refer directly to the content that was studied, but they can also be general in nature, such as the following:
    • List three things you learned in class today.
    • What questions, ideas, and feelings did this lesson raise for you?
    • What was your favorite moment of class? Why? What was your least favorite part of class? Why?
    • Evaluate your participation in class today. What did you do well? What would you like to do differently next time?
    • Exit cards can be structured using the 3-2-1 format, as well. Depending on the purpose for having students complete exit cards, teachers may have students complete them anonymously.
  3. Reinforce Accountability
    Students may leave class when they turn in an exit card to the teacher.

Variations

  • Share the Results of Exit Cards: It is often appropriate to share your findings from the exit cards with students at the beginning of the next lesson. For example, you could mention that many students asked similar questions, so you will make sure to address these questions in subsequent lessons. Sometimes teachers type up the results of the exit cards (without names) and have students respond to these comments as a warm-up during the next lesson. Letting students know that you have read their ideas and have used them to inform your teaching decisions helps build a classroom culture of respect and trust.

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