Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Easy Formative Assessments

We all know that data drives instruction. As much as we may hate marking papers and giving tests, the only real way to know if our students are getting it, is to see if they can do it. It is sometimes not enough to wait a week or sometimes two weeks to test a skill. Primarily because some skills build upon others and if we wait until the weekly test or the unit assessment, we lose valuable time to catch and repair gaps in understanding. This is why I use exit slips. I plan every lesson around my mastery objective, or measurable goal (i.e. The students will list two reasons why the Articles of Confederation did not unify the states). The objective highlights what I want them to be able to do by the end of the lesson. I use this formative assessments as a guide when planning my workshop activity for the next day. This works really well when checking comprehension after reading a short story. I also use exit slips often in math. I sometimes use this to group students and/or assign peer tutors.  I definitely find them helpful when differentiating instruction. After marking the exit slips they are returned to the students (usually the next day) and we discuss the answer(s) together. This only takes about 7 minutes. Best of all, when meeting with parents, intervention team members, and/or the special eduction teacher (I have an inclusion class this year),  the exit slips provide me with valuable ongoing documentation allowing me to track a students progress; they help me to pinpoint areas of strengths and weaknesses. When updating parents on a child's progress, you need sufficient data. Exit slips are great for mini conferences (with both the student and/or the parent).  Here is a simple exit slip that I use in my classroom. I keep a stack of them on my desk so that when I am planning my lessons for the week, I can just write the question/problem as I go. Do you use exit slips in your class? If so, how do you use them? Feel free to share your link below.

Ms. Wainwright : )

click HERE to download


  1. Great! I love how it becomes a permanent record of the students' learning.

    Teaching in Room 6

  2. I use a 3-2-1 exit slip with my 6th graders. It asks for 3 things they learned or already knew about the indicator discussed, 2 ways they contributed in class (following expectations, asking/answering questions, volunteering to help, etc.), and 1 question they still have. Students also rate their effort in class that day. Options for this include "Awesome," "So-So," and "Not Good."
    I found mine online somewhere. I am planning to change the "Not Good" option for the effort self-assessment part to "Needs Work" or something... Not good seems so negative, I think.