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Math Exit Tickets: Everything Elementary Teachers Need to Know

Before I go into detail about math exit tickets and how to use them in your classroom, let me share my journey and how I got here.

Throughout the school year, I used progress monitoring assessments to collect and track data on my students’ progress towards proficiency with each standard. However, as the end of the year rolled around and state testing was penciled in on my calendar, I wanted to make sure I was able to target my students that may need extra support in Guided Math groups during our Guided Math Workshop. I also wanted a tool to do a quick check for understanding so I had recent and reliable documentation for report cards. 

girl smiling at her teacher

It was important to me that the process was both accurate and efficient since there were so many standards to check! As a result, I developed math exit tickets (printable and digital). These math quick check assessments turned out to be a total game changer in my third grade classroom! So much so that I created them for first, second, fourth, and fifth grade teachers, too!

This blog post will offer tons of exit ticket ideas and answer the following questions:

  • What is an exit ticket in math?
  • What type of assessment is an exit ticket?
  • Are math exit tickets effective?
  • How long should an exit ticket be?
  • How do you make an exit ticket?
  • What are some examples of math exit tickets?
  • Should I grade exit tickets?
  • How do I use exit tickets?
example of a math exit slip template in a 3rd grade classroom

What is an Exit Ticket in Math?

A math exit ticket is a type of assessment that is given at the end of the math block or guided math group meeting. Teachers use them to quickly assess students’ understanding so that they can use the information to inform their instruction. Exit tickets are also commonly called quick checks and exit slips.

What Type of Assessment is an Exit Ticket?

An exit ticket is a formative assessment, which is also commonly referred to as an informal assessment. These types of assessments are used to quickly and efficiently collect and analyze data so that the teacher can deliver appropriate instruction to their students.

Are Exit Tickets Effective?

Math exit tickets are a highly effective assessment tool for the classroom. They are great for quickly assessing student understanding and using the information to plan and deliver appropriate instruction based on your students’ needs.

How Long Should an Exit Ticket be?

An exit ticket should be no more than one page long and take students no more than 3-5 minutes to complete.

How Do You Make an Exit Ticket?

Here are the 5 steps for making a math exit ticket:

  1. Look at your lesson objective(s) for your upcoming math lesson.
  2. Create 1-5 questions based on the lesson objective.
  3. Design a printable exit ticket template (also known as an exit slip template).
  4. Insert the questions into the exit template.
  5. Print and make copies of the exit ticket.
math exit slips for 2nd grade

Exit Ticket Examples for Math

Here are math exit ticket examples for each grade level:

  1. First Grade Printable and Digital Math Exit Tickets
  2. Second Grade Printable and Digital Math Exit Tickets
  3. Third Grade Printable and Digital Math Exit Tickets
  4. Fourth Grade Printable and Digital Math Exit Tickets
  5. Fifth Grade Printable and Digital Math Exit Tickets
4th grade math exit ticket printable activities

Should I Grade Exit Tickets?

Math exit tickets are formative assessments, so they should not be formally graded. Instead, you should check them and use them to inform your math instruction and form guided math groups. They can help you deliver data-driven instruction, so you meet the range of needs of your diverse learners.

3rd and 4th grade students taking math quick check assessments

How to Use Exit tickets in the Classroom

Follow these 3 steps for prepping, implementing, and analyzing your math quick checks:

1. Prep the Math Exit Slips

  1. Print all of your exit tickets. Perhaps consider storing an extra copy of them in an assessment binder or just keep it as a digital file on your computer.
  2. Make copies. Consider copying each domain (e.g. operations & algebraic thinking) onto a different color paper to increase organization.
  3. Prep the exit tickets as needed. You may need to cut the assessment pages into strips. In this case, gather all of the copies of each assessment together in a pile and cut them using a paper cutter. Use a paperclip to hold each set together.
  4. Write your students’ names on a scoring sheet or your grade book and gather a red, green, and yellow marker.

digital math exit slip quick check assessments

2. Administer the Formative Assessment

There are 2 ways you can do this (pick one):

  1. Administer the assessments to the entire class at once. The benefit of this way is that it is time efficient. It should take less than 5 minutes! Perhaps consider giving it as an exit ticket at the end of your math block before transitioning to the next lesson or as a quick morning work task.
  2. Give the assessments in a small guided math group. The benefit of this way is that you can watch the students while they solve the problem and collect really meaningful data in addition to whether or not they got the problems correct. You can take notes and measure how long they take on it, how confidently they approach the task, and what strategies they use.

3. Analyze the Math Exit Slips

  1. Do a quick sort after the entire class takes the assessment.  Specifically, look at each paper to check the accuracy and sort them into 2 piles: 100% correct pile and 1 or more wrong.
  2. Take the 100% correct pile and put a “check plus” onto the paper and use a green marker to record a check on a class score sheet.
  3. Go through the papers that had errors, circle the mistakes, and analyze the results for misconceptions. If a child had one wrong, record a yellow check on a scoresheet. If a child had 2 or 3 wrong, put a red check on the scoresheet. This “stoplight” method of recording allows you to see at a glance both how each student performed as well as the overall understanding of the class on each standard.
  4. Use the results to determine which standards should be retaught in a whole class mini lesson format, small group instruction format, or one-on-one intervention format.

Try a Collection of our Math Resources for Free!

We hope this information about math exit tickets is helpful and would love for you to try these math resources with your students. They offer elementary students opportunities to practice grade level concepts and skills in fun and engaging ways. You can download worksheets specific to your grade level (along with lots of other math freebies) in our free printable math resources bundle using this link: free printable math activities for elementary teachers.

Check out these other math resources!

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