Using Exit Tickets to Support Reflection in the Primary Classroom

Exit tickets are a great informal assessment tool.  Typically students respond to a question at the end of a lesson. The students' responses are helpful in determining the various levels of understanding among the students. They are a quick and easy way to identify and meet your students' needs.

Using exit tickets to assess specific skills is great, but I really like using them to help students develop the skill of reflective thinking.

exit tickets freebie primary classroom

As teachers, we are encouraged to reflect on our teaching.  We focus on the lessons that we've taught and identify what went well, what didn't go well, and how we can improve the things that didn't go well.  This kind of thinking is important for our students too.  Students of all ages should be encouraged to reflect on their learning experiences whether that entails identifying what they learned or how they felt about that learning.

Chances are you already do this in one way or another. Exit tickets are by no means the only way to help students be more reflective of their learning, but they are a quick and easy way to do this.

Using Exit Tickets for Reflection
We definitely need to know how our students are specifically performing on various skills, but it's also important that we encourage them to think about their learning and to reflect upon it in different ways.

Here are a few benefits of using exit tickets to encourage reflective thinking:
  • They give students practice with higher order thinking and self-monitoring.
  • They help students think more deeply about their learning experiences.
  • They are an easy way to squeeze in a bit of extra writing.
  • They give students practice with communicating thoughts and ideas.
  • They can provide insight to your students' strengths and weaknesses from their perspective which can help drive your instruction/interactions with your students.
When starting out, keep it really simple. Maybe you begin by having your students simply identify how a particular lesson went for them, without writing anything.

Once they become comfortable with reflecting on their learning in this capacity, use exit tickets that require them to write about their learning. 

When is the right time to use reflection exit tickets?
At the end of a lesson, of course!  But, who's to say you couldn't also use them at the end of the school day?  I say do it!

Once your students have mastered the skill of reflecting on a single lesson, transitioning to the task of reflecting on a longer chunk of time makes sense. More specifically, why not task students with reflecting on their whole day?  They can focus on one or two learning experiences (depending upon the exit ticket you use). 

When students are tasked with reflecting on a longer chunk of time, like the whole day, they practice prioritizing and weighing options as they choose what to share on their exit ticket. It might be challenging, at first.  And, that's OK.  Challenge + Practice (and persistence) = Growth.

The more opportunities students have to reflect on an entire day's learning, the easier it will get for them.

Honestly, how often you use exit tickets for reflection is entirely up to you.  I don't like to overdo it because then students are less likely to submit quality responses. They are also less likely to take the act of reflection seriously.  I think 2-3 a week for my second graders is sufficient for working on this skill. 

What should I do with the exit tickets?
What you do with the exit tickets is entirely a personal preference, but here are a few suggestions:
  • Glue or staple them to appropriate pages in interactive notebooks.
  • Write a note to students on the exit ticket and send them home.
  • Hang on to the exit tickets and staple them to completed assignments when/if appropriate.
  • Keep them long enough to help you decide whether you need to address certain issues or reteach any content.
(Free) Resources
If you're looking for a few exit tickets you can use to encourage the skill of reflection I've got you covered.  Click HERE to download all of the exit tickets shown below.  You can use them at the end of a lesson or at the end of your day.  Enjoy!

exit tickets freebie


exit ticket freebie

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  1. I love Exit Tickets! I used to create one for each lesson but it got so time consuming. I started using Socrative to graph and keep all my collected student data in one area.

    ♥ Stephanie

  2. These are great, thank you for sharing them!

    1. You're so welcome, Lori! I'm so glad you like them. Thank you for stopping by my blog!


  3. Thank you for sharing this resource!


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