Entrance and Exit Tickets Teaching Strategy

Don't mark 100 quizzes! Use entrance and exit tickets in your classroom to check your students' understanding. #assessment #lessonplans #middleschoolela #grading

Entrance and exit tickets are a fantastic way to quickly get the status of your class. No one has time to create and give a quiz or a test every day to check their students’ understanding.

This strategy is also known as bellwork but this takes bellwork and gives it a clear purpose. It helps students get focused as soon as they enter/exit the classroom because they have an immediate task to complete. 

How Does This Strategy Work?

  1. Either when students enter the classroom (Entrance Tickets) or a few minutes before the end of class (Exit Tickets), give students a question (or two) that they must answer.  You might have these preprinted on small sheets of paper, written on the board, or in some other easily accessible form. Other options: sticky notes, paper with one side still good or in a notebook all work as well. 
  2. Students are asked to immediately respond to the question(s) in the manner you specify.
  3. Students have a set amount of time to complete the work. No more than 5 minutes. They are finished either when you collect tickets and begin instruction (Entrance Tickets) or when the bell rings and they leave (Exit Tickets).

How Do I Use This Strategy?

  1. Ask the students to think. What do they already know or understand?  What do they remember from the day (week, month, year) before? What do they want to know? Can they successfully apply what they learned?  Where do they struggle?
  2. Have students reflect on their daily independent reading, practice reading strategies or grammar lessons they have previously learned. 
  3. This is a great place for journal questions! Use traditional, introspective questions or have students begin to keep a grammar/poetry/writing/etc. journal.
  4. Use them daily! Get your students in the habit of knowing that this is how class begins/ends.  This way you don’t even have to tell students to get to work–they know where and when to look for these.

Why Do I Love This Strategy?

  1. Students are focused from the moment they enter the classroom (or until the moment the final bell rings).  You don’t lose those few minutes every day–which really do add up. Consider this – 2 minutes each day x 180 school days per year = 6 hours of lost time over the course of the year!
  2. Admit Tickets:  Admit and exit tickets are an easy way to bridge between yesterday’s lesson and today’s, transition to or preview a new topic, judge prior knowledge, or check for understanding of last night’s homework.
  3. Exit Tickets:  These are a great way to do a quick review as well as check comprehension of and ability to apply the day’s lesson, provide feedback on the material covered in class, and ask extension questions related to the day’s learning.

Digital Entrance and Exit Passes

You can also have students complete digital entrance and exit tickets. I would use Google Forms and set it up with a QR code so students could just scan the code with their phones as they enter/exit your classroom. You could also set it up on Google Drawings (with pretend sticky note template), Google Jamboard, Padlet, Flipgrid, Google Docs, Google Classroom Question or any other digital system that allows students to quickly respond.

Reminder: These tickets are meant to be quick checks, not full quizzes or tests. Review your students’ answers daily to ensure these don’t just become one more thing to mark. Try entrance and exit tickets with your students and let me know how it goes.  Subscribe Now: Get fantastic teaching ideas and lessons sent directly to your email — sign up here.

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