Strategy Guide

Exit Slips

K - 12
Strategy Guide Series
Differentiating Instruction

About this Strategy Guide

This strategy guide introduces the concept of using Exit Slips in the classroom to help students reflect on what they have learned and express what or how they are thinking about the new information.  Exit Slips easily incorporate writing into the content area classroom and require students to think critically.

Research Basis

The Exit Slip strategy is used to help students process new concepts, reflect on information learned, and express their thoughts about new information.  This strategy requires students to respond to a prompt given by the teacher, and is an easy way to incorporate writing into many different content areas.  Furthermore, the Exit Slip strategy is an informal assessment that will allow educators to adapt and differentiate their planning and instruction.

According to Peggy Albers, “they [teachers] must also be aware of the interests and questions that students will bring to their learning and be flexible enough in their planning to enact changes based upon students’ responses.”  The Exit Slip strategy allows educators to adapt to students' interests and inquiries on a given subject.

This strategy can also be used to publish student comments, ideas, and opinions.  According to Wagner, “they [published exit slips] provide students with a recap of the previous day’s lesson, they give students confidence that their voice matters, and the students delight in looking for their entries.”

Exit Slips allow the teacher to collect students’ responses and plan accordingly for the next class session, differentiating for the abilities and understanding of different students.  This strategy is extremely useful in the classroom because it takes just a few moments to do, and gives teachers an informal measure of the students’ understanding of a new lesson or concept.


Albers, Peggy. "Imagining the Possibilities in Multimodal Curriculum Design." English Education 2nd ser. 38.N (2006): 75-101. Web.

Wagner, Barb. "Sharing Responses to Literature via Exit Slips." Classroom Notes Plus August (2005): 1-3. Web.


Strategy in Practice

  • Determine a key concept that you want students to think about or for which you wish to gather information.
  • A few minutes before the end of a lesson or class session, distribute the Exit Slips and ask students to respond to a prompt that you pose to the class, related to the day’s lesson or information learned.
  • State the prompt orally to the class, post it where students can see it (on the board, chart paper, or projected), or give each student a copy of a prompt chosen from the Exit Slip Printout.
  • If you chose to present the prompt orally or post it, provide students with a small piece of paper or index card on which to write their responses, or ask students to record their responses in a notebook or piece of paper of their own.
  • You may choose to have a variety of Exit Slips and choose which ones go to which students, further differentiating the process.
  • Before students leave the room, collect their Exit Slips.
  • Additionally, Exit Slips can be emailed by each student at the end of each session, or they can be a part of an ongoing class blog or wiki.
  • Prior to the next session, review all of the students’ Exit Slips to determine how the next class session may need to be structured differently to meet the needs of all learners in your classroom.
  • Exit Slips may be collected as a part of an assessment portfolio for each student to document their growth over a certain topic, unit, or school year.
  • You may also choose to "publish" your Exit Slips.
    • Cut and paste various responses onto a single page.  Copy and distribute to each student at the beginning of the next class session.
    • Depending on the grade level and time available, ask students to discuss their findings in groups.  The following questions can be posed: Are there comments that you agree with or disagree with?  Did someone write something that surprises you, or is there something you hadn’t thought of?

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