My Problem with Exit Slips

I have never been a fan of “Exit Slips”.

I think it is unfair to introduce students to Concept A at the beginning of the period and expect them to write their understanding of concept on an “Exit Slip” within the last few minutes of class.

I understand that many teachers are not expecting students to have mastered the concept in a forty-minute class.  I understand that the “Exit Slip” could be a good formative assessment tool for the teacher to gain insight into a student’s understanding of a concept.

I think this well intentioned activity is flawed.

I believe the goal of formative assessment is not to give the teacher more information about a student’s learning; rather, the goal of formative assessment is for the student to gain more understanding about what they understand and do not understand.

This year I have tried to use WallWisher to “Time-Shift” the “Exit Slip”.  Unfortunately, WallWisher has been loading really slowly all semester and not all of my students have internet access.

The goal of this “Time-Shift” is to give students the opportunity to think, and even NOT think, about Concept A for a while; to let the concept germinate into understanding at a later time.

Often we understand a concept or joke after the fact. How often have you been cooking dinner, taking out the “Shake and Bake” pork chops and finally understand that joke Mark Maron said on his podcast you were listening to that morning on the way to work?

Why not give our students this opportunity to understand a concept on their own time?

My next post will be how I have come to solve my problem with “Exit Slips”.