By Mark Heintz
Over the past week I have been teaching my students the Atlantic Revolutions. I thought they were understanding most of the content. Since they were going to be writing an essay on the revolutions, I wanted to ensure they understood everything before they began writing. At this point in their learning, the students had completed an online vocabulary quiz, been lectured to, completed an anticipatory reading guide, read a textbook chapter, read several primary and secondary documents, and completed some comparative activities all on the Atlantic Revolutions. From all of these activities, I thought they were pretty good on the content. During their learning, I listened to the conversations, answered questions, and reviewed the activities. Then I gave them an exit slip.
I asked the students to do three things: one thing they didn't understand, two questions they still had, and three things they learned today. It took less then five minutes for the students to write down their information, and it really gave me and them an insight into what they did and didn't understand. I really like using three things they learned today so they end on a positive note.
The information they provided helped guide the lesson for the next day. I took all of their questions and found the common misinformation and went back over the material. The students who seemed really lost, I was able to pull aside and redirect their learning.
The great thing about the use of this exit slip is that it can be used on the spur of the moment. You can just have the students pull out a quarter sheet of paper and answer the questions. Another way to do it is through a discussion post in Schoology. The benefit to doing it online is you can have students start the next day by answering their own questions, respond to each others posts, or you as the teacher can respond to each one if you are really motivated. A bonus to using Schoology is that you can hide all of the student responses from students until they respond. So, you can force the students to post before just taking other students' answers.