Is what you say in the classroom hitting home?
Communication is a two way street. It’s not just about sending information out into the world, there’s a receiving aspect as well. Give and take. If you dive into a topic – (i.e. What is Melodrama?) – can your students explain the concept in their own words back to you? You want your students to engage, comprehend and apply what they’re learning. But how do you know if what you teach hits home?
Use exit slips.
An exit slip is a question, a prompt, a rating, or a response to the day’s lesson. A student can express their thoughts and reflect on what they’ve learned. Find out immediately if the way you’ve communicated during class has been received and understood. Use exit slips for informal assessment by asking students to answer a specific subject question. You can also use them to find out how well you’ve taught the lesson. If the majority of the class is confused by the same thing, that’s a red flag. If you’re in a class with a variety of learners at different levels, exit slips can help you organize for the next day. You’ll know who needs review, and who can move ahead.
In the last five minutes of class, write a question or prompt on the board. (You could also project it on a screen, or hand out half sheets of paper for students to write on.) The point of the exercise is that it can easily be completed in that last five minutes. One question, one prompt, or a couple of multiple choice phrases. Exit slips are then handed in as students “exit” the classroom.
You can also use exit slips to test prior knowledge. If you want to find out what students know on a topic, have them complete an exit slip the day (or week) before you introduce the subject.