Oct 26, 2021
Exit tickets are a time-tested method of formative assessment, and a favorite of core subject educators. But the benefit of checking in with students extends beyond curriculum standards. The integration of self-awareness and interpersonal skills into K-12 education comes on the heels of research showing the power of healthier minds. This shift accompanies broad changes to how schools view their responsibility to prepare children for success in the world beyond the classroom. Social and emotional-learning (SEL) is the process of learning to better comprehend emotions, build healthy relationships, and demonstrate empathy for others. We’ll explore six reasons why exit tickets are the perfect, quick tool to effectively check on the social and emotional wellbeing of our students.
Understanding the SEL needs of students is almost as important as assessing their mastery of knowledge and skills. In fact, without a healthy mind, students are less likely to focus on learning. A meta-analysis of 270,000 students found that students who participated in SEL showed more positive outcomes in not only social and emotional development, but academic performance as well. Students inSEL had grades that were 11% higher than students who were not. The immense sample size of this academic study cleared the air surrounding the benefits ofSEL for academics: school-led social and emotional development bolsters academic success.
Especially when teaching remotely, understanding where the students are on a social and emotional level is key to keeping the class ‘together’ and showing that you as an educator care about more than tested material. It’s difficult to build rapport with students from afar, but finishing each lesson on a more personal note will build bridges when they’re needed most.
Student confidence is highly correlated with student success. By understanding how the student feels about their own ability to succeed, teachers can assess if a lack of confidence is holding them back from trying new things, which is a key ingredient of learning. Building confidence takes time, but the first step is always understanding the starting point. You already use exit tickets to assess a student’s skill level in a specific topic area, but why not add a question asking how confident they feel about this topic as well?
SEL-focused exit tickets are an excellent opportunity to motivate the class. Research shows that learning rarely happens without motivation. How would you feel if someone you look up to regularly asked how you were doing, and intently listened? Knowing that others care about our wellbeing is motivation for involvement. An often overlooked aspect of the motivation equation is how much it matters for a student’s willingness to give full attention to the teacher. And we all know how much attention matters in learning and a healthy classroom environment.
Philosopher John Dewey famously said “we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.” Reflection binds the various experiences and pieces of knowledge from a lesson into deeper understanding, relevancy and meaningful knowledge. A great way for students to reflect on their learning is to send exit tickets with open-ended questions that simply ask about“One thing I learned today..” or “One thing I didn’t understand…” Tailor-ED’s carefully crafted SEL exit tickets provide a pause for reflection whether in the classroom or remotely.
When used consistently, exit ticket responses can gather meaningful information about how students are feeling throughout the school year. This actionable data facilitates the early detection of trends in the social and emotional condition of all students. The key here is consistency. Curriculum supplements with ready-made exit tickets that incorporate SEL offer the chance to stay on top of SEL trends among students without any extra work on behalf of the teacher, a true win-win for students and educators.
Imagine if SEL was more than simply the focus of the occasional school-wide assembly. Educators care about their students, and we want to see them succeed not just academically, but in life beyond coursework. Exit tickets are the perfect quick tool for incorporating social and emotional learning into every class period. Teachers use Tailor-ED to create fast and easy exit tickets to review actionable data and find the most effective resources to meet student needs. At the end of the day, if schools aim to help students grow as individuals, educators must provide support for developing minds and hearts. Self-awareness and empathy can go a long way towards building a better future for all.