Are you using Do Nows and/or Exit Tickets in your classroom? They sometimes have different names, but essentially Do Nows are quick assessments that students complete at the beginning of class to get their brains warmed up and ready to learn. Exit Tickets are assessments at the end of class that provide teachers with valuable information about what their students have learned and where they may need more practice. Do Nows and Exit Tickets are effective tools for language teachers that help to track student progress, inform lesson planning moving forward, and provide opportunities for immediate feedback to students.
Let’s look at Do Nows first.
Why are Do Nows useful and what are some ways of using them?
- Quick Assessment of Previous Class: Do Nows provide teachers with an immediate snapshot of their students’ understanding of a topic. This quick assessment helps teachers tailor instruction to meet the needs of their students right away in that class. Maybe there needs to be a little more review before moving on to a new topic or perhaps that planned additional review won’t be necessary.
- Immediate Engagement that Builds Confidence: Do Nows are short, focused activities that engage students and encourage them to be active learners. By starting class with a Do Now, teachers can create a positive and productive learning environment. Students feel successful because the material is not new, but rather reviewing or building on previous content.
- Practice: Do Nows provide students with the opportunity to practice their language skills in a low-stakes situation. This regular practice helps students build confidence and develop proficiency in the language. Also an opportunity to recycle or review previous topics and content to keep it fresh.
- Prep for Class Activity: Do Nows can be used as prewriting or to access prior knowledge on a topic. Maybe a new topic will be covered in class, but the Do Now focuses on prior knowledge and builds schemata. They can also be used to spark discussion or as a pre-reading activity.
- Differentiation: By creating multiple versions of a Do Now, teachers can differentiate the activity to meet the needs of their diverse students. This makes it possible to provide students with a meaningful and challenging learning experience, regardless of their level of proficiency in the language.
Where is the prompt and where/how do students respond?
- The prompt can be on the board and students record their response on a sheet of paper. Students can also do this in a notebook that they keep, either with them or in the classroom.
- Instead of writing a prompt on the board, the teachers can hand out individual prompts, such task cards, slips of paper with vocabulary words, pictures, or a a quote. This will make the Do Now more individualized. There can also be a prompt on the board instructing students what to do with the information on their card or slip of paper.
- Do Nows don’t always have to be written responses. Students can read a short text or even engage in a short speaking activity using similar prompts.
resources for Do NOws:
- Prompts for Do Nows
- French & Spanish Cards with Pictures
- French (Zut) & Spanish (Caramba) Cards
- Spanish Task Cards
- French Task Cards
- French & Spanish Puzzles
Now Let’s look at Exit Tickets.
Why are Exit Tickets useful and what are some ways of using them?
- Formative Assessment: Exit Tickets provide teachers with an effective and efficient way to assess their students’ understanding of a topic that was covered in class that day. This regular assessment helps teachers identify areas where students need additional support and can adjust instruction accordingly. Not unlike a Do Now, but an Exit Ticket is focused on new content from class. A Do Now is typically more focused on previous material.
- Reflection: Exit Tickets encourage students to reflect on their learning and think critically about what they’ve learned in class. This reflective practice helps students make connections between new concepts and prior knowledge, deepening their understanding of the language.
- Practice: By completing Exit Tickets, students have the opportunity to practice their language skills and demonstrate their understanding. This helps students build confidence and develop proficiency. Build in previous content and material into the prompt so that students continue to build on their skills and proficiency levels with new and prior topics.
- Feedback: Exit Tickets provide teachers with valuable feedback on the effectiveness of their instruction. Teachers can use this feedback to make changes to teaching strategies and improve their students’ learning outcomes the next day.
- Planning: Exit Tickets can also help teachers plan for future lessons. By analyzing students’ responses, teachers can identify areas where students need individualized additional support and plan lessons that address these needs. This proactive approach to planning can help ensure that all students make meaningful progress.
Where is the prompt and where/how do students respond?
- The prompt can be on the board and students record their response on a sheet of paper or a notebook, just as they might so with Do Nows. However, these papers or notebooks should remain in the classroom so the teacher can look at them after the class or as students are leaving.
- Hand out individual prompts, task cards, vocabulary words, pictures, or a quote with a prompt on the card or on the board. Just like a Do Now, but an Exit Ticket is focused on new content from class. A Do Now is more focused on previous material.
- Students can hand these Exit Tickets to the teacher as they leave.
- Exit Tickets don’t always have to be written responses. Students can speak to the teacher at the door as they leave, providing a spoken response. If there are large numbers of students, mix it up with some doing verbal and others doing written responses.