Using Reading Exit Slips to provide purpose & accountability during independent reading time

I'm joining up with Jivey today for Workshop Wednesday. The theme is Tricks & Treats of Reading Workshop.  Here's a trick I'm using this year to give my students a purpose for reading and to hold them accountable for actually doing the reading during independent reading time - Common Core aligned Reading Exit Slips!

You know those readers who hide in the corner or under their desks, stare blankly at pages and pretty much do nothing during independent reading time because they don't have a purpose for reading and/or they're not being held accountable for proving that they actually read anything?  I've got em' in my classroom and I always stress every year about how to get them to really read vs. fake read. 

First and foremost, I try my hardest to spread my love for reading to each and every one of those students.  I aspire to make reading enjoyable and show them the journeys they can travel through books. I pray that independent reading time becomes their favorite time of the day, but that alone doesn't always work.  They are still unfocused during reading time and I don't really know if they are reading each day unless I confer with them.  Unfortunately, I can't reach all of them every day.

So this year, I'm using Reading Exit Slips to quickly gather data each day on who is really reading, who is fake reading and who can apply the strategies I taught during the mini-lesson.  The exit slips are giving those distracted readers a purpose for reading that they can refer back to when they lose track of their thoughts.  Also, knowing that they need to respond to the prompt after independent reading time, and share their response with a partner, is keeping them accountable for actually reading and not just turning pages.

How am I using the exit slips?

First, I put the exit slip up on the SMARTboard with the document camera and use it as our "I can" learning target to keep us focused during the mini-lesson.  I explain the prompt and model it with our classroom read aloud.  I give the students time to respond to the prompt orally based on the classroom read aloud.  Then I hand out a prompt to each student. They head back to their seat, use a glue stick to glue it onto the top of the next blank page in their reader's notebook, and their job is to think about the prompt while they read independently from their just right choice books.  Many of them respond to the prompt while they're reading.  When the timer goes off I do give students a few minutes to finish and reread their responses. Then they meet with their reading partner and share their answers to the prompt.  Every few days I collect reader's notebooks and read though the responses for a grade and/or to inform my instruction/intervention needs.  I also read through the responses as I'm walking around conferring.  The responses are a great way to start each reading conference so you can check to see if the student is applying the taught skill.

The exit slips are aligned to the common core and I created several exit slips for each mini-lesson that I will teach in a unit, to allow for teacher choice and spiraling. So far, I've created four sets of Reading Exit Sips - Launching Reading Workshop, Character Study, Historical Fiction, and  Informational Reading.  You can also purcase them in a BUNDLE. for a discounted price!!!  I'm still working on a set to go along with my book club product, a set based on genre and story elements, and a set based on reading like an author.  I'd love some ideas for more sets.  Maybe one based on inferring theme?  Citing evidence?  What are your thoughts?


If you're interested in trying out Reading Exit Slips you can check them out in my Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.



  1. I love the exit slip idea! I keep saying I want to do a ticket out the door with sticky notes chart for something like this. Thanks for linking up!

  2. I hope this doesn't sound stupid but this really makes exit slips much more concrete for me! I would love to see exit slips on expository writing and literature. Thanks!! :)


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