Using Reading Exit Slips to Provide Purpose & Accountability During Independent Reading Time

response prompts keep your students accountable during reading workshop

**Update: digital versions for use in Google Classroom have been added to all my reading response exit ticket resources!! 

Hi teacher friends, today I want to share with you a trick I use to give my students a purpose for reading and to hold them accountable during independent reading time - reading response prompt exit tickets!

Real Reading Vs. Fake Reading

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've actually read anything?  I've got em' in my classroom and I always worry 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.  Some students 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 I decided to start using Reading Response Exit Tickets each day to quickly gather data on who is really reading, who is fake reading and who can apply the strategies learned during mini-lessons.  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.

Use exit tickets to check in with students after reading

How do I use reading response exit tickets?

First, I put the response prompt 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 and use a glue stick to glue it onto the top of the next blank page in their reader's notebook.  Or if you're classroom is 1-1 you can use the digital version to assign the prompt to your students in Google Classroom. 

reading exit tickets for formative assessment

Each reader's 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 (or browse through Google Classroom) and read 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.

These response prompts 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 purchase 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?

how to use reading exit tickets in your classroom

If you're interested in trying out reading response prompt exit tickets 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!! :)