3-2-1 Exit Ticket Ideas: 15 Examples to Use in Your Elementary Classroom

The 3-2-1 exit ticket is an informal assessment that serves as a great tool for discovering what your elementary learners “took away” from the lesson.

It also works well as a quick review to see how well your students retained previously-learned material.

Similar to other informal assessments, the 3-2-1 exit ticket encourages students to reflect upon and summarize their learning using a set of teacher-generated response prompts and/or questions.

As an educator, the feedback provided from this data guides you during the lesson planning process as you’ll have a better understanding of what concepts require reteaching and/or which can be dived into deeper.

Related: For more quick informal assessments for use in the elementary classroom, check out our comprehensive collection of 100+ exit ticket ideas.

3-2-1 Summary Exit Ticket

The 3-2-1 summary informal assessment is open-ended and versatile.

That means that you’re able to easily modify or tweak the response prompts in order to align them with your targeted teaching objectives.

Below are 15 examples of the 3-2-1 exit ticket graphic organizer within different subject areas.

3-2-1 Summary Strategy for Reading & Writing

Example 1: Reading (Fiction)

3 – Traits you’d use to describe the main character of the story

2 – Significant settings from the story

1 – Prediction of what you think will happen in the next chapter

Example 2: Reading (Non-Fiction)

3 – Facts learned from the lesson

2 – New words revealed using context clues

1 – Question about a part that was confusing

Example 3: Reading (Fiction)

3 – Facts mentioned in the text

2 – Text features that helped you comprehend the text better

1 – New vocabulary word learned

Example 4: Writing

3 – Elements of a good piece of writing

2 – Types of leads for beginning a piece of writing

1 – Area in which you’d like to improve upon

Example 5: Grammar/Daily Oral Language

3 – Linking verbs in the text

2 – Abstract nouns in the selection

1 – Example of a compound sentence found in the text

3-2-1 exit ticket summarizer

3-2-1 Exit Tickets for Science

Example 1: Solar System

3 – Outer planets

2 – Characteristics of Venus

1 – Question you still have about any of the planets

Example 2: States of Matter

3 – States of matter

2 – Characteristics of liquids

1 – Example of a gas

Example 3: Cells

3 – Organelles found in an animal cell

2 – Types of cells

1 – Function of mitochondria

3-2-1 Informal Assessments for Social Studies

Example 1: Geography

3 – States in the Southern United States

2 – Two capital cities in the U.S

1 – State that’s part of the New England region

Example 2: Branches of Government

3 – Branches of government

2 – Responsibilities of the executive branch

1 – Duty of the judicial branch

Example 3: Community Helpers

3 – Important roles of the principal

2 – Responsibility of the nurse

1 – Way to contribute as a good school citizen

Example 4: Biographies

3 – Significant events in this person’s life

2 – Questions you’d like to ask this individual

1 – Similarity between you and this person

3-2-1 Strategy for Math

Example 1: Problem Solving

3 – Problem-solving strategies for word problems

2 – Tips for understanding the word problem well

1 – Action to take immediately after solving the problem

Example 2: Number Sense

3 – Prime numbers

2 – Composite numbers

1 – A number that’s neither prime or composite

Example 3: Geometry

3 – Types of triangles

2 – Names of quadrilaterals

1 – Shape with only one set of parallel sides

Example 4: Multiplication

3 – Methods for solving multiplication tables

2 – Examples of using multiplication in the real world

1 – Tip or trick for solving more difficult multiplication facts

Tips for Using the 3-2-1 Summary Exit Ticket

  • The 3-2-1 exit ticket fits well as a closing activity or review. It can also be used during a lesson to check for understanding.
  • This informal assessment is not only great for use with texts. Use it, too, to help students reflect upon a field trip or a video viewed.
  • Use with a whole group, small groups, or individually. The whole group format is ideal for modeling the 3-2-1 strategy to students who are most unfamiliar with it.
  • Consume less paper by having students respond to the 3-2-1 prompt in their reader response journals or on a small note-card.
  • It’s worth noting once again that the prompts you choose to use within the 3-2-1 format depends on your lesson objectives and the needs of your students. This flexibility allows for easy differentiation.
  • Prompts can be as difficult, easy, or open-ended as you like. At times, you may prefer recall-type prompts while at other times you’ll incorporate higher-order thinking ones. Whichever type you use, the 3-2-1 exit ticket activity takes no more than 5-7 minutes.
  • Drafting lesson plans is time-consuming. Save time by incorporating quick informal assessments such as this one into your weekly lessons. See how to plan lesson plans faster.
  • Any core subject area will work well with the 3-2-1 exit ticket. Science and social studies lessons lend themselves especially well to this graphic organizer.

3-2-1 Exit Ticket Ideas: Keep Them Handy

The 3-2-1 exit ticket is a quick and easy informal assessment that encourages your elementary learners to reflect upon and summarize their thoughts.

Keep this exit slip in your assessment toolkit as it’s simple to implement yet effective in collecting data to help guide your instruction.

Now you have one more great tool in your teaching repertoire.


Reference: Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? by Paula Rutherford, 2009 by Just ASK Publications