Triangle-Square-Circle Exit Ticket: Quick & Versatile Informal Assessment

The Triangle-Square-Circle exit ticket complements a lesson well.

Whether you want to know what your elementary students “took away” from the lesson…


You need your learners to reflect on a previous lesson via a quick review…

The Triangle-Square-Circle exit ticket is ideal for assessing elementary learners’ progress with targeted learning objectives.

The Triangle-Square-Circle graphic organizer is an informal assessment that serves a closing activity or lesson review. Using visual representations, this exit ticket encourages students to reflect on their learning by summarizing key points, synthesizing information, in addition to asking clarifying questions.

A bonus to the Triangle-Square-Circle exit ticket is that it’s easily differentiated.

Due to the open-ended nature of the prompts, it’s quite easy to modify and tweak them according to the needs of your elementary learners.

Related: Assessment is essential to the teaching and learning process of elementary kids. That’s why we believe you’ll love our complete collection of 100+ quick exit ticket ideas.

How to Use the Triangle-Square-Circle Exit Ticket

Tweak the prompts within this graphic organizer to fit the specific learning needs of your students.

Below shows an image of a Triangle-Square-Circle exit ticket template with general prompts that can be used with any subject area.

triangle square circle exit ticket idea

When explaining this formative assessment to students for the first time, it’s a good idea to explain how the visual representations correlate to how they should respond.

Triangle – 3 Key Ideas

A triangle has 3 points. Therefore, students provide 3 important points that they “took away” from the lesson.

Prompt: 3 significant ideas that I took away from the lesson…

At times, you might want to be more specific.

For example…

In math, students may need to list 3 types of quadrilaterals or in social studies name 3 reasons why recycling is important.

Square – What’s Squared Away in My Mind?

What concepts or ideas from the lesson are clear for the students?

Which ideas, actions, or concepts explored during the learning activity do they understand fairly well?

Prompt: What concepts from the lesson are squared away in my mind?

Support your struggling learners by guiding them in narrowing down a few ideas.

For example…

In reading, it may help some students to focus on a particular character, vocabulary term(s), setting, a specific reading skill utilized during independent reading with which they were successful, etc.

Circle – Lingering Questions

It’s almost a given that your elementary learners will have further questions about the lesson and/or need further instruction to deepen their understanding.

The circle represents the 1 or 2 questions that your learners still have circling in their heads after the completion of the lesson.

Prompt: What one or two questions are still circling in my head?

This “circle” component of the Triangle-Square-Circle exit ticket serves as a compass for you as the teacher because the student responses from this section will guide your lesson planning of upcoming lessons.

If you observe any consistent patterns within the questions, target those learning ideas in future activities.

Getting the Best Results with the Triangle-Square-Circle Exit Ticket

  • For your visual learners, have them color-code each shape (each a different color) in order to further deepen their association of each with it’s instructional meaning.
  • Instead of printing a Triangle-Square-Circle exit ticket template for each student, save paper by having them draw the shapes and respond to the prompts in their reader response journals.
  • Before getting started with this graphic organizer, model a few times to students how to respond to the prompts in a complete manner. Encourage their written responses to be well-thought out and complete.
  • If you’re short on time, choose only 1 shape to use as an exit ticket with learners. On a sticky-note, they’ll draw the chosen shape and respond accordingly. Easy, quick, and effective!
  • The Triangle-Square-Circle formative assessment works just as well with a whole group. Take 3 different colored pieces of construction paper, and cut a shape from each. Laminate if desired. Now, at the end of the lesson (or for a pre-lesson review), hold up one of the shapes, or tape it to the board. Students respond to it in their reader response journals, on a post-it note, and/or you can call on a few to answer orally.
  • Challenge your elementary students, or extend their learning by adding 3 additional shapes:

1. Star – What idea shines bright (stands out most) from the lesson?

2. Heart – Which part of the activity or lesson was my favorite? (The “heart” works very well with high-interest science and social studies texts.)

3. Semi-Circle – What ideas do I not yet fully understand? How can the teacher further support me so that I have a fuller understanding?

A Great Tool: Triangle-Square-Circle Exit Ticket

The Triangle-Square-Circle exit ticket informal assessment is a quick and creative tool that’s useful for assessing how well your elementary learners are progressing in a targeted learning objective.

You can differentiate with it easily.

Plus your students now have a way to show you what they know (and don’t know) using a tool that’s kid-friendly and encourages critical thinking for all levels of academic learners.

Keep this handy exit ticket idea in your assessment toolkit because it’s that good!