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Copying notes from the board is not writing:  writing two sentences to summarize the main idea of the lesson is writing.

There are plenty of ways that you can ask your students to write and teach them to write without taking valuable time away from your content teaching.  Exit Slips are excellent for introducing simple writing tasks into your classroom.  It can be as simple as giving each child an index card and asking a question they need to respond to before leaving class.  You could get more creative and make a “ticket” template using a desktop publishing program, add a focus question to the ticket and print enough for your students.  A book of sticky notes would also do the trick.

Exit slips allow you to check for understanding and incorporate some literacy into your lesson.  It will also give you an insight into your students’ writing ability and inform your teaching.

For more plenary ideas, writing tasks and formative assessments for your content classroom visit and

Click here for tip #4.


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