3-2-1 Strategy: Alternative to Exit Tickets

3 2 1 Screen JPEGHere is a form students can use for this strategy (link for actual form at the bottom of the post)

The assessment is called “3-2-1.”  This is an activity from Making Thinking VisibleIt is intended to see how students thinking expands or changes on a topic/key idea/skill after you have provided novel information.  It would be an interesting replacement for an exit ticket.  It might also be a way to explore “thinking” or “process” skills (Ex: collaboration, critical thinking, inference, hypothesis etc.) .  The instructions are as follows:

Part I

Before the lesson

1.  Write a word on the board for which you will provide new information (Ex.: historical event, literary time period, presentation skill, thinking strategy etc.)

2.  Have students write the following:

  • 3 words they associate with the topic/key idea/skill
  • 2 questions they have about the topic/key idea/skill
  • 1 metaphor about the topic/key idea/skill

3.  At this point, I thought it was helpful to discuss/share student ideas before teaching the lesson, watching the video, reading the passage etc.

Part II

After the lesson

1.  Have students review the 3-2-1 from before the lesson/new information

2.  Repeat step 2 from Part I, asking students to consider initial responses and how thinking has changed

3.  Discuss/reflect on the changes with students

4.  Collect the 3-2-1 from students for formative assessment

Here is a 3 2 1 Strategy handout to give to students.


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