We know parents and teachers are busy. 2 teachers in conjunction with a marriage and family therapist reviewed IXL to help parents and teachers understand its benefits.
Whether students are right-brained or left-brained learners, IXL is designed to meet their mathematical needs. This interactive website is a unique learning resource for students and teachers in Pre-K through high school. IXL’s content covers introductory math skills through geometry. Students can practice their math skills and attempt to reach learning goals as teachers track their progress.
One of the standout features of IXL is the content is aligned with both the Common Core and individual state standards. When teachers register for IXL, they are automatically directed to the standards for their particular state. While some standards feature more activities than others, all standards appear to be represented by the IXL content.
While the focus of IXL is to help students practice the standards and to serve as a supplement to in-class instruction, the exercises also help students learn the content. As students complete problems, they are provided with instant feedback. If a problem is answered incorrectly, students are provided with a brief overview of the concept and an explanation of how to solve the problem.
Since the skills are adaptive, IXL provides a way to differentiate instruction within the mathematics classroom, offering easier practice for students with lower SmartScores and the ability to access higher-level skills for students who have already mastered grade-level standards. The abundance of questions available means that even if a student spends weeks attempting to master a skill, the likelihood of encountering a repeat question is virtually non-existent. No matter what skill students are practicing, they will be exposed to a variety of question types, allowing them to apply the skill in multiple ways.
IXL encourages students to set goals and helps track their progress toward those goals. Proficiency assessments help identify students’ areas of weakness and SmartScores track their progress among individual skills. Students are motivated to practice and continue building skills by varying question types to keep the practice interesting and by issuing challenges to students through an awards game board. The promise of winning medals and revealing virtual prizes will motivate students to continue to practice their skills.
As students practice, IXL also helps keep them and their teachers abreast of their progress. While teachers can access reports for all students in a class, students can see charts and graphs outlining their SmartScore and mastery level for specific skill sets, as well as track their improvement as they practice individual state standards. Teachers can see similar reports for students, as well as track how long students spend practicing questions and determine where students’ abilities rank among their peers. The reports make it easy for teachers to instantly see where a student is and what a student needs to work on, making instruction, practice and parent conferences more effective. Parents can also access reports to see the progress their children are making.
An Essential Component of Learning
Whether needing a way to practice mathematics in the classroom or at home, IXL is an essential component of effective mathematics instruction. The cost of membership is minimal when you consider that IXL has the potential to be used by students on a daily basis, both in the classroom and at home. With the ability to track student progress over a month, a year or even multiple years, IXL can help increase the effectiveness of students’ math instruction and significantly improve their skills.
IXL has memberships for both families and teachers. You can learn more about their membership options here.