When I started teaching at CHA a few months ago, I was excited to hear that the school was considering IXL Math as a teaching tool to supplement the math program. Having used IXL Math at a previous school, I was familiar with this program. I am pleased that we decided to use this program and would like to share why this was an excellent choice.
First of all, mastering a skill is just a matter of practice, dedication and, of course, using the right tools. The only problem is…keeping students continuously engaged and interested in the practice. And that’s where IXL comes in handy. Thankfully, CHA kids can practice math skills both at school and at home in a fun and engaging way with our new online tool, IXL Math, which has a proven record of helping students to actually enjoy the process of learning and practicing math skills. IXL math is a subscription-based learning website that provides comprehensive, standards-aligned content practice to supplement in-class instruction. IXL can be accessed anywhere and is designed for both computers and tablet touchscreens. Its mobile app for iPads and Android tablets can even recognize handwritten numbers. It’s a great way for parents to see exactly what skills children are working on at school. Families can also use IXL to practice a variety of other math skills themselves, see where their children struggle, and choose topics to support these weak areas.
What is great about IXL is that it covers all of the math skills that students learn in each grade and these skills are clearly organized into categories. IXL tracks the student’s score for each skill set and the questions will automatically increase in difficulty as they improve! As users complete problems, they are given 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.
Another notable feature is that IXL gives virtual rewards as motivation.Kids are very much amused with the rewards (such as virtual ribbons, virtual prizes, hidden treasures, etc.) they get while practicing their math skills at each level. It truly motivates them to keep on learning as they earn points and discover more prizes and gems.
Parents and teachers can find out exactly how children are progressing and performing on each standard. IXL Analytics enables parents to stay in the loop on their children’s practice, and provides teachers with actionable data to easily track student progress, pinpoint trouble spots, and more. IXL reports offer real-time insights that let teachers know when students need help and how they can help. Teachers receive weekly reports on all of their students, including how much time they are spending on IXL, which sections are completed for each individual as well as the classroom as a whole, which students are taking longer to achieve a 100 SmartScore, and which students are off-task.
Here are a few things that I encourage parents to talk to their children about relating to IXL and learning math:
- Families can talk about how practicing skills leads to confidence and accuracy. What’s a skill you struggled to learn that you possibly could have studied with the help of a site like IXL? How did you feel when you improved? What other skills would you like to improve?
- How can you use the math skills you’re practicing in the real world? When do we use addition in everyday life? How about algebra?
- Kids can see an explanation if they enter an incorrect answer. Does your child feel stressed out if that happens? Talk about why it’s OK to not get things right sometimes when you’re learning something new.
IXL has been a wonderful addition to our program.