Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Classroom Game Changer: IXL Math

Hi, everyone! It's Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers. I am here today to tell you about one of my classroom loves.
I have been using the IXL Math online program in my classroom for over a year now! I work at a K-12 span school and finding a program that can meet the needs of all our students, site wide, is next to impossible. However, IXL Math goes above and beyond! It is amazing!

Here is how it works:
Each student has their own personal account. All you have to do it input your class roster and IXL generates a list of user names and passwords. I printed this list for my records and keep it in a plastic sleeve in my plan book. At first, students can't remember their passwords or they use capital letters and they need to be lowercase etc. So, it is essential to have a class list nearby. IXL also generates a letter you can use to send home to parents explaining the program and how they can use it a home with their child. I sent this home immediately with the user name and password too.

I have bookmarked the home log in page on my classroom computers to make getting started easier for the kids. Once they are logged in, this is what they see:

 It shows every grade level Pre-K through Algebra 2 and how many skills are available to practice at each grade level. My kiddos click on second grade. This grade level happens to have 221 skills to practice. All of the skills are Common Core aligned!!! Yes, that is correct.... Common Core aligned. Just click on the standard you are teaching and it tells you which lessons the kids should work on. I post a list of lessons that review standards I have already taught, so the kids know which standards to review.

This is just an example of some of the second grade skills students can practice. All they do, is click on the skill and then off they go!

Here is the beauty...everyone works at their own pace. If you have advanced learners, they can move ahead. If you have struggling learners, they can go back a grade level and practice the skill they missed and then move on.

The first arrow points to the skill being practice. It also shows you how many problems have been practiced with that skill and how long it took the student to complete the number of problems.

If a student misses a problem this is what they see:

The correct answer is displayed and an explanation shows how it can be solved correctly. If your students are younger, and have trouble reading, the problems can be read to them too!

Another part of the program I love, is the awards screen. As the students answer questions, they earn awards. This is an example of one awards page in my class.

This student has practiced on IXL for almost 2 hours and has mastered 19 skills. I love the visuals and how positive it is for the student. It gives them a goal to their next win and reinforces how well they are doing!

As a teacher, there is a reports section that I love! I get weekly emails about how each student is doing. I can monitor what skills they are working on and how much time they have spent practicing. Everything is transparent! If a student is working on skills that are too easy for them, I can redirect them to the skills they need to practice. It also shows skills where your class is struggling, so you know right away what to reteach!

If you have a computer lab at your school, you can take your class to practice IXL. As they are working, you can monitor what each student is doing from your own computer! Yes, you can "spy" on your students. If you tell them to all work on two-digit subtraction skills because you have a test on that skill later in the week, you can see if they are actually doing it and how well they are doing. Then, you can redirect or go help those students who are struggling! Simply incredible! Real time data that can be used immediately to improve instruction!

This student is reviewing her money skills just as the person next to her is reviewing his place value knowledge.

I love how they can work at their own pace and review their strengths and weakness so they build their confidence and math skills at the same time!

I could go on and on about the incredible features of this program! I simply love how it meets the needs of ALL of my students, as well as mine, as a teacher. I think the home connection is crucial too! Parents can monitor their child's progress at home. For homework, I ask the students to try and practice for 20 minutes each day. The constant reinforcement is essential for their success! Parents love the at home component too!

Here is a little freebie to help you organize your student user names and passwords. I leave this by my computer for easy access, just in case one of my little ones can't get logged in correctly. Click HERE to download your copy. Enjoy!


  1. How do you schedule your math blocks with this program? I typically teach a lesson a day, but schedule it so that it's like guided math. Therefore, some days I don't do any direct instruction and my advanced kids move on to math centers and my reinforcement kids will learn with me in small groups. The skills tend to be more mixed up in IXL sessions, so I worry I won't be able to stick to the skill a day concept.