Teacher talk: Online math practice
I have recently stumbled upon an online math program to help my students increase their proficiency in the subject. IXL is an virtual resource that I've used to help supplement math instruction in my classroom. There are many ways to implement the use of IXL, and many teachers are reporting success with the program.
Rather than sending home worksheets for my students to practice math concepts, I now assign 20 minutes of IXL practice each night. Every week, I am sent a detailed report via email from IXL that includes how much time each student has spent practicing IXL, which math concepts were attempted, and whether my students were proficient in the skills that they completed. My students enjoy practicing on IXL knowing that I can view their progress, and they often challenge themselves to beat the number of minutes spent practicing each week.
IXL offers more than 2,000 math skills on their website. Students have the opportunity to practice skills ranging from pre-kindergarten to Algebra. IXL is a great way to keep math instruction fresh and engaging, enabling students to practice a wide range of concepts. Students also have the ability to pace themselves at a comfortable rate, so those that need more practice can get it. Children looking for acceleration have the flexibility to move above grade level, keeping them interested in learning new skills.
In the two years that I have used IXL as a supplement to my math instruction, I have noticed an increase in students' confidence. They have told me that they appreciate the opportunity to choose the skills they feel they need to practice. I do request that my class practices skills that I am currently teaching, but they have the flexibility to move on to a new concept or review an old one should they decide to do so. Regardless of what they practice, students receive immediate feedback on the problems being tackled.
As a teacher, I appreciate what IXL has to offer. I am able to assign math homework without the need to grade an abundant stack of papers. My students receive immediate feedback, and I do as well through the reports that are sent to me. I have already noticed an increase in math test scores. I look forward to further exploring IXL and similar online resources moving forward.
About the Author:
Christi Wilson is a credentialed teacher of highly-gifted students in Northern Nevada. She has 11 years of classroom teaching experience, a bachelor's degree in elementary education, a master's degree in education leadership, and has even taught K-12 education online. A mother of three busy boys, she knows how important it is to keep students engaged in the classroom and interested in a lifetime of learning.