What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that IXL offers math practice activities for kids Pre-K through high school. Everyone can try the skill practice for free, but this is limited to a small number of problems a day. You must be a member to get unlimited practice, tracking, awards, and certificates. For parents, the cost is $9.95 per month or $79 per year. Kids will need some guidance as to which math skills they should practice. Parents can start with grade level then use the reports tool to help kids identify which concepts to focus on. Pre-K and young kids will likely need support and verbal directions from a parent or teacher.
What kids can learn
- work to achieve goals
Engagement, Approach, Support
When it comes to math drill and practice, you can only make it so fun. However, IXL makes a good effort through rewards, immediate feedback, and visually appealing tasks.
Practice, practice, practice builds confidence and accuracy, though repetition won't encourage critical thinking.
Kids get detailed support and tips when they get a problem wrong. Pre-K problems have microphone icons that read a problem out loud.
What's it about?
IXL provides more than 2,000 practice modules on specific Common Core math skills. These skills range from basics like counting to geometry skills like the perpendicular bisector theorem. Kids repetitively practice one skill at a time and earn points and ribbons by getting questions correct. Once they reach 100 points for a skill, they earn a medal and a square on their game board. The game board encourages kids to master other skills so they can earn virtual prizes, which are pictures of toys.
Is it any good?
IXL is best for its extensive opportunities for independent practice. For example, at the sixth-grade level there are 277 different types of math skill practice activities. Kids can focus on areas they need or want to improve. Individual reports with item analysis, usage, and trouble spots allow parents to get the specific information they need to differentiate instruction for their kids. The standards "Trouble Spot" report is very useful in quickly identifying where kids are having a hard time and in which areas they need extra help. Overall, IXL is limited to drill and practice. However, it builds confidence so that kids can advance to more difficult math tasks.
Families can talk about...
Explore with your kids ways to use the math skills they are practicing in the real world. When do we use addition in everyday life? How about algebra?
Talk to your kids about how practicing skills leads to confidence and accuracy. What is a skill you struggled to learn? How did you feel when you improved? What other skills would you like to improve?