Friday, June 15, 2012

IXL Educational Math Tool



IXL is an educational on-line site that helps students practice their math skills. The site provides math problems for children in pre-k through 8th grade. Students are able to master skills needed to perform at their state's standards. The site provides unlimited math problems and over 1000 topics the student can choose from. "IXL generates problems targeted to the grade or level and skill you select. A skill is a specific subject that is taught in the selected grade. Students can choose from any grade level or topic category. As they progress towards mastery of a skill, the problems become increasingly difficult." IXL provides reports that help parents and teachers monitor their students' progress. The site also provides a free trial where the student may complete up to 20 questions. This option will not give the child access to the game board nor will the student earn rewards. In addition, the site will not save the student's work.

IXL provides two different options to chose from. The family memberships are designed for parents to use with their children at home. The program also offers an educator subscription which is designed for teachers to use with their students in their classroom. With this option the teachers could either subscribe with a single classroom license or they can subscribe as part of a site license. With a site license multiple teachers are able to use the site.Teachers also have access to the "Roster Tab" which makes it easy for them to enter their students' information. The roster also gives the teacher the option of  entering the parent's email address so emails could be sent to keep them updated of their child's progress.

When students enter the site they can select a skill from their grade level, choose a challenge on the game board, or click on a skill associated with their state standard. IXL also provides a helpful feature for children in grades pre-k, kindergarten, or 1st grade level. The program offers the users an icon to hear the text of the question and its answer options.This feature ensures that the child can practice math, regardless of their reading skills.

With IXL children use the site to practice math while the parents and teachers use it to monitor their progress.The cost for the program is $79 per year for a family or $9.95 per month.

IXL Learning
777 Mariners Island Blvd., Suite 600
San Mateo, CA 94404 (USA)
    (650) 372-4040
    (650) 372-4072

My Experience:

My 6 year old daughter really enjoyed completing the math problems. She also enjoyed going to the game board and playing the challenge options on it. With IXL she had an option of either selecting math problems from the practice tab or  launching her practice from the game board. She also enjoyed viewing and revealing the prizes she had earned for finishing the required number of problems.When she completed 100 math problems, I received an email stating "We're happy to say that Child 1 has been hard at work on IXL! Child 1 has answered 100 math problems so far, print certificate. To view a full report, please sign in to IXL and click on the Reports tab. You'll be able to see how Child 1 is doing on each skill, and you and Child 1 can set new practice goals together." Now every  time she sees me on the computer she is asking if she has received another award.

An option that I appreciated was being able to see what skills she had completed and what she needed help in. Also for her grade level the site has an option to have the questions and answers read to her which helped her to work independently. Tracking her progress using the detailed reports was very important to me. The grade level titles also helped me to be able to identify the appropriate skills for her.

As a special education teacher, I really appreciated that the site gives parents/teachers the choice to hide the grade level. With this option the child is not embarrassed by the fact that he might be working below his grade level. The math problems are timed ,however, the program gives one the option to hide the timer which helped reduce the frustration level.

Overall Thoughts:

I would recommend this program and it is complete for its purpose. As a parent of two, I appreciated that I was able to set my daughter up on the computer and she could work independently. I also appreciated being able to look at my state standards and make sure my daughter is completing the topics required for her grade.The "Report Tab" gave me an overview of what categories she had completed and what she needed help with. The "Proficiency Category and Report Card" were also really helpful to me.

She enjoyed going to the game board and earning rewards. The rewards made my daughter feel proud about herself. Receiving immediate feedback was also an option that my daughter and I appreciated.  The program really challenged my daughter and helped her to master the skills required for her grade level. The amount of math problems helped my daughter master topics she had not yet been introduced to. She was able to work at her own pace so there was very little frustration. . We both really enjoyed IXL!!

I have received this product free of charge for review purposes.

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