Friday, November 07, 2014

IXL ~ Review



Have you came across any fun websites that allow your child to practice math and language arts skills? Our family recently did when we had the opportunity to review IXL Math and IXL Language Arts from the wonderful company, IXL. I was given access to their online program for a full year for up to five students. I used the program with my three daughters. Anytime I have the opportunity to help my daughters improve their math and language skills is a huge advantage for us all.


What is IXL?


IXL provides online math (PreK-Precalculus) and language arts (2nd-8th) practice for children. It's colorful design and play feel, make using the online program enjoyable. A fun addition is the awards and certificates that are hidden throughout the site. IXL also provides easy-to-read reports and e-mail updates. I love the fact that I will never miss a second of my daughters learning.

Is it important for you to be aligned with your state's standards? Not a problem! With IXL's state standards alignments, you can easily find unlimited practice problems specifically tailored to each required standard.



I really enjoyed the many topics and practice questions that IXL has to offer. If you're looking for a program for instruction than IXL isn't going to be for you. If you're looking for a program to help your child practice what he or she already knows, than IXL would be the perfect fit. There are literally thousands of questions on a huge amount of topics relating to language arts and math. 

I had my daughters doing third, forth, and fifth grade practice questions. As you can see from the graphics below, there are a ton of skills to practice. I will have to say that I noticed that my daughters were having a bit of a hard time using their grade level at times, but this was easily fixed by going down a grade level or picking a topic they were comfortable with. It also allowed me to be able to easily identify what they needed more work on and what they were doing with ease.








As noted above, the practice on the math part is for grades PreK-Precalculus. I loved the fact that in our regular math curriculum my daughters were able to learn concepts and then practice them same concepts on the IXL Math section of the site. Finding the right topics wasn't hard either. I found it very easy to navigate my way around their site.

We found the question pages to be uncluttered, which was very nice. When my daughters missed questions, there was always a wonderful explanation given. I appreciated that even though this isn't an instructional program, that it does give clear explanations that helped my daughters understand why they missed the question.




  
My daughters thought is was very fun to be awarded certificates. It was probably one of their favorite parts. It made them feel really good about the time they were spending practicing their skills. My oldest was very, very proud of her 5 hours of math practice certificate. 

Right now there is also an IXL math app available. I did download the app to our Kindle. We personally didn't use it, but I can foresee us using it in the future.

It looks like a fantastic app.









The practice questions for the Language arts section is 2nd-8th grade. I did happen to notice on the site that they were going to be adding 9th and 10th grade soon. I know that this will come in handy for a lot of people. It's exciting to also know that when my daughters are older, this will be available to them. 


Just like with the math section, these questions were also on a uncluttered page, helping keep the focus on the questions. My daughters liked getting the right answer. When a right answer is given, a fun graphic pops up that says, well done, fantastic, brilliant, and you got it! We liked the positive encouragement. 

We have been working on using correct form with my youngest daughter. When I found the practice questions, I knew they would be a great fit. She did very well with them. Below is an example of some the questions she was asked. 



They have also just added a brand new language arts iPad app. I don't have an iPad, but I assume one for Kindle will be out sometime in the future. I can't wait to check it out. 


~Awards~


The awards area was a fun extra for us. I liked that we were able to see what they had earned, how many questions they had answered, how long they had practiced for, what they had mastered, and how long until their next win. 

Each grade level has its own themed game award board. This was nice when we had to switch between grade levels. We could see what was done on one grade level and what was done on the other.


~Reports Area~


I appreciated being able to access this area. I was able to see status updates, usage, performance, trouble spots, progress, and the state standards.  Some of the reports are set up in a bar graph and circle graph manner, making them easier to understand the information. A nice feature was also being able to print or export each area in the reports. In this area I was also able to have access to the certificates my daughters earned. My favorite section was the skills practices and the trouble spots. I thought it was wonderful to be able to see what topics my daughters were having trouble with, so that we could work on those skills.


When clicking on the skills practiced, I was able to see how much time my daughter had spent on a skill, how many problems they attempted and what their smartscore was. I wasn't sure what the smartscore was, but after clicking on the question mark, I learned that it was based on a proprietary algorithm and is designed to give you the best possible measure of your child's mastery level. Whenever your child's smartscore reaches 100, you can feel confident that your child has mastered that skill.

~What I loved about IXL~

I really enjoyed seeing my daughters skill levels improve throughout the review period. I anticipate that they will only continue to improve while using this awesome program. I also liked that it gave me a push to introduce concepts that I might have not thought they were ready for, but noticed that they were. I also loved being able to access the reports area.  It's always nice to be able to track my daughters progress when using online programs. I definitely appreciated the e-mails.


~How much does IXL cost?~

The cost of IXL for one student is $9.95/month for one subject, or $15.95/month for both math and language arts. Additional students are only an extra $2 per month.


An annual subscription is only $79 for one subject, or $129 for both math and language arts. Each additional student is only $20 a year


Want to connect with IXL?



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