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How is IXL Useful in Math Class?

February 23, 2021 | Cindy Kuperus

No doubt you’ve seen your child use IXL in math or literacy classes. You may have wondered why teachers include IXL activities as part of their curriculum. Here are three ways that it supports your child’s math learning.

First, IXL allows scaffolded and repeated practice that helps students gain fluency and confidence in concepts they have learned in the classroom; or, students might be introduced to a new concept through IXL.

For example, third graders are learning about area in their math studies now. They learned that if they knew the dimensions of a rectangle, they could multiply them to find the area.

Last week, students were asked to apply their understanding to rectilinear shapes.  Take a look at this workbook page:

Students learn to divide each figure into two rectangles, multiply the dimensions of each and then add the products to find the area in square units. Here’s an example:

To reinforce or to provide further practice, a teacher might assign an activity from IXL called “Find the area of complex figures by dividing them into rectangles.” Here is an example of a problem from that activity:

The problem asks for the child to divide the shape into two rectangles, figure out the area of each, and then add the products to find the total area–the same process she or he practiced in class. Now suppose your child got mixed up and wrote the perimeter instead of the area, as in the image below. Then, she or he is provided a step-by-step set of instructions for how to solve the problem.

At any time, your child can return to practice again.

A second reason teachers use IXL in third grade is that IXL work will give students practice in using a computer to answer questions, enabling them to be more familiar–and again, confident–when they take their MAP tests in fourth grade.

A third reason to use IXL is that all students earn awards, ribbons, and certificates–reminding them that they are achieving mastery and answering a certain number of questions. They are so excited to share their achievement (and spurred on to further practice)!

Cindy Kuperus

Teacher, Grade 3 Mountains Class

Ms. Kuperus attended a small Lutheran grade school and has always been a student in multi-grade classrooms. She became interested in teaching, in fact, when she would assist classmates when the teacher was busy helping others. Her 5th/6th grade teacher, Mrs. Roman, encouraged her to think broadly about the world beyond their small town (population: 500), giving stickers to those who could answer a question from the World News segment from television the night before. She would be thrilled to learn that Ms. Kuperus has taught internationally in Masaya, Nicaragua, and Chengdu,China.

After graduating from Calvin College, Ms. Kuperus taught students in grades two-six for almost 10 years in Kentwood, Michigan. In 1994, Ms. Kuperus sought a teaching position in a school in the Northeast, anywhere but New Jersey. She’s now taught for over 23 years in NEW JERSEY! Two of her former students, Becca Brasser and Sam Martino, are now on staff at MSS.

Ms. Kuperus loves opportunities to travel, interact with the people, and taste the foods of the world. She’s also a person who ‘travels” with the characters in the books she reads!

It’s important to Ms. Kuperus that people’s voices are heard and that their needs for shelter and food are met. To that end, she volunteers for organizations like First Friends and the Sharing Place.

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