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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)!