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IXL: Best Tips And Tricks For Teaching

(Image credit: IXL)

These IXL tips and tricks are laid out to help teachers get the most out of the digital learning service so students can benefit from working with this multi-subject, online K-12 curriculum, learning platform. 

The goal-based learning system can intelligently learn how a student is struggling so as to offer adaptive skills practices to help them better progress toward learning goals. But it's possible for teachers and parents to help maximize these good effects by using IXL better.

From tips to help make using IXL easier to tricks that get more out of the platform, this guide will help you use that IXL membership to its fullest.

So, read on for the best IXL tips and tricks for your students.

Let students lead with IXL

IXL (opens in new tab) is a great way to give students the opportunity to explore their own learning needs. Since the platform works intelligently to assess and guide students to improve on areas they're struggling with, it provides them with freedom. Teachers and parents can use the analytics to track progress and set specific goals. But it can be beneficial to let students explore for themselves.

In doing this, it can offer a sense of independence as well as a confidence-building opportunity, all while also working on curriculum-based skills that will help them reach their goals. Giving a target of a certain amount of time on IXL per week could be enough guidance, with a weekly check-in to track progress.

Use jump a level

IXL allows teachers and parents the chance to "jump a level." When doing this, they can then preview how questions will progress in difficulty within any given skill set. Since the SmartScore varies based on the difficulty of each question, it provides an opportunity to better judge realistic goals and set a SmartScore requirement for each student to suit their level. 

This is also a useful method to model certain questions at a particular level for the entire class. You could go through and pick those that you want and leave anything you don't think will be helpful.


(Image credit: IXL)

Work with Google Classroom

IXL can be easily shared within Google Classroom, ideal for any school that already works within that framework.

In the upper right corner of the IXL screen is a selection of share icons that apply to different platforms, including social media. You can assign a specific skill to a student, a class, or group easily using this icon. Select the second icon in from the left and give that link to students so they can be taken directly to that skill.

Work with textbooks

The IXL skills are made to align with textbooks, specifically with more than 30 ELA textbooks. Each skill set is designed to work with each chapter, making it easy to cross between and work with both.

Skill plans are available for ACT, SATs, and NWEA MAP Growth. These all create a very complimentary way of working in that IXL can be used to reinforce what's being worked through in the textbooks.

Learn with examples

The IXL feature "learn with an example" is a great way to help students understand a skill before they begin working. This feature essentially shows a similar setup of question and answer so that the student can see how it's organized, worked out, and answered. 

The explanation of how to solve the example question is a built-in teaching tool that makes this a viable platform for home-based learning. This is also great when applied to the app as it allows students to work on skills whenever they have time from their own devices.


(Image credit: IXL)

Suggest a skill

It's possible to directly suggest skills for individual students or classes and have those appear in the student's individual Recommendations wall section of the IXL platform. This helps to integrate targeted skills from teachers, with these automatically generated by the platform, based on its learning from the student's efforts. 

To do this, go into the skill and select the star then pick either an individual, a class, or all students, depending on what you have setup.

Import your Google Classroom roster

IXL allows teachers to import a Google Classroom roster, so adding students and classes is far simpler and faster than inputting manually. This also helps when making recommendations as suggested above.

To do this, go to "import students" at the upper right of the roster page. Then, from the dropdown select Google Classroom as the place from where you want to pull the list. This is done once and won't be kept live, so if you do make changes at the Google end, be sure to re-sync here to make sure you're up to date.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.