IXL Lesson Plan

(Image credit: IXL)

IXL is an online platform designed for personalized learning experiences focused on skill development across a wide range of content areas and K-12 grade levels. Through a comprehensive suite of features, IXL focuses on targeting specific areas of development that students may need to further develop by using engaging video tutorials, games, and customized lessons. IXL offers flexible learning activities that can be used for whole class instruction, small group work, individual learning and tutoring.

For an overview of IXL, check out What is IXL and How Does It Work?

What follows is a sample lesson that could be used for high school algebra.

Subject: Mathematics

Topic: Algebra

Grade Band: High School

Learning Objective:

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Understand algebraic concepts
  • Collaborate with peers
  • Build individual algebraic skills

IXL Lesson Plan: Starter

Use one of the whole-class lessons within IXL to instruct students on the algebraic concepts that you want them to learn. Within IXL you will have the option to choose the grade level to target specific skills that align with your lesson’s learning objective(s).

As you review different examples as a class, students will get the chance to see the IXL platform and work through different problems together. A cool feature within IXL is “Group Jam'' that allows peers to work collaboratively to figure out correct answers to the questions posed.

Alternatively, you can put together a lesson using interactive slides through Slido, Google Slides, or any other similar edtech tool, and save the IXL engagement for the next phase of the lesson which is individual skill development.

Individual Skill Development

After the whole-class lesson, have students work individually within the IXL platform to ensure that they are working on the specific skills for which they personally need development.

Students will start with choosing their grade, for example 9th grade, and then the subject area, algebra 1. Then, more than 350 skills will be available but these are organized by broad topics such as numbers and operations, linear functions, quadratic equations, and so forth. The “Recommendations” option in IXL will use previous data to recommend activities to start with for students.

Within this 9th grade algebra 1 example, there are also 75 lessons and more than 300 videos, so students will have plenty of content from which to learn and enjoy. If students incorrectly respond to any question, a detailed explanation will appear that walks them through correcting it, as well as additional skill-building resources, including games, interactive worksheets, and teacher-created activities.

Student-Teacher Conference

IXL provides a robust suite of analytics for teachers to monitor students’ progress including how many questions answered, the time spent answering questions, what has been made in terms of skill development, and so much more. Graphics and charts are also available to show the progress by categories with score grids to see how every student in the class is doing on each specific skill, when compared to their peers.

Using these analytics, identify the areas of concern and share with students their progress, ask questions about their experience and areas of needs in their view, and discuss a plan for future development in individualized conferences. The other students can work on their skill development within the IXL platform while you meet individually with each student.

What Does IXL Offer for Test Preparation?

In addition to the individualized skill development lessons for mathematics, science, language arts, social studies, and spanish, IXL offers a wide range of test preparation content for several standardized test including: the ACT and SAT, which is used for college admissions; the GED to obtain the highschool completion equivalency; and state specific tests such as the Keystones, which is required in Pennsylvania.

What Community Features Does IXL Offer?

The IXL website offers regular posts to keep the community of IXL users connected. In addition, there are different awards and targeted activities throughout the year in which educators can get involved. An option to subscribe to the newsletter is available as well if you would prefer to get automated updates.

IXL is a great site to include in your lesson time for students to target specific skills that are personalized to their development. Give it a try and see how your students enjoy and learn with IXL.

Dr. Stephanie Smith Budhai is an associate clinical professor in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at Drexel University, in Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies and K-12 teaching certifications in Technology Education, Instructional Technology and Business, Computers, Information Technology, Special Education and Elementary Education. She is also the 2021 Emerging Leader for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) and the 2017 ISTE Awardee for Excellence in Teacher Education. Dr. Smith Budhai is a Nearpod, and VoiceThread Certified Educator.  Dr. Smith Budhai has more than a decade of online teaching experience, and has published myriad books, articles, and invited editorials surrounding the use of technology and online learning in education. Her publications include: 

- Leveraging Digital Tools to Assess Student Learning 

- Increasing Engagement in Online Learning: Quick Reference Guide

- Culturally Responsive Teaching Online and In-Person: An Action Planner for Dynamic Equitable Learning Environments 

- Teaching the 4Cs with Technology

- Best Practices in Engaging Online Learners through Active and Experiential Learning Strategies

- Nurturing Young Innovators: Cultivating Creativity in the Classroom, Home and Community