IXL Math Targets Create Individualized Learners
June 19, 2012|Posted in: IXL Integration
The learning experts all agree, which is sometimes are rare feat in educatio, students need to know the learning targets that they are aiming for. Robert Marzano states, “Students who can identify what they are learning significantly outscore those who cannot.”
With this in mind, I set forth to help students know the expectations that our state has set as their targets in math. This requires a lot of patience, and a dedication to letting students have time to digest what they are seeing. It can be quite overwhelming for a students to see ALL of the content that is required of them, but it is our job to reassure them that we will break these skills and content in to chunks and help them piece it all together.
I put a lot of trust and faith into my students this past year, and it really paid off. At times I did not know if I was on the right path, but as you will see in my next blog entry, trusting my students to embrace their targets and goal set to complete the work is something that succeeded and I hope to use in the future.
But this blog post is about finding IXL’s individual targets for students. Since each student has their own individual log in, they can use the State Standards Report to see their own targets and how they are currently doing on them. Once they know how to work their way around the report, they can always work on targeted skills (should they finish early on an assigned skill). Once I showed this to my class, it was very simple to push my students to challenge themselves ahead of the pack, and there was rarely ever a student who “got bored” because there are just so many skills to work on.
Below you will see an image of an individual students CCCS strands. We call the top part the “thermometers” and we move those bars up as much as we can throughout the year. As you can see, we spent a lot of time in IXL, but we were working on Oregon based standards, not CCCS, so…yeah, about 86% of the CCCS 4th grade standards will be new next year. That’s another blog post for another day.
Anyways, at the bottom of this report is where students spend time learning about their math targets. This portion of the report shows the student’s individual progress on each of the IXL skills that relate to a CCCS standard. Clear targets, make for better learning.
Prior to showing my students this IXL report, I had created a Google Docs spreadsheet that listed all of the Oregon State Standards based on IXL skills. Basically the same information that is listed at the bottom portion of the report, but this allowed students to highlight their completed skills as they completed each one. This would be a precursor for the “Big Switch” I did this year, but I’ll talk more about that in its own blog post.
I would encourage teachers who are using IXL to spend time showing students how to use this report. By showing this to them, it will unlock the world of math expectations, and without a doubt you will have students who push ahead and complete all of them to the best of their ability.
Let me know how it works for your class, I’d love to hear your experiences.