Episode 17: IXL, UXL, We All Excel!!!

In episode 17, Amy Van Hoose talks to St. Jacob Elementary Teachers Kelly Jewell and Callie Moore about the IXL program that is used in Triad’s K-8 classrooms.  The great news is that IXL can also be used at home. IXL is a K-12 learning experience that provides comprehensive, standards-aligned content for math and language arts.  Triad provides access for students in grades K-8. IXL has been in the district for several years, but is increasing in popularity with teachers each year as we increase the number of chromebooks in the district.  We are now 1:1 with devices in grades 2-12 and 1st grade has several chromebooks, tablets, and desktops to use in the room. Because IXL can go wherever students go, the learning doesn’t have to stop once they leave the classroom!  You can help keep IXL momentum going at home. Through your child’s account, you can check in on their students’ progress, support their growth, and keep them motivated to use IXL at home.

Kelly Jewell completed her undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2007. She has taught 1st grade, multi-age 2nd and 3rd grades, and 3rd grade at St. Jacob Elementary. She lives with her husband in Glen Carbon and has two children in graduate school. In the summers she and her family loves to travel abroad.



Callie Moore grew up in Springfield, IL. She graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and started teaching at St. Jacob Elementary the same year. She taught Pre-K for two years, 2nd/3rd grade multi-age for one year, and now teaches 2nd grade. She loves teaching in such a supportive, close-knit community! She lives in Troy with her husband Aaron and son Jaxon. She enjoys spending time with family and reading.

How is IXL used in our schools?

Teachers all have a unique way of using IXL in the classroom.  Some use it as a learning station with others use it as independent practice on skills that a child needs to practice.  Mrs. Jewell spoke in the podcast about linking the MAP test results with IXL skills and creating a checklist of skills with her students.  

Why do we recommend that parents use this at home?

IXL is a great tool for the classroom, as well as for home use.  IXL can be used by parents as a way to encourage extra practice. Students can practice skills at home to further prepare them for practice and assessments in the classroom.  If a student is struggling with a particular concept, extra practice on IXL at home is a great way to help him or her improve in that area. Parents can help their child pick a skill from the list that they might find challenging, or even fun, to practice.  

Should parents be worried that they are taking a skill away from a teacher by working on it at home?

No, absolutely not, practicing and experimenting on IXL helps build schema for the student.  IXL can provide background information that the teacher will continue to build on in the classroom.  Having background knowledge aides student participation in the classroom, elevate confidence levels, and overall feelings of being successful in the classroom..  

How does the SmartScore work?

The SmartScore is based on IXL’s proprietary algorithm and is the best possible measure of how well a student understands a skill. With the SmartScore, the learning process is rewarded and your students are constantly reassessed.

When a student starts practicing a skill, the SmartScore starts at 0. As he or she answers questions correctly, the SmartScore increases. If a question is answered incorrectly, the score decreases. However, the SmartScore is not just based on the percentage of questions correct. It is calculated using many factors, including the number of questions completed, question difficulty, and consistency, and offers superior accuracy in assessing student achievement.

A skill is mastered when the SmartScore reaches 100, but the number of questions it takes to master a skill varies with every student. To continuously motivate students, IXL recommends setting other practice milestones along the way to mastery. A score of 80 is good, and a score of 90 is considered excellent. When a student finally achieves skill mastery, you can be confident that he or she truly understands the skill.

How can students access IXL at home?

Students have an IXL account assigned to them from the district that can be used on any device with a web browser or the IXL app.  Check with your child’s teacher for a username and password.

Can I keep track of my child’s progress?

For the parents who are eager to be engaged, show them the wealth of IXL Analytics! To access the reports, all they need to do is sign in to their child’s account and click on Analytics. There they can choose from five reports—Usage details, Trouble spots, Score chart, Questions log, and Progress & improvement—to learn more about their child’s progress and see exactly what they are doing!  We also encourage you to add your email to your child’s account. Have your child log in, go to the drop down under their name, and add an email under profiles and settings. You will get updates on their progress.

  • Access the website at www.ixl.com
  • When school breaks are approaching, share IXL School Break Strategies for Parents. The PDF provides tips for parents to help keep their students exploring and engaged with IXL when school’s not in session. It’s available on the Inspiration tab in the Printables section.
  • Do you have MAP scores from your teachers?  Use this link to find math skills to practice based on the MAP scores.
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