Hello OJCS Students and Families,
This year the school has purchased an online math subscription to IXL. IXL is an online forum that provides diagnostics of learning skills, promotes review, mastery and extensions of skills through practice, as well as providing students, teachers, and parents valuable information on student’s progress through grade data points. IXL will be used in all grades K through 8 this year.
IXL is divided into three main parts.
Please feel free to watch the Parent Tutorial I have created for our OJCS families this year at the bottom of this post.
How IXL works?
First, your son/daughter’s teacher will have created a username and password for IXL. (Note: This is NOT their school email)
Once you have that information, it is important that you login to IXL through our school’s personal web access, here; https://ca.ixl.com/signin/ojcs
You will know it’s the right homepage, as you will note the OJCS logo on the right hand side.
I recommend that you bookmark this page, as well as “save’ the student’s password and username for ease of access when entering the site later on. Through some trial and error, although there is an app, the site works best through the website address.
Next, your son/daughter’s teacher will have already, or in class sometime over the next few weeks, begin the “Diagnostic” process. The Diagnostic is meant to be for pre-assessment to automatically determine which skills the student requires more practice and review, and/or areas of strength in where the student is ready to move at ahead. This allows all students to be progressing in their math learning, at their own pace, and with teacher support and oversight. It is strongly encouraged that if doing the Diagnostic work at home(as you can revisit the Diagnostic at anytime, and is ongoing) that the student is working on this as independently as possible. If a teacher or parent helps out during this process, the recommendations and next steps will be biased and not as authentic for the students to monitor their own growth, be confident in their abilities as well as provide authentic feedback to the teacher on his/her personalized math journey. The Diagnostic will then begin to pull out material in which will be the “next steps” or personalized math “playlist” for that student. It typically takes 5-10 Diagnostic visits of at least 10-15 minutes to gather a well rounded result. The Diagnostic will be promoted to also be completed again throughout the year, as this will measure the student’s growth in achieving and moving forward through the skills and material in his/her own learning path.
Following the diagnostic, on the teacher’s suggestion, the students will be directed to work on skills that appear on their “Recommendation Wall.” This can be found under the “Learning Tab” on the green tool bar at the top. The skills that curate here are either; skills in in which the student requires more review and practice, or skills in which the student is ready to move on to learn. Within the Learning scope, the student’s have motivated incentive through “prizes and awards” for scores, time spent on learning, consistent results, and even dedicated trial. Also on this page, students will see answers they have correctly achieved and a “Smart Score.” A Smart Score triggers both students, teachers, and the program to either move ahead with skills, or continue practice. A Smart Score of 90 deems the skill has been achieved at an excellent success rate, and 100 indicated Mastery. Some teachers may choose (depending on the skill, student, class etc.) to have various Smart Skill triggers to move on.
*Audio: It is important to know that all grades K-5 have an audio option that the teachers have enabled that will read the questions a loud for the student. Only some questions in grade 5+ have this option (but most do.)
The “Analytics” tab (last one on the green tool bar at the top) is where students and teachers can see in real time how they are doing. Some teachers have opted to not show grade levels, and some have. Please confirm with your child’s teacher to check which they have opted for. In Middle School, I have opted for students to see their leveled scores and can track their progress and I see it myself on the teacher dashboard. Scoring and “grade levels” are divided into hundreds. 100 (grade 1) 150 ( middle of grade 1) 190 (end of grade 1) 600 (grade 6) etc etc.
Please note that due to all Diagnostics and learning being conducted and reviews at different times throughout the year, it is okay if a student is lower in one strand than another until it is reviewed again in class. This allows for re-activation of material, practice, and revisiting concepts from previous years. Diagnostics can be done at anytime, and for any length of time, so it is recommended to both teachers and students that they plan for Diagnostic time at least once a month.
Here it is also important to mention that teachers can directly highlight skills in which students should be practicing on, at any given time as well. On the Learning page, on the right, there may be a star, following by *#* of skills recommended by your teacher. This means that if the grade 1 class is working on patterning at the current moment, the grade 1 teacher can highlight specific skills and questions for student to practice, so that the teacher is able to gain another insight into how students are doing in that particular skill or strand.
From the teacher dashboard, teachers are able to not only see what skills, levels and grade points each student is currently achieving, but also the recommended next steps, any potential gaps in learning from previous years, as well as collectively or personally as a class or individual, the needs of students to continue on their math path with success.
IXL is a meaningful tool and can be supportive in a child’s math success and growth when:
Diagnostic is used as independently as possible
Students have highlighted skills from the teacher
Students take ownership of their learning to practice, review, or move forward
Is only ONE data point in the process of learning
As all students learn differently and at different paces, IXL is only one finger on the pulse at one time. It is not the only standard of measurement that will be used to assess or evaluate a student’s progress and growth; however it can be a meaningful one to support the growth of individual needs at appropriate skill levels and strands at a given time.
IXL is also a meaningful opportunity for students to either enrich their own math learning inside of the classroom or at home, as well as build on skills in which they are currently being challenged; making IXL a true personalized learning tool for all.
I encourage any parent that would like to know more how IXL will be used this year in their child’s class, to please contact their child’s Math (General Studies) teacher, and as always you can always contact me at anytime regarding the program or overall math concerns or questions. I always welcome your thoughts and contributions.