Friday, 8 November 2013

IXL Math - TOS Review

IXL is an on-line practice site that we have been reviewing over the last few weeks.

IXL are an international company - we have been using the UK site which covers math from reception to yr 12 (yr 13 is to come). The US site has math and language arts and I believe they are working on language arts for the UK.

We tested years 4 & 7 - each year is divided into topics in line with the National Curriculum and they list all topics a child needs to know to be in line with the UK curriculum. Logging in was simple and we first chose an avatar for each child as well as setting up individual passwords for them. Once logged in they had access to the whole range of age work but they just used the age appropriate section. Sunflower did find her year a bit easy so was able to do some work from the year above which was a great benefit.

Each section is divided into a number of subsections. In each subsection, the child works on questions with scores up to 100 (only a couple actually had 100 questions but I think that was more because she kept getting them wrong). The less mistakes the child makes the quicker they move through that section. There are virtual awards that the children win after completing a certain number of questions correctly or spending a set amount of time on the programme. They also emailed certificates to the girls which they liked.

There is a parents page which show progress reports and how long a child has spent working, correct scores and more. They sent a quick email report weekly to update me on time spent, topics covered etc.

I found IXL to be a great reinforcer and a great practise tool and they do live up to their motto 'Practice that feels like play'. The girls had great fun comparing their virtual stickers.
The girls were able to use this independently and even managed to work on some topics we hadn't covered because when an answer is incorrect they offer a really good explanation and show how to work it correctly. There is no space for your working out and workings are not marked (Lilly often had a notepad alongside her for her 'scribblings') so it would be nice to see a separate space/window for this.
IXL is available either as a monthly plan or as an annual fee. A monthly plan is £7.99 and an annual fee £59. If you opt for the annual fee, each additional child is £20 per year. 

You can see what my crewmates thought over at the TOS Blog

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