Make Your Back-to-School Night a Success with IXL

September 9, 2019

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In the Classroom, Back to School

Back-to-School Night or Open House is a great time to foster a strong home-school connection. If you’re using IXL in your classroom, we have some great resources to help you keep parents in the loop about what their children are doing on IXL, and even to get them involved at home! 

Give parents the lowdown on IXL

First and foremost, explain to parents how you plan to use IXL in your classroom, including whether students will be assigned IXL skills for homework. We also recommend giving families this take-home item: Sign in to your IXL account and download these handy Parent Handouts that are pre-filled with your students’ usernames and passwords. These handouts (available in English and Spanish!) give parents an overview of what IXL is, information on how to access IXL, as well as ways to use IXL at home with their children. 

Finally, don’t forget to mention that IXL offers a mobile app that they can download for their children! 

Educate families about the SmartScore

As part of your overview on IXL, you’ll want to set your expectations for student achievement on IXL skills. If this includes specific SmartScore goals, be sure to take the time to explain how the SmartScore works. Oftentimes, people will look at the SmartScore and think of it as a percentage since it goes from 0 to 100, but this isn’t the case. Print out our SmartScore Guide for parents and review some of the key points.

Help parents support their students

Learning new concepts can be challenging, so it’s important to provide parents with resources to help their children should they get stuck while working at home. Be sure to highlight the “Learn with an Example” link at the top of the page when students first practice a skill, as well as the step-by-step explanation that appears when a student gets a question wrong. Parents can encourage their children to review these explanations, or review these themselves to see if they are able to help their child. 

Another tool to show parents is IXL’s in-skill recommendations, which can be found at the bottom of the screen when students are practicing a skill. Instead of getting stuck on a skill that’s too difficult, students can try these supporting skills, build confidence, and then feel prepared to return to the original skill.

Finally, let parents know that if their child is getting frustrated, it’s ok to have them take a break! IXL will save their progress for when they’re ready to come back to the skill. 

Show families how to track progress

A great thing about IXL is that not only do teachers have great reports through IXL Analytics, but students (and their parents) can also check on their own performance through their accounts.  

A great report to highlight is Usage Details, which allows parents to monitor how their students are spending their time on IXL and what they’re achieving. Check out this blog post for other reports that parents may find interesting if they want to dive deeper into their child’s use of IXL!

 

By Nick Hurd, IXL Professional Learning Specialist

 

 

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