How IXL supports special education

Special education teachers are required to be jack-of-all-trades in the classroom, providing highly individualized support to address a wide range of learning differences. To ensure learners excel, teachers need to effectively differentiate instruction and accurately monitor every student’s progress.

While IXL is designed to help every learner excel, many features give SPED educators important tools to meet their students’ unique needs. IXL’s comprehensive K-12 curriculum, personalized guidance, and actionable analytics support various academic needs, while offering clear insight into student performance. Read on to see how you can use IXL to help SPED students excel academically and build confidence in their learning. 

A curriculum for any student

As a special educator, each of your students may have completely different knowledge levels and abilities, and it’s important to have content that meets all of their needs. IXL provides an entire K-12 curriculum of more than 8,500 skills in all core subjects, allowing teachers to assign skills from any level to differentiate instruction for each student. Teachers can even choose to hide grade levels so that every student is comfortable working at their own pace.

And many IXL skills support multi-sensory instruction, which helps SPED students build a strong understanding of each concept. IXL skills engage students with both sight (words and images) and sound (audio support), and feature a wide variety of interactions, such as dragging and dropping tiles into bins, and selecting letters in words. Audio support can be particularly helpful for students with dyslexia, so they can work independently without being hindered by reading difficulties. 

Plus, each IXL skill adapts to students based on their level of understanding, adjusting the difficulty to meet students where they are and help them grow. This personalized experience ensures every student gets the perfect amount of support and has the flexibility to work at their own pace. 

Accurate assessments in real time

In order to differentiate instruction, teachers need a simple way to see exactly what students know. The IXL Real-Time Diagnostic assesses students’ grade-level proficiency in math and English language arts, providing a full picture of their current knowledge levels across key strands. In as little as 45 minutes, educators know exactly where each student’s learning gaps are, and which concepts to point them to next. 

The diagnostic can also be helpful for identifying students with reading difficulties. The Reading Strategies strand of the diagnostic assesses phonemic awareness and phonics skills, two known deficit areas of dyslexic students.

A personalized action plan

The Real-Time Diagnostic also generates a highly personalized action plan for each student, directing them to the exact IXL skills to work on next. This automatically differentiates learning based on each student’s needs, and helps them make steady progress.  

Teachers can use each student’s diagnostic action plan to set realistic IEP (individualized education plan) goals for each grading cycle. See how in our 3-step implementation guide.

Meaningful student data

IXL Analytics reports make progress monitoring easy, help identify students in need of intervention, and aid teachers in accurately developing IEPs based on performance data. The reports include:  

  • Student Details: Receive deep insights about what students know and dive into exactly what they’ve been working on. 
  • Trouble Spots: See which skills and question types give students a hard time, and which group of learners are struggling with the same concepts. 
  • Progress and Improvement: Visualize the growth your student has made on specific IXL skills, identify strengths and weaknesses, and set new IEP goals.

Want to learn more about how to use IXL Analytics to assess and address students’ unique needs? Check out this blog post from a former special education teacher!