Maureen Shrader is an IXL Professional Learning Specialist with 18 years experience as a teacher.
Equipping students with high-quality early childhood education is among the smartest investments teachers and parents can make. The developmental years between preschool and 3rd grade offer an important opportunity to mold critical cognitive and social skills that define young learners’ futures.
To provide a head start on the path toward life-long success, teachers can use IXL to personalize learning for budding students. Read on to see how using IXL for early childhood education makes learning fun, provides targeted instruction, and offers parents ways to effectively support young learners!
Make education entertaining
Keep instruction fresh with educational activities that encourage student participation. Learning that is novel, visual, and collaborative captures the attention of younger students, so try projecting or sharing your screen while reviewing concepts. Students can follow along individually or be grouped in teams as they answer questions. If students are learning in person, make the experience even more interactive by providing whiteboards or iPads—learners will work through questions and then raise their boards up to reveal their answers!
Younger students have boundless energy and many learn better through movement. Get your students up and about while learning: designate an area of the classroom for each IXL answer option during skill practice, create suspense by counting down, and have students race to the area representing their answer. For instance, you can say, “If you think the top answer is correct, then go to the windows. If you think the middle answer is correct, then move to the door. If you think the last answer is correct, move to the rug. 3-2-1 move!” This fun activity will have students learning, laughing, and engaged!
Early-elementary students often have a wide range of knowledge levels. Some students have a firm understanding of grade-level concepts, but others are still learning the basics and need targeted practice to grow. IXL’s curriculum is tailored to an individual learners’ proficiencies and has many tools that let students build knowledge at their own pace.
Each of IXL’s 8,500 skills automatically adapts to your student, supporting and challenging them as they progress towards mastery. You can further differentiate learning for students by suggesting more rigorous concepts from the grade-level skills lists. For those who need additional support, create a review group based on data from IXL’s Skill Analysis report and use its carousel of questions for reteaching.
Get parents on board
Parents are a student’s first teacher and take a prominent role in their child’s education.To help parents support their child’s learning, IXL has created valuable resources for families to help them manage the shift.
Share the Parent Handout on the 2020-2021 Learning Hub to offer parents ideas of how to help from home. If parents are looking to provide additional support for struggling students, encourage them to check out IXL’s in-skill recommendations located at the bottom of a skill. These recommendations will guide parents toward skills that build a strong foundation of knowledge, close learning gaps, and build self-confidence to support their young learner’s future success.