Meghan Manley is an IXL Professional Learning Specialist with experience as a teacher and instructional coach.
Many schools have started to reimagine their schedules to ensure learners make the most of their time each day, especially as many students return for in-person learning. One strategy that continues to grow in popularity is implementing flexible enrichment periods, where students can work freely—with optional teacher support—in a study hall environment.
Here, learn how IXL can help you and your students maximize this valuable learning time!
If flex periods are part of your schedule, begin by setting and sharing clear expectations with how students should be spending their time. Consider having students jot down a goal statement before their flex time begins.
Older students can aim to reach proficiency in 1-2 IXL skills, while younger students may want to frame their goals around how many IXL awards they can collect by the end of the period.
Build on a lesson with assigned skill practice
Ensure IXL practice is meaningful and targeted by finding a skill that complements your lesson or standard. During enrichment time, have students practice that skill to a SmartScore of 80 to demonstrate proficiency.
For students that are ready for the next step, provide them with options. They can challenge themselves to see how close they can get to a SmartScore of 100 or choose a “Next Up” In-Skill Recommendation once they enter the Challenge Zone.
Close gaps with personalized skill practice
IXL’s Real-Time Diagnostic helps students pinpoint exactly where they are in their learning journey, and generates a Diagnostic action plan with a personalized roadmap of skills to work on in math and ELA.
Having students work on skills from their Diagnostic action plan during this enrichment time is a great way to encourage student choice while also ensuring all students are practicing skills that will continue to move them forward. Students can access these skills at any time through their plan or with a permanent skill ID.
Reteach in small groups
Have time for small groups during this block? Then head over to the Trouble Spots report in Analytics to see the exact areas where students need support. IXL automatically groups students based on the trouble spots they share, and even helps you prioritize which areas are easiest to address across a large group.
When you’re ready to reteach and review, you can pull from a carousel of exact questions that students missed. These are perfect to use in your small group and make planning a breeze!
Let students choose
Students thrive when given choice and ownership over their learning. IXL’s Recommendations wall supports students by allowing them to explore and practice skills based on their interests. Skill suggestions are based on each student’s prior progress in IXL skills and the Real-Time Diagnostic.
Students are free to scroll through their wall to find skills that build upon what they’ve already learned, spark their curiosity with new concepts, or revisit skills they’ve already practiced to work toward an even higher SmartScore. During a flexible enrichment period, the Recommendations wall ensures that students always have meaningful and engaging practice at their fingertips.
Keep an eye on what students are working on in real time with IXL Analytics. During an enrichment block, you can use Live Classroom to see what skills students have selected, their current SmartScores, and how they’ve answered questions. When a student’s tile turns red, you’ll know it’s time to step in and offer help.
Try giving support through Live Message—it’s a quick and easy way to provide feedback, redirection, and friendly reminders to individual learners or the whole class!
At the end of each enrichment period, check out the Students Quickview report to see the exact skills students worked on and their practice stats all in one place.
A flexible enrichment block is a great way to make the most of every minute with your students while also leveraging more time for student choice. Want more ideas? Be sure to check out your Teacher Toolkit with tons of classroom resources!