Summer learning ideas from IXL Ambassadors

As teachers, we all know that keeping students engaged throughout the summer can prevent learning loss and prepare them for the upcoming school year. But as students anticipate their well-deserved break from the classroom, it can be tough to keep the momentum going.

We asked IXL Ambassadors to share their time-tested tips for using IXL in their summer school classrooms, as well as their favorite ways to encourage summer learning at home. Read on to get summer ready!

IXL strategies for summer school 

Whether this is your first time using IXL for summer school, or you just want to explore some new ideas, use these teacher tips to maximize your instructional time and make learning fun. 

All of our summer learning programs use IXL and the teachers and students LOVE it! Teachers make time to have students spend time in the Diagnostic arena each day. The summer resources and encouraging activities IXL creates each summer have always been a great resource for staff! Giving students access to IXL all summer allows parents and summer program teachers to encourage students to keep those vital math and ELA skills active.”
– Jodi J., District Tech Integration Specialist

“This summer, we will continue with our school plan of utilizing at least 10 minutes of IXL a day and keeping their diagnostic levels up to date. We have seen great gains in our students in the past two years that we have been using IXL. Our fifth graders, on average, have gained 140 points.”

Hint: Learn more about how to use IXL’s Real-Time Diagnostic and Diagnostic Action Plans! And get students started with these IXL for Students videos. 

“Each summer, we offer a ‘Kindergarten Bootcamp’ for our preschool students entering kindergarten in the fall. Students will practice IXL skills and learn how to use the program for 15 minutes a day. Students who have used IXL consistently over the summer months are better prepared for our fall NWEA testing.”
– Natalie B., Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Innovation

"This summer I will host in-person and online learning sessions for students. Each student will first take the IXL Diagnostic and then follow a personalized learning plan. I will motivate them to practice by having contests and raffles with prizes."

Hint: Want more fun learning ideas? Check out our list of creative summer school activities!  

“Struggling students who attend summer school will use IXL skill recommendations to help close learning gaps and, for teachers, to identify areas for whole group lessons. They also complete district-selected skills to complete each summer in preparation for the next grade level. Struggling students who have failed a grade level, yet use IXL in their summer school program, have in turn succeeded and been promoted.”
– Tara S., 6th grade math teacher

“For summer school, I will be using the IXL Diagnostic to place students into small groups for instruction. Along with the diagnostic, I will be using IXL as a station rotation to help strengthen student deficiencies. For student practice at home, my plan is to post weekly or biweekly skill goals for students to complete and encourage families to go beyond.”

Hint: Not sure how many skills students should work on throughout summer? Research shows just reaching proficiency in two skills a week can improve test scores! 

“All students will be given an instruction packet and a calendar tracker to mark their IXL minutes each day. I also plan on using IXL Leaderboards this year for weekly or monthly challenges. Students who are active on IXL over the summer have maintained their end-of-year score in the diagnostic. It also allows students the freedom of choice to work on things that interest them or that they feel successful in.”
– Kathleen M., Middle school math teacher

Tips for at-home summer learning

Most parents want to keep their children learning over the summer, but may need some guidance on how to do so effectively. Take a look at all the summer resources for families you can share with parents, and the different ways you can continue the home-school connection over the summertime! 

“At the end of the year, I always send parents an email with their student’s IXL login information and the benefits of keeping up over the summer. I can always tell the difference during the first week of school between which students actively used IXL and those who didn’t. Students who used IXL over the summer are more prepared for 6th grade and can ‘hit the ground running’ at the beginning of the next year.”
– Jennifer S., 6th Grade Teacher and Technology Mentor

Hint: Print this parent handout, available in English and Spanish, to give families their child’s login information and easy ways to use IXL at home!

Hint: Use IXL’s free templates to easily create summer skills lists.

“I always send an email to parents on how to view their students’ action plans. We keep diagnostic scores up to date all year, so my students have key skills to work on through the summer. If students keep their diagnostic levels up to date and complete their individual skill plans, this will 100% foil the summer slide!”
– Alaina R., 6th grade English teacher 

Hint: Share this guide with parents to help them understand how the Diagnostic works! And help learners get started with our IXL for Students videos.

Hint: Share IXL’s practice coupons with families as an easy way to create incentives. 

“Students are encouraged to use IXL throughout the year, including the summer, to help focus on maintenance of math skills as well as extra practice. The district also assigns summer work to make sure students practice prerequisite skills that are needed to be prepared for next year’s math course.”
– Jessica K., High school math teacher 

“I will send a skills checklist home with my kindergarten class that parents can use to master the IXL skills needed before going into first grade. I will also show my higher learners how to work in the first grade section. IXL helps my learners stay sharp with their math skills and keeps them thinking in a fun way.”
– Chase H., Kindergarten teacher

Hint: Use our free bingo board templates for a fun way to encourage skill practice over the summer! 

For more summer learning resources and inspiration, visit the Learning Hub.