Review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2017
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IXL - Math and English

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Standards-aligned worksheets help kids develop wide-ranging skills

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Pros: Excellent coverage of math, ELA, science, and history curriculum, with detailed reporting available for multiple users.

Cons: Digital skill-and-drill may not give kids the depth of understanding that other activities could.

Bottom Line: Straightforward worksheets help kids practice and build fluency in a huge range of skills.

IXL - Math and English is best for practicing and building fluency in math, and for accessing understanding of science, history, and grammar and language skills in English. But since it gives kids such great feedback for incorrect answers, there's a teaching component that you could use as well. For example, you might assign some of the worksheets as pre-assessments before starting a unit. Discuss any questions that were particularly challenging, and keep a record of the pre-assessment scores. Ask kids to share anything they learned from their mistakes. As you work through the unit, use the worksheets to reinforce concepts. As kids make progress and earn high scores, challenge them to improve their speed. When the unit is wrapping up, assign the same worksheet topics that you used for the pre-assessment and compare kids' scores.

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IXL - Math and English is a handy tool that makes it easy for kids to practice grade-appropriate math, language arts, science, and history skills. On the home screen, students select a subject area and a grade level. Then, kids choose a topic and begin answering the questions. Number of problems completed, score, and time appear at the top of the screen. IXL offers praise for correct answers and step-by-step explanations for incorrect answers.

Kids earn prizes and awards for reaching milestones and mastering skills. After registering on the developer's website, users can access progress reports to evaluate students' strengths and problem areas. This is particularly useful for differentiating assignments in the classroom. A subscription gives access to both the website and the app.

With a pre-K through calculus math curriculum and activities appropriate for second- through 12th-grade language arts, as well as second- through 8th-grade science and history, IXL topics align with Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and with individual state requirements (depending on the home state chosen at registration). Each grade level is packed with virtual worksheets arranged by topic. Students have to choose the correct answer from four options, or they have to enter the answer manually. If kids get an answer wrong, the feedback is excellent and gives a step-by-step explanation of the correct answer. This is a powerful tool and can greatly improve students' comprehension of difficult concepts.

For math, kids can use the touch screen as scratch paper to work through a problem and enter the answer if desired. For both math and language arts, pre-K through first-grade questions can be read aloud in-app. The variety of question types engages and challenges kids, and rewards help motivate them to keep practicing. Kids earn medals when they master skills, and parents and teachers can generate reports on the developer's website by creating a roster of users.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The app is all about practicing skills, which can be a little tedious. However, the awards are motivating, and the digital experience is certainly more engaging than traditional paper-and-pencil worksheets.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids can reach a challenge mode after completing basic questions, and feedback for correcting errors is thorough and helpful.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Content is easy to navigate, and inputting answers is straightforward: Enter manually or choose from four options. A link to tech support is accessible directly from the app.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Merlin B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Math practice aligned to common core
I really enjoyed this because students practice at their own pace or level. They enjoy using it and seeing their progress. It will give them incentives in order to get them practicing math everyday. The only down fall is that you can try it for free, but if you like it then you have to pay for it once the free trial is over.
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