Updated May 2014

IXL: Language arts -- Second-grade skills

Standards-aligned drills offer great assessment data, may not engage

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Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, English-Language Learning, Character & SEL

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IXL's Language Arts platform has an excellent system for assessment and tracking data. However, as a teaching tool, the second-grade lessons aren't as strong -- activities revolve mostly around drill and practice. On the plus side, teachers can see data on overall performance or on specific topics and questions, which can be helpful in assessing students' needs. As such, it's likely best used as an assessment tool, either early in the school year or on an ongoing basis, as learning goals change with each unit.

IXL's unique Smart Score system scores partially based on when incorrect responses occur. Kids aren't penalized as much on earlier drills, when they may still be learning about a new concept. Still, it's best to take the assessment data you'll glean here and identify areas for students' improvement. When it comes to teaching and reteaching this content, use your own engaging and collaborative methods. Kids will be more engaged as they build knowledge around more meaningful experiences. Afterward, come back to IXL's drills to measure your students' progress toward meeting the standards.

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