Success stories

  • “He had gone from a middle fifth grade math level to an eighth grade level in just those few days.” Sharla Steever, Hill City Elementary School, South Dakota

    Teacher Sharla Steever evaluated her class before and after a 30-day IXL trial and was blown away to find several of her fourth graders testing at an eighth-grade level! She loved seeing students' enthusiasm for IXL during school and hearing parents' praise for at-home use.

    Read Sharla's story

    I am a 4th grade teacher in a one-to-one laptop classroom, and this year was my first year in this setting. I spent a great deal of time this year looking for resources that would enhance my curriculum through the use of technology. In January I discovered a site called IXL while perusing the internet for math resources. The thing that struck me the most as I was evaluating the site was the fact that it was directly aligned to each individual state's content standards.

    I was excited to try this site with my students, but wanted to conduct some action research to see if it would have enough impact on student achievement to convince my district to purchase the site license. I gave my students a computerized test - the STAR Math test - which we use throughout the year for formative assessment. I noted the scores of the majority of my students to be around the 5th grade level - which has been normal for my classes at this point of the 4th grade year. I then began the 30-day trial of IXL with my students.

    My students were very excited about the program for a variety of reasons. They liked the scoring of their work and how it would go up and drop down at different rates depending on what point of the round they were in. They also loved the prize wall and getting the pictures as they would master skills. There was a certain level of competition between my students as well as they would compare the number of medals they had achieved. My students loved how it kept track of their work and also allowed them to continue their practice at home at night.

    I loved what I was seeing in my class as they used IXL. My students were begging for time to spend on IXL, and when we would finish our practice rounds they would say that they needed just a "few more minutes." I noticed several students that were especially loving this program, and their parents were commenting on how much time they were spending at night on it. One particular student, John*, was coming to me daily to learn a new math concept so that he could move through more of the standards. We would do quick little lessons together, and then he would use the program explanations when he missed a problem to continue to learn.

    As the end of the 30-day trial was approaching I decided to have my students do another STAR test to check their gains. I was so pleasantly surprised to see that all of my students had made gains in math in those few days of using IXL. What really blew me away, though, was John. He had gone from a middle fifth grade math level to an eighth grade level in just those few days. He was so excited. I had two other students that also had jumped to the eighth grade level during that time. What I found was the students who had used IXL the most had made the most significant gains in their math skills.

    My evidence was enough to help the district decide to purchase the site license for IXL. We now have IXL access for preschool through middle school, and teachers are really enjoying the way it helps with record keeping and math fluency. IXL has been a wonderful addition to our math curriculum.

    *Student's name changed for privacy.

  • “It was such a pleasure to see a struggling student evolve to one who truly enjoys math.” Kathy Smith, WJ Carroll Intermediate School, Alabama

    Teacher Kathy Smith tutored Adam over the summer, after his mother expressed concern about his grasp of fourth-grade math concepts. Initially uninterested in math, Adam loved working on IXL and took full advantage of the question-specific explanations. The awards and medals motivated him to work hard and build confidence—and his parents were thrilled by the resulting success.

    Read Kathy's story

    When Adam* and I began working I found that this quiet young man really did want to master his math skills. Each day we met we would open his IXL math page on the interactive white board in my classroom. Adam loved this! He would first show me his awards page and we would look at how many medals he earned and which skills he had mastered.[...] When he would hit the submit button and answer a problem correctly, he was eager to work the next one! When he did miss a problem, Adam learned to read the explanation and think it through. (This was a step he had skipped in the past.)

    Adam soon was excited about math. He walked into each session proud to share his progress from “homework” on IXL and sad to leave at the end of the hour. I printed IXL reports and Certificates of Achievement for Adam to share with his family. I tutored Adam for six weeks this summer. During this time, I saw his confidence grow. He had learned how to use the skills practice pages and interpret reports on IXL. He could see his growth. Adam remained committed to his daily practice, even on the weekends. In our last session, I told Adam that he was ready to start practicing at the next grade level. His pride and excitement tempered our reluctance to bring the summer session to an end. It was such a pleasure to see a struggling student evolve to one who truly enjoys math.

    Adam's parents also recognized his success. They wrote to me on several occasions to share their appreciation. I was touched that they also shared their gratitude with our school principal. When I think about Adam's accomplishments this summer one fact stands out. Adam liked learning with IXL. He had fun. He could practice at his own pace until he mastered a skill. He could look at all his awards and medals along with the charts and scores. He needed the positive reinforcement. Adam gave me a card on his last day that said, “I love doing fun stuff with you Mrs. Smith. You are a really good teacher.” Well, I have to admit that IXL makes teaching fun for me too. I love the news flashes, the scores, the class certificates. I put them on my classroom door and copy them to my principal as do all our faculty at WJ Carroll. I love it when she shares our latest accomplishment on the morning announcements!

    “I am so thankful for IXL.” Allison, Adam's mother

    IXL has been awesome for my son, Adam. He started using the website in fourth grade at WJ Carroll Intermediate School and continued using it this summer while tutoring with Kathy Smith. The program has really given him the confidence he needs to excel in math and has even made him start to love math. He says not only is he learning he is have fun doing it. I am so thankful for IXL.

    *Student's name changed for privacy.

  • “IXL has allowed me to differentiate my instruction[...] and facilitate student success to a level they never experienced before.” Nikki Pivovar, New Canaan High School, Connecticut

    Teacher Nikki Pivovar loves using IXL with her special education students because it fully addresses her needs for assessment, differentiation, and motivational tools. She has seen incomparable success with IXL, even for the students struggling most with math.

    Read Nikki's story

    I have been a special educator for almost twenty years and I have never found a computerized math program that was so easy to use, enjoyable for the students and such a powerful assessment tool. For the student, the IXL program provides simple and clear explanations when an answer is made incorrectly and provides instant feedback and incentives. The numerous activities are aligned with state standards and objectives. Students are able to answer a variety of problems at their skill level making differentiation effortless. Using an online program also saves time and costs by eliminating the need to photocopy worksheets. Students can use the program anywhere—school, class, or home. The feedback from both parents and students have been nothing but positive. My students began using this program in September and have practiced over 105,000 problems.

    Although all of my students made progress on individual skills, David* has benefited the most from this program. He began at the preschool level and is now completing the last activities in first grade math. Reading is problematic for David, but since the program now has a built in auditory component he can independently answer the questions. At 20 years old, David has never shown the advancement in both motivation and skill in mathematical achievement as he has using this program. He was motivated by the immediate feedback of medals and prizes. Over the course of the year he attempted 12,190 problems, practiced 238 skills and spent 42 hours improving his basic math skills.

    For me, IXL has allowed me to differentiate my instruction, collect data for my IEP objectives, go green by eliminating copying, and facilitate student success to a level they never experienced before. I believe this program, along with my Smartboard, to be irreplaceable in my teacher toolbox. I highly recommend IXL program to any parent and teacher.

    *Student's name changed for privacy.

  • “...many people didn't think he was capable of learning certain skills.” Elizabeth McLemore, Southeast Elementary School, Georgia

    Teacher Elizabeth McLemore used IXL to help a second-grader overcome the perceived limits of his intellectual disability. The student initially had no addition or subtraction skills; yet, within a month of starting IXL, he was able to work on math drill sheets with the rest of his class.

    Read Elizabeth's story
    Just a quick success story we had during the trial. I have a student in 2nd grade who has an intellectual disability, and many people didn't think he was capable of learning certain skills. I had him work one on one with a paraprofessional every morning for 30 minutes on IXL, mostly on addition and subtraction facts. When he began school he was unable to do any addition or subtraction. After implementing this program he was able to take addition and subtraction drill sheets with the class and was able to master some addition facts orally. This proves to me that if a child who struggles with learning a great deal was impacted this much, then students who are just a little behind will show marked improvements.