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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Mini-Course Reflections Spiralling Math Class How does interleaving fit with IXL?

  • How does interleaving fit with IXL?

    Posted by George Garza on May 8, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    This may be a little off topic, but here goes: My school uses IXL and I’m going to be expected to give homework via IXL along with whatever other homework I may choose to assign. IXL, from what I’ve seen, is great at drilling a single topic over and over, but, from what I’ve seen, doesn’t really support interleaving. IXL gives a score from 0-100 for the students mastery of a topic. I’ve thought about maybe requiring the students to have the score at certain marks by certain days and in so doing have the students sort of interleave that way, but I’m concerned that the students wouldn’t do it or would just do it up to 100 from the get go, which is what they are used to, and so bypass the interleaving. IXL seems like a powerful tool for working the kinks out of procedure, I hate feeling like I’m fighting against what has the potential to be a powerful tool. Any advice or thoughts?


    Hallie Balcomb replied 3 years, 9 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Kyle Pearce

    May 11, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Hi George!

    It’s been a while since I’ve logged into IXL as I only checked it out a number of years ago. It may have evolved from where it was back then.

    I’m thinking that you might be able to still interleave your practice by doing “lagged” practice. Meaning, you teach a concept and then say a week later (or later on at some point) you “assign” that topic.

    I’m not sure how well designed the problems are, but I’m sure giving your students any type of practice could be beneficial assuming students are engaged in the tool and using it to push their own learning forward.

    Another tool you might consider is Knowledgehook. There is content from Grades 3 to 10 that you can access for free and you can “assign” different topics at the same time. This can be helpful for spiralling.

  • Hallie Balcomb

    June 7, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Hi George,

    I have used IXL as a resource in the past. My feelings towards the resource are mixed.

    I like how the problems are designed to “level up,” so students do not feel like they are wasting time completing a similar sort of problem over and over again. As the problems increase in “difficulty,” the students see that achieving mastery on a particular skill is not as simple as it might have initially seemed.

    My concern with IXL in relation to interleaving is that IXL feels “blocked.” The siloed nature of each skill does not allow for growth and retention over time. When my students return to a skill a month later, they do not have the option to start the skill practice from the beginning. They can experience frustration having to start from the “hardest” practice problems and quickly convince themselves they do not know how to do that skill anymore. I wonder if there is a way to use a similar skill in another grade level or digitally push students back to a good starting point.

    As a school, we like to view IXL as a means to sharpen skills that we put in our metaphorical problem solving tool belt. These skills can be helpful, but we are careful to place them in conversation with other powerful problem solving tools.