Building skills and confidence that last a lifetime

As a professional tutor, I am committed to improving measurable learning outcomes for each and every student I encounter. That’s why I use cutting-edge educational technology such as the IXL Learning platform.

This software generates unlimited practice questions for 7,000+ skills, adapting to students as they grow through consistent practice. Here’s what a question looks like:

Currently used by over 7 million students and by schools in 95 of the 100 top districts, IXL is an integrated, personalized learning platform proven to improve content proficiency and performance on standardized tests.

This past Wednesday, I had the great pleasure to attend a professional development workshop to get certified in the implementation of the IXL Math curriculum, continuous diagnostics, and student analytics.

For students, IXL authentically engages them, encouraging them to own their learning, embrace new challenges, and build skills and confidence that last. IXL’s curriculum and meaningful analytics help me reach every student at the right level and help them grow at the appropriate pace.

Recommendations suggest the perfect level for students to practice. By answering just a few questions each week, students can quickly learn about their abilities.

Accurate self-knowledge and appropriate recommendations inspire students to improve.

After quizzing students with somewhere between 70 to 85 diagnostic questions, I can determine with high accuracy a student’s current level of understanding of math. This helps me to suggest basic skills to “fill in the gaps,” or more advanced topics to start learning once a student achieves proficiency or mastery.

It’s a fantastic way to assess students, personalize learning, and provide a unique action plan to accelerate improvement.

IXL is the most comprehensive curriculum out there. With thousands of micro-skills that align with classroom instruction, there is no better way to supplement homework with extra skill practice.

One of my favorite features is called SmartScore. Unlike in-class tests and quizzes, which grade students based on the percentage of questions they answer correctly, SmartScore factors in the question difficulty, the answer accuracy, and consistency.

It’s the best possible measure of a student’s understanding of any skill in K-12 mathematics.

When introducing a topic for the first time with a student, I set a SmartScore goal of 70 or 80 for them to achieve. This helps to build confidence and proficiency with some more straightforward questions.

In studies of over 42,000 schools across 12 states, research shows that when a student reaches a SmartScore of at least 70, it has a lasting impact on their state assessment scores, a measurable student outcome.

A SmartScore of 80 shows a firm grasp of an idea, 90 is considered excellent, and 100 demonstrates total mastery.

By the end of the unit, when it’s time to review before a big test, I challenge students to reach 90 or 100. Once a student reaches 100, it’s safe to say they have mastered the concept and are ready to move forward.

They also get a gold medal and congratulations as a well-deserved reward!

It’s always fun to get recognition for hard work, isn’t it?

I like to remind students that they can achieve 100 on any skill they want; it just depends on whether they’re willing to spend the time practicing and learning from their mistakes.

As a tutor, I provide prescriptive learning.

I’m not necessarily responsible for delivering the instruction to teach the entire curriculum – that’s a teacher’s job.

My role is mainly to encourage students to keep trying until they’ve mastered a skill. With a 1-on-1 appointment, tutors provide students with instant feedback by asking highly targeted questions.

There’s no need to wait days or weeks for a graded worksheet to come back from a school teacher.

By providing the most adaptive, personalized online tutoring service on the market, Love Math Club deeply engages students and helps them grow. It’s not just the IXL Math software, but the whole tutoring interaction that meets students where they are and guides them to where they want to go.

Every student has foundational “building block” skills they should practice to solidify their understanding. Most people have some trouble spots or knowledge gaps but don’t know how to identify them. And there’s always something to keep working on to prepare for the next level of math.

All students benefit from personalized feedback, and proper assessment is the key to effective tutoring.

I am so glad that I attended the IXL Live workshop along with fellow educators to understand how to gain deeper insight into how students are doing, and how I can adapt my instruction to each of my clients.