Friday, February 28, 2020

IXL Math Program a Hit with BR Students

By: Carissa Zawiski/ Sophomore Writer

Some classes have been testing out a new online math program at Blue Ridge in place of Carnegie Learning, a progressive learning program used in BR High School math classes since 2013. The new program, called IXL, is a math and language arts practice website for K-12  and has unlimited questions on thousands of math topics and a comprehensive reporting system.

High school math and science teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Vaccaro is one of the teachers monitoring the new program’s use.

According to Vaccaro, “In general, students seem to have a positive view towards IXL and like it much better than Carnegie Learning.”

Vaccaro noticed some important differences between the programs that make her a fan of IXL.

“IXL can let every student work on what they need, and it lets me see when they have trouble, while they are still working on the material.”

Vaccaro also mentioned she finds IXL very helpful in supplemental math class, rather than working on worksheets or doing Carnegie.

Vaccaro comments, “no program is perfect, but the flexibility of IXL is great.”

High school math teacher, Paul Sokoloski says that the “Carnegie program is designed to guide students in a direction to discover new concepts in math that they would not be able to learn in the classroom setting which leads to confusion and frustration. As teachers, we are unable to assign individual skills relevant to topics currently being studied in class.”

Sokoloski also mentioned he likes IXL because “it is extremely user friendly and logical regarding its design and structure. The learning curve from moving from one platform (Carnegie) to another was very quick.”

After interviewing some students about the new program, the majority of students prefer IXL over Carnegie.

Sophomore, Brandon Findley mentioned a difference between the two programs, saying IXL is helpful because he learns from it and he doesn’t struggle to pass a section while using it. While using Carnegie, Findley added, he had a hard time passing a section because he would get stuck on questions that would not help him pass and ended up bringing his grade down.

After asking freshman Elizabeth Smith what she likes about IXL, she said, “I like IXL more than Carnegie because if I get a question wrong, it explains what I did wrong and it’s very helpful.”

Junior Garrett Peters agrees with Smith and adds, “IXL shows you how to fix it when you get it wrong, Carnegie doesn’t and you get stuck on questions.”

After careful consideration, it appears IXL will be the program used next year instead of Carnegie Learning.

Carissa Zawiski
Carissa Zawiski is a junior in her second year of journalism. She keeps herself entertained with cheerleading and by spending time with friends and family. She hopes to attend college after high school and get a degree in teaching. She sees teaching as something she would love to do, and wants to help others understand how important education is their lives.

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