What do you do for morning work?
In a regular school year, my students would be working on a morning work packet to review certain skills that we have been working on in class or a choice board research project.
This school year however, things changed.
I’ve been in a hybrid classroom since October and I have been struggling with morning work.
Problems with morning work packets:
#1: Took too much time to prepare, and had to be prepared ahead of time for virtual students. The sad part was that not all virtual students came to pick them up.
#2: There was no way to effectively check for accountability for all students, especially virtual.
#3: It was really hard to differentiate.
#4: It was not flexible. Since the packets were prepared beforehand, it was hard to make changes during the week. And when we did, we ended up wasting so many pages of the packet.
#5: It was not engaging. I’d seen students mindlessly circling and writing things down in the packet just to get it done. Yes, I could take it as a grade but let’s face it, the students that are doing that are the ones that need to do work the most!
It just felt like such a waste of time and paper.
Are you experiencing the same issues?
Purpose of Morning Work:
I sat down and reflected. There has to be a better way out there.
At the end of the day, the purpose of morning work was to give students more time to practice and review certain skills, not just busy work to keep them at their seats. It’s also a time where I could help them and clear any misunderstandings.
Maybe when we are all back in-person, I could go back to morning work packets. However, I couldn’t wait until the next school year to solve this problem.
Then, I had a Light Bulb Moment! What about IXL Live?
IXL Live is a feature on IXL.com that allows you to monitor your students usage of IXL live. You can see what skill they are working on, what question they are working on, and their Smart Scores. You can also see who is not working on IXL.
So….I tried it. And I loved it!!!
I have been using IXL since the start of my teaching career, which was seven years ago, so it’s a little bit embarrassing that I haven’t discovered and started using this feature until now. If you are like me, it’s okay! We live and we learn!
Here’s why IXL Live is so amazing:
- First of all, IXL has so many specific skills available! They even have charts to show the correlations between the different standards and IXL skills (Common Core & TEKS).
- This means
- I can be specific with the skills I want my students to work on
- I can easily differentiate!
- This means
- Second, everything is digital & NO PREP!!! (Keep reading for how to get to the feature)
- That means
- No more copying and making packets. I have saved so much time!
- Students can access it anywhere with a device (ANY device).
- No more issues if someone didn’t pick up their packet or forgot their packet at school/at home.
- That means
- Third, Accountability!
- I can monitor and see ALL of my students. (Virtual & In-Person)
- Fourth, it’s engaging!
- It might not be engaging in a gaming kind of way, but it forces students to actually think through the questions.
- IXL uses Smart Score, if they get a question wrong their score goes down, so they cannot mindlessly click through.
- IXL also provides an explanation on why they get it wrong. Students do actually read through it because they want their Smart Score to go up!
- We always aim for an 80 for a new skill and 100 on a skill we are reviewing.
- Lastly, I can actually see who needs help!
- I can actually see how many questions my students are getting right and wrong.
- IXL will also highlight their box red to alert you that your student might need help!
- More importantly, I can click and view the questions they got wrong to get an idea on what they might need help with.
- This eliminates you missing students that are too shy to ask for help!
You can also send individual messages to your students. The message will pop up on their screen while they are working. I know my students love receiving a message from me just to tell them that they could do it.
Another unexpected benefit, it also allows the students that have already mastered certain skills to work on other things! In my classroom, students who reach the Smart Score goal are allowed to work on their extra credit choice board, inquiry projects, passion projects, read, write and other approved activities.
Sometimes, we focused so hard on students that need our help that we forgot about the students that don’t.
IXL Live has saved me so much time and allowed me to help my students master specific skills.
Here’s how to get to the feature:
Click on Analytics on the Front Page.
Click on “Live,” which is located on the far right hand corner.
You are here! You students do not have to do anything. They simple have to start answering questions, then you will see them pop up in your Live Classroom. You can see what skill they are working on, their Smart Score, and even the question they are answering.
IXL Live is not just limited to morning work, but you can integrate it at different points of the day. We also use it sometimes in math, reading and writing class.
IXL also has a great video explaining the features of IXL Live that you can watch for more information here:
I hope that this has been helpful to you! Leave a comment below to let me know how you have been using IXL Live in your classroom or how you plan on using it. I would love to know! 🙂
Prima from LittleYellowStar
* * *