Rocky Mountain High School, Poudre School District Fort Collins, CO
Grade(s): 9 - 12 Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program Purpose: Intervention, Special Education, At-Risk Students, Core Curriculum ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 80% Time Spent in ALEKS: 6 hours per week, 54 hours per term ALEKS Course: Algebra 1
Jamie Westyn, Resource Teacher
ALEKS has been a terrific program and resource for students here at Rocky Mountain High School who are on the Autism Spectrum. Students are capable of accessing the content without the outside stimuli usually present in a large classroom setting that is teacher directed.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS? There were challenges with a certain student population and accessing the content.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS? 4 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used? 90 minutes.
How do you implement ALEKS? It was implemented on an individual student need basis.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order? I follow a prescription plan designed for the needs and strengths of each student.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS? Students follow a prescription plan to ensure they are learning skills in their gap group set.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS? ALEKS is much more student led and student accountable.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home? I do not encourage students to work on ALEKS at home.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS? I have run study sessions with parents to have them understand ALEKS.
Is ALEKS assigned to your students as all or part of their homework responsibilities? If so, what part of the total homework load is it? No, ALEKS is not assigned as a homework responsibility.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system? ALEKS is graded by completion; knowledge and assessments must be at 80 percent.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS? Yes. Although the students are at varied levels of content knowledge, progress is required and I measure it by 80 percent mastery or tutorials.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen. Students have increased content knowledge of Algebra 1 without the frustrations typically seen with Autistic students and direct teaching techniques. Students are positive and motivated about the program and its challenging content. Students enjoy the progress monitoring techniques and visuals, such as the graphs and charts.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS? Individualize the program and have the students take accountability for their own learning.