View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Omaha Public Schools
Grade(s): K - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 95%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 50 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Shari Collins, Gifted Facilitator
ALEKS is a great program that allows my gifted students to experience higher levels of math exposure. Students can work on ALEKS in school as differentiated classroom math, but they can also take advantage of the program at home. This is especially helpful during vacations, as well as summer break. My students have had great success with ALEKS! The pie charts and other data resources are very helpful to show parents during parent-teacher conferences. Two of my best success stories are my second grade students at Harrison Elementary School. Both students recently completed Mathematics - LV 3, and successfully passed the Grade 3 Criterion Referenced Tests (CRT's) with flying colors!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
ALEKS is a great tool to help provide enrichment for high-performing math students. Teachers don't have to develop curriculum for these gifted students. We can utilize ALEKS to take students to where they need to go. There is no need to hold them back! ALEKS works great because the Initial Assessment is a great starting point. There is nothing for the classroom teacher to grade, because ALEKS does all the work for us!
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
5 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No. Students select the topics they want to complete.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Teachers have the students use ALEKS to replace classroom instruction. Teachers have the students take the unit tests with the class, just to maintain accountability to the regular classroom math. Students usually breeze through these tests, because ALEKS has prepared them so well.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Classroom teachers totally compact their regular math instruction, with the exception of unit tests.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We have students sign a contract that they will work a minimum of 20 minutes, three times per week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Parents are also asked to sign a contract to provide students time to work on ALEKS, and to only provide assistance when needed. Parents are always excited for this extra opportunity for their children and have always supported the program. I think it is important to provide the pie charts for parents at conferences, so they can see their child's progress.
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?
ALEKS is not assigned as homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Students are graded on their completed ALEKS work and test scores from the regular classroom math.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I prepare weekly reports for all of my classroom teachers. In the report I tell teachers how many standards the students have mastered total, and how many new standards have been mastered since the last report. We expect students to make gains every week.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The students are so proud of their work. They enjoy checking their pie charts to view their progress. The teachers have been very supportive, which also helps the students feel great success in their classrooms. Additionally, parental support is also critical for the students to feel successful about their work in this program. Two of my best success stories are my second grade students at Harrison Elementary School. Both students recently completed Mathematics - LV 3, and successfully passed the Grade 3 CRT's with flying colors! We recently enrolled them in ALEKS Mathematics - LV 4, and they will be able to continue working over the summer. When they return in the fall, the students will have a jump-start on the Grade 3 curriculum, and will continue to utilize ALEKS in the classroom and at home.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I think it is important to communicate effectively with parents, students, and classroom teachers to get everyone to buy into the program. With everyone working together, it makes ALEKS a great differentiated math program for gifted students.