ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes. 

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St. Isidore School, Private
Bloomingdale, IL

Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Supplement
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)

Sue Robinson, Teacher
When we first began using ALEKS, we had a class of 30 fifth grade students who were trying out the program. Previously, our fifth graders had struggled with the transition to our fifth grade math series (the first course in a series of three). Since using ALEKS, we have built an extra class period into their schedules that is used for math remediation and acceleration using one-to-one laptops. ALEKS has been a perfect fit to enhance this class time. Students have gained confidence in their abilities because they know their assessments are geared towards them as individuals. The students don't feel like they need to keep up with their neighbors, but instead feel rewarded by their own progress as they complete the topics in their pies. During this class, we have had 7 percent of our students complete Mathematics - LV 5 and Mathematics - MS/LV 6. Also, 75 percent of the topics covered have been completed by 25 percent of the class. On certain days, students earn chips for completing a set number of problems and are able to redeem their chips for prizes.  Fifth graders enjoy this challenge. ALEKS is an exceptional program, extremely easy to implement, and allows for reporting to monitor progress. Differentiated learning is successfully achieved with the ALEKS program. Most importantly, students are excited about math.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The challenge that our fifth graders face in math is a transition to a new math series that is geared towards junior high. They begin with Middle School Math Course 1 in fifth grade and progress to Algebra in the eighth grade. ALEKS has helped reinforce many of the topics that are covered very quickly in the classroom setting.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1 day per week.

What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
60 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Implementation was extremely easy as the students already had access to laptops.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
ALEKS is used in an additional math class in which the students have one-to-one laptops.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS is used to enhance regular teaching, so therefore no modification was needed.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are allowed to work on ALEKS in school only.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Parents are advised about ALEKS via a letter from the principal.


Grading

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.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is not used in the grading system.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students enjoy the fact that ALEKS is geared towards their individual needs. They do not feel any pressure to keep up with their neighbor. They understand their pie chart and work hard to complete the topics. Seven percent of the students completed the course material for grades 5 and 6. Students also progressed on many of the geometry topics that are not given a lot of classroom time.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
ALEKS allows for differentiation which builds the individual student's confidence. They begin to see math as a subject they can learn and apply to many problems.