View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Bank Street School for Children, Private
New York, NY
Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: Laptop Carts
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 15%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5 hours per week; 50 hours per term
Ryan Harrity, Teacher
We use ALEKS to supplement our existing curriculum and specifically, to assist with differentiation. It has been very helpful in providing skills practice for struggling learners who need more time for various concepts to solidify. The program is also helpful in providing a space for more gifted learners to challenge themselves and learn concepts not covered formally in our class.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS is used to support our curriculum by providing skills practice for all learners, review for struggling learners, and as an outlet for extension of gifted learners. We do not use it in the classroom; rather, students use it at home. In other words, we do not use it as a much of a teaching tool, but rather as a resource for students.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We cover topics according to the scope and sequence determined by our existing, teacher-created curriculum.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students mostly use ALEKS at home for skills practice.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS has been able to show us a lot of data about our students. As a result, we are able to differentiate instruction for our learners much more effectively. Using ALEKS, I am able to sort students by the metric "Assessment Performance" and use this as an estimate of what percentage of the total curriculum students have demonstrated mastery in. Students fall into three main groups: Group C, Group B, and Group A. Group C has demonstrated their knowledge in many of the main goals of the lesson. Interestingly, these students also seem to have spent more time in ALEKS than students in the other groups. Group B has similar amounts of time spent in ALEKS and fairly similar rates of learning (topics learned per hour of use) compared to Group C. Group A, with the exception of one student, has spent the least time in ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are encouraged to use ALEKS at home 20 minutes per day, five days per week.
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?
Yes; as homework, it is about 25 percent of their workload.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We use it to inform our assessments of what students know and have mastered. We do not use it numerically as a factor in students' grades.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students have demonstrated mastery more thoroughly and have practiced previously learned skills more frequently. Many students enjoy the untethered nature by which we use ALEKS and like being able to go ahead to new topics as quickly as they are able or ready to.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
For our purposes, it was important to keep in mind the ways in which ALEKS fits in with and supports our pedagogy, which we hold dear. As a result, we use ALEKS for skills practice and as a differentiation tool to support our best practices.