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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Pleasant Grove Elementary School, Henry County Schools
Stockbridge, GA

Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week, 18 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)

Amanda Powell, Teacher
The students like participating in ALEKS and their understanding of math has improved. I am impressed with how much confidence my students gain when they see their pie chart get darker as they master topics. They have improved their Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) scores, and they get excited when their pie chart gets darker and the number of topics mastered goes up. Many of my students ask if they can come in and use ALEKS more than their allotted lab time. I will definitely continue using ALEKS and would recommend it to other schools.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
They lacked confidence, and would give up and get frustrated before really trying to solve the problem. Furthermore, classwork performance and test scores were low. The school almost didn't make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) due to CRCT scores in math.

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?
20 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Our special education students participate on the computer each day from 7:30 to 8:00, and the hands-on lessons are conducted in the co-teaching classrooms during small group activities.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Students are instructed to work on topics that match the topic being taught in the classroom.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
The students work on the computer in the computer lab and/or media center each morning for at least 20 minutes each day. The hands-on small group instruction takes place 1-2 times per week after whole group instruction.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I look at the ALEKS data for a topic and plan my group lessons using hands-on lessons.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are encouraged regularly to work on ALEKS at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send home a parent letter about the program and progress is discussed during Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and parent/teacher conferences.


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?
ALEKS is not assigned as their homework responsibilities because many of my students do not have access to a computer at home.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
It is not part of our grading system. I use it as part of progress monitoring for IEP goals and objectives.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I require my students to make reasonable personal goals each week based on their individual progress up to that point. Students would also have to master 25-50 topics over a predetermined amount of time get to participate in the big progress celebration, which is an ice cream party.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Our students have gained a better understanding of math skills since using ALEKS. Their confidence has grown and they participate in class more often. They have improved their CRCT scores, and they get excited when their pie chart gets darker and the number of topics mastered goes up. They like setting goals to meet for the next big ice cream celebration. Many of my students ask if they can come in and use ALEKS more than their allotted lab time.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Monitor attendance, progress, and topics for each student daily. Also, check data daily (or at least every other day) to ensure students are following the program appropriately.