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Mary M. Walsh Elementary School, Springfield School District
Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom, Laptop Carts
Purpose: Special Education, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 10-33%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1-2.5 hours per week, 4-10 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Joette St. George, Instructional Leader Specialist
Our district has provided each special education student with a full ALEKS subscription, including QuickTables. This is the second year the district provided this program to the special education students. It has been so successful in our school that we decided that all 3rd-5th grade students would benefit from the QuickTables program. Our third grade students have quickly become proficient in their multiplication tables. We have had 50 percent of our students in third grade reach proficiency in multiplication in the 0-12 range of facts. The other 50 percent of students know at least 70 percent of their multiplication tables. The children beg us to put them on ALEKS on a daily basis.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We were one of the lowest performing schools in math in our district.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3-5 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
Our district trained all of the teachers on how to use ALEKS. I did a professional development training afterschool on how to use ALEKS for our math block.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
In QuickTables, we start with addition, then subtraction, and finally, multiplication. For those appropriate grades, we finish with division. The special education students start with their weak areas according to the ALEKS Pie, and then work up to their stronger areas.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We use ALEKS during our intervention block which is 30 minutes per day.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We meet with small groups of students for intervention, while other small groups of students work on ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We contact all the parents of the students in grades 3-5 and asked them to use the program at home with their students on those day ALEKS is not used at school.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We contact each parent with a letter explaining the program and encouraging them to put their children on the program at home. We have a Math Night where we promote ALEKS. We also have teachers discuss ALEKS during parent/teacher conferences.
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?
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We do not use the program for grading.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, the teachers look at the progress each special education student has made. For any area that needs additional attention, the teachers work one-on-one with the student using ALEKS.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Many of our students have completed an entire grade level in ALEKS and have gone on to the next level. All of the students are proud of what they have accomplished in ALEKS. During the morning meeting, we announce the names of students who have completed a grade level.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
The best way to use ALEKS is to ensure the students work in the program at least three times per week.