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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Glenwood Elementary School, Springfield Public Schools
Springfield, MA

Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: Computer Lab, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 15 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables)

Elizabeth Crowley, Teacher
My class of seven fifth grade students has been using ALEKS for three months. Every child has made significant gains shown through the assessments. Quizzes administered before introducing a unit are helpful in identifying gaps and key areas of learning. The ALEKS program has had significant positive reinforcement on the children who for years have struggled in math class. The leveled program allows the students to work at their own pace and level with immediate reflections of achievement.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students in fifth grade missed basic math skills in primer grades and were pushed along from grade to grade without ever really mastering basic math skills.

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?
30 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS is used as a supplement to math class.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Rather than going to homeroom in the morning, my class meets me in the computer lab and we spend 30 minutes of before-school time using ALEKS.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I have been able to give students quizzes prior to teaching a unit. It allows me to focus on key areas and spend more time on certain aspects of the unit and less on others.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are all encouraged but not all students have a computer and/or Internet at home so it is not enforced. All the parents of my students are aware that their child is on ALEKS and are encouraged to promote the program in their home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I've met with all parents of children in the program. I've shown the parents the program and provided parents with their child's login and password to try to promote home use.


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?
At times I use ALEKS for homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS compromises about 25 percent of my grades. I use the quiz scores as part of the term grades.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I expect that all students will be making progress. If they are not making continual progress then we need to reevaluate their strategy in using the program. I try to understand if they just hitting next when they do not know the answer or if they are they taking the time to hit explain.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I've witnessed students who were previously unable to subtract with borrowing now have success with division. Students are able to work at their own pace and select Explain when they are not sure or unfamiliar with a problem. This avoids the issue of a student being afraid to raise their hand to ask for help for fear of their peers knowing that they do not understand a concept. The students feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when filing up their pie. When a slice of the pie is completely filled the students gain self-confidence and encouragement.