View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Conners-Emerson Elementary School, Bar Harbor School Department
Bar Harbor, ME
Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: RtI, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 37 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Traditional Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2 with Trigonometry
Karen B. Allen, Teacher
I teach three levels of seventh grade mathematics classes, and use ALEKS for all three classes. Because it is individualized, all the students get the practice they need and the challenges I want for them. The students as a whole enjoy and look forward to doing 20 to 30 minutes of ALEKS each day. I use questions from students to create the topics for mini-lessons for the whole class, and thus all students learn from each question. In addition, I use the monitoring aspect of the ALEKS Teacher Module to view each student's progress. Because the state provides laptops for every student, it is especially exciting to see students using this technology. Our gifted and talented teacher also has high praise for ALEKS, and we have encouraged teachers in sixth and eighth grade to use the program as well.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
It is all about enough time to instruct individually in schools. This program in my educational technician and my gifted and talented teacher.
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- 30 minutes.
How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS is used as a supplement, providing practice that brings up valuable questions throughout the rest of my core curriculum.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, unless I receive initial placement recommendations from a student's teacher from the previous year.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I use this program in the beginning of each class. It starts valuable conversations during the rest of the class.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I use the Teacher Module to evaluate topics that need extra instruction, and also areas where minimal time is needed.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
In the seventh grade, students can choose to work on ALEKS at home, especially if they are not meeting the year long goal we set. In the eighth grade, it is assigned as homework for students who require extra practice.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
In the seventh grade, the parents are already familiar with this program since its inception at the sixth grade level. We are looking at providing a summer plan for some students to continue their ALEKS work.
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?
For some students who require extra practice.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I set a plan for each student at the beginning of the year, and use the teacher resources to monitor their progress.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
All of my 60 students this year have progressed in their math skills, with some of my students completing three courses. I now have seventh grade students doing second year algebra. And, on the other end of the spectrum, I have seventh grade students who were three years behind in their math level skills who have moved up two years. At the beginning of each year, I lay out a plan for advancement for each student and challenge them to go beyond. Students feel proud to advance to the next level, and they love filling in their ALEKS Pie!
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Give each student a lot of positive reinforcement at whatever level at which they are working. Also, use individual student questions as part of your teaching.