View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Milltown Elementary School, Crawford County Community Schools
Grade(s): 5 - 6
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3 hours per week, 27 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Holly Barron, Teacher/High Ability Coordinator
Our school is in a very impoverished area of the state. However, we have never allowed our students to use that as an excuse. There aren't always funds available to have the "extras." Thankfully, we were able to provide ALEKS this year. Wow, what a difference this program has made in my High Ability (HA) students. There are many special needs and low level students who require a lot of extra time and attention. My HA students are always willing to be peer tutors to help lower level students, but this doesn't really meet their own academic needs. ALEKS has given my students a new academic lease on life. They are on ALEKS daily and many days more than once. We just completed Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) testing. All of my High Ability students said, "Thank goodness for ALEKS." All of them improved at least 15 points, most 23 points or more. Four to five points is a huge gain, so I agree with my students. ALEKS has truly enriched their math curriculum.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Meeting the needs of High Ability students.
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?
How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS is used as enrichment for our High Ability students. They can use ALEKS at any time during the day, but they still have daily classroom instruction.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students are self-guided.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I have a classroom of students ranging from Multiple Intelligence (MI) to High Ability. The only modification I have made is allowing the High Ability students to work at their own pace.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are encouraged to work on ALEKS as often as possible. They are not required to do so; however, all of them want to.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send home information explaining the program and how it can help the students in math. I encourage the students to show their parents how ALEKS works.
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?
I don't use ALEKS as a part of my grading. Our corporation must agree on including ALEKS in our grading system in order for me to do so.
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.
I have seen improved test scores on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) test, the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP) test, as well as class tests. Students are excited to say the least, and are truly interested in math again. They are already asking if we will have ALEKS again next year.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
ALEKS works!!! Encourage your school system to purchase this program. It is a great way to reach the needs of High Ability students in math.