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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Fitzmorris Elementary School, Jefferson County Public School District
Arvada, CO

Grade(s): K - 6
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: RtI, Improve State Test Scores
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 40 hours per term

Molly Kehl, Teacher
ALEKS is a wonderful program that has proved its effectiveness with my male students. After analyzing our recent Acuity scores, it was incredible to see the difference in the male scores versus the female scores. In particular, there was one question on Acuity that included an expression within a story problem. All 15 of my male students answered it correctly, and I am confident it is because ALEKS prepared them on how to tackle this kind of difficult question. This is only one example of many of how incredible this program really is. My favorite feature that I often encourage my students to use is the Explain button. This feature allows students to explore the problem step-by-step before attempting it independently.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The most common challenge that my male students faced was a lack of number sense.

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 strictly being used for Response to Intervention (RtI), 30 minutes daily.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
They work independently on the program for the majority of the time but need some scaffolding or reminders every now and then.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Because this is being used in addition to my core math instruction, I am able to refer back to ALEKS if the boys are struggling and to use various problems/examples to give them another frame of reference.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
My students are not required to work on ALEKS at home but are encouraged to if they have parental permission.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I discussed the importance of the program and the "how-to" of using ALEKS during winter 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?
No.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I do not use it for grading purposes since it is being used for RtI.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, I do not require students to make regular amounts of progress. Students set personal goals and monitor their own progress.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
My students are becoming more fluent with computational strategies and are willing to see more problems through before giving up.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
If the program is being used for RtI, I strongly believe that goal-setting would/could be very effective with students. Allowing students to use the program independently, while progress monitoring, really allows them to "own" their learning and work.