View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Sunset Beach Elementary School, Hawaii Public Schools
Grade(s): K - 6
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2-3 hours per week, 15-25 hours per term
Stacia Sage, Special Education Resource Teacher
As a Special Education teacher, I work with students who have various disabilities. Due to their frustration with academics, finding ways to engage my students with lessons has been a challenge. When ALEKS was introduced into my small resource room, it truly was the answer I was looking for. ALEKS focuses on grade-level standards and introduces new concepts in a logical order, which makes tracking progress easy. Most importantly, the program addresses the needs of each individual student, which is at the core of Special Education. Some of my students who have behavioral issues and were very resistant to even practice their multiplication tables fell in love with this program. I arrange my math instructional block so that students rotate from textbook work to time on ALEKS. Every single student wants to do ALEKS and certainly lets me know if they have not gotten their turn. ALEKS is so popular in my class we take one day a week and spend our math block in the computer lab, so that every student can spend as much time as they want on the computer working on ALEKS. Students love seeing their pies grow and opening new games with progress on their QuickTables. Some of my students can work independently. With others, I have to read the questions to them, but the success that they feel with the program is worth the extra time I have to spend with them. The interactive program keeps my students engaged and I actually see them putting forth effort. Filling up their pies is so much more exciting and rewarding for my students than completing a math workbook!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I had difficulty differentiating instruction to all of my students' various levels. Although all of my students are in the fourth and fifth grades, their math levels range from first grade to fifth grade. ALEKS places students right at their instructional level, so learning takes place without the frustration.
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?
Because I teach Special Education, ALEKS is custom fit to my students' needs and is a large part of my curriculum.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, but when a skill comes up that students have not learned yet, we take the time to go over it.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We rotate doing ALEKS in the classroom, and on Wednesdays we go to the computer lab where students work for 45 minutes.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
By using ALEKS, I have modified my teaching approach from whole group instruction to individual attention and time on the computer using the program. This is great because all of the students have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and ALEKS allows me to really let my students work on the skills they need.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Many of my students do not have computers, so they really cannot do this.
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 use ALEKS to show progress towards IEP goals and objectives.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students make progress at their own pace. When they do work on ALEKS, I require that they do their QuickTables and complete at least two arithmetic sections.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have seen students with ADHD and other attention issues really focus on their math with ALEKS. One of my students was at a standstill on memorizing his times tables, but he has soared with ALEKS. The students love seeing their progress, and just the visual of their pie really motivates students to fill up their pie.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Be sure students understand how the pie works and how it shows their progress, since they are very motivated by seeing the pie fill in.