View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Valley View Elementary School, Ellensburg School District
Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, After-School
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3 hours per week, 24 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Terri Schmitt, Library/Media Specialist
ALEKS is exactly what I needed for our afterschool intervention group. I am immediately able to see weaknesses, which I can teach mini-lessons on. We haven't used the program for long, but I've seen dramatic increases in all students' skill bases. The students who spend time with ALEKS at home have shown the most growth.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We wanted to help students that were not meeting state standards but didn't have a supplemental curriculum. Individualizing is difficult, so we often had to teach to the middle.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1.5 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
There are 15 students who were targeted for our program, and we meet with them afterschool in the library.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I go with the topics that the least number of students have mastered.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students work on a short mini-lesson for ten minutes. They then work on QuickTables and move to their pies to work on at least one Geometry skill (that was our lowest area). The rest of the hour is spent focusing on individual needs.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I haven't had to, since this is a supplemental program and I'm not their regular teacher.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
There is no requirement, but they are encouraged to log on as often as possible, especially on days we don't meet after school.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send notes home to parents.
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?
It is not assigned officially since I am not their regular teacher.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
There is no grade for the afterschool program.
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.
All students have made progress with ALEKS. The greatest gain in learning was 33 percent (in less than two months), while the average gain is about 20 percent. This includes all areas of math, not just a focused strand. Students are so proud to see their pies fill in or their QuickTables charts turn green.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Providing mini-lessons at the start of instruction works well.