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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Avaxat Elementary School, Murrieta Valley Unified School District
Murrieta, CA

Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 85%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2-2.5 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)

Cathleen Hansen, Fifth Grade Teacher
It has been fantastic! It has really filled in a lot of the gaps for my lower level students.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Most of my fifth grade students are coming to me with about a third grade level of math knowledge. They do not have the necessary skills to be successful in fifth grade math.

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?
Our kids are grouped by ability before we start ALEKS, and after about two weeks from when school begins, we go to the computer lab to set-up their accounts.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, the students are free to pick whatever they would like to do that day.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
My math period is 80 minutes. My students come in and we correct the previous day's homework (which is at the fifth grade level). After approximately 20 minutes, we go to the computer lab and students use Fast Math for about 10 minutes. They then use ALEKS up until the last 15-20 minutes of class, when we return to the classroom.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
As my students are struggling with low performance, ALEKS is their primary math program.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I encourage them to go on at least 60 minutes a week. For those who do not have the Internet, I have them come on Mondays and Thursdays after school for 30 minutes to get that time in.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send home a letter at the beginning of school explaining how the program works, and how important it is for their child to be serious about working on ALEKS at home.


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, just 60 minutes a week.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I do not count it as a grade at all. For my class, ALEKS is solely for intervention.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, ALEKS does that for me. All I can do is encourage them to work on ALEKS more.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have seen a few of my students pass the state math test for the fifth grade. Just knowing that a lot of their gaps have been filled in, and seeing their confidence level go way up is victory for me. The students are very excited and ALEKS is a big motivator for them. I also highly encourage students and their parents to get their own independent subscriptions and continue with the program at home.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I just feel that they need to be on ALEKS every day. It has really increased my students' self-esteem and they really like it.