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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Pontiac Elementary School, Richland School District Two
Elgin, SC

Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: After-School, Supplement, Improve State Test Scores
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1-3 hours per week, 10-30 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra 1

Tim Swick, Teacher
I use ALEKS to challenge the top math students in fifth grade at our school. In an attempt to meet the learning needs of students performing at or above the 90th percentile in math (according to national standardized testing), we have chosen to enroll a select group of students in a small self-paced group. These students continue with the regular fifth grade curriculum, but are given additional time within the classroom each week to work on their ALEKS goals. Students get an average of about 1-2 hours per week of in-school time to work on ALEKS. Additionally, these students are requested to work for about one hour per week at home. Students in the ALEKS group are selected from different homerooms and meet as a group monthly after school to meet with a teacher, ask questions about learning goals, and work on ALEKS. The goal of implementing this strategy is two-fold: One, to increase the number of students who score "Advanced" in state testing. Two, to increase the readiness of the top math students for the Advanced Pre-Algebra math curriculum when moving into middle school.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The major challenge is expanding the number of advanced math students who will then proceed into Advanced Pre-Algebra classes in middle school.

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?
15 minutes


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I implement ALEKS as a small group activity for students to work on independently.

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

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students use ALEKS following regular instruction, during small group activities designed for differentiated learning. While some students work on ALEKS, others work on intervention strategies independently.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS simply became another component for differentiated learning within existing small group instruction.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
At least an hour each week.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Parents are notified of student achievement and progress through monthly emails.


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?
It is not a part of the grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The advanced students enjoy the ability to be a member of a select group working above grade-level. Students' curiosity to continue to develop math skills is evident more often in class discussions and activities. Students in the ALEKS group are excited to learn ahead of others in the class, and share their skills when appropriate within regular classroom learning. The students working in ALEKS are also better able to continue to meet performance goals according to the Measures of Academic Progress Spring testing.