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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Southeast Elementary School, Salem City Schools
Canfield, OH

Grade(s): 5 - 6
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 95%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 4 hours per week; 120 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Arithmetic (with QuickTables), Foundations of High School Math

Brianne Goclano, Teacher
I have had nothing but positive experiences with ALEKS. It has provided my students with the knowledge that they need to attain, but at their level and their pace. This program has given the students confidence in themselves and their math scores.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The students were far behind grade level in math and had trouble picking up new concepts.

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?
45 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS is used as the core instruction for class on a daily basis.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
The ALEKS curriculum is correlated with the students' math books. I can set it so that they must have certain chapters completed by certain dates.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
The students come into class and do the problem of the day. They then get onto ALEKS and complete at least three topics. If they finish their topics they are permitted to work on their math homework or go onto QuickTables.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
My teaching approach is very individualized since ALEKS allows the students to work on only things they are ready for.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are always encouraged to work on ALEKS at home, as well as during any free time they may have, but it is not required.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send many notes home to parents to let them know about the progress their child is making. I also send home a note telling the parents how to log on at home so they could see what their child is working on and work with their child. We also have a family night where I show parents the program and explain it.


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?
Students are assigned their individualized ALEKS worksheet every Monday and it is due on Friday.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
The students are responsible for three topics a day worth five points each. This gives them a possibility of getting 75 points in a week. They also do a problem of the day every day worth two points and their ALEKS worksheet is due on Fridays, which is worth 48 points. Every two weeks the students also have a test.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students must complete three topics daily. Their progress is monitored by a sticker chart hanging in the room.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
All of the students in my class, as well as my intervention students, have greatly improved in math. Not only has their knowledge of the fifth grade curriculum increased, but they are also able to pick up on new topics much quicker. The students also get very excited about their progress! They love to see their pie fill up. Every 10 topics they also get a sticker on the rewards chart as well as a piece of candy. I also have gifted students who have surpassed their grade and are very motivated to get as far ahead as possible.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
The most important thing to remember when your kids are using ALEKS is that they need to be monitored closely to make sure they are writing down the problems and staying on task. The students also have vocabulary sheets for each section of the pie that they must complete as they come across new topics.