ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes. 

Submit your ALEKS implementation strategy by completing our online survey.

Sumner Academy, Private
Gallatin, TN

Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Supplement, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 30-50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week; 45-50 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)

Brenda Whitsell, Teacher
My students use ALEKS at least twice per week in class and once per week for homework. Some weeks it is used more often. ALEKS allows the students to work on their own learning needs and to select the topics they wanted to learn. Now, many of my students will be using ALEKS during the summer to keep up or stay fresh with their math skills.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
It is always difficult in a regular class setting to challenge everyone at the right level.

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3 days per week.

What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
25 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I use ALEKS for supplement work. Students work on ALEKS at least twice per week and usually choose which topics they want to work on each time. Some days I select the part of the pie everyone needs to work on due to knowledge of group needs.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No particular order. For the most part, students just choose what they want.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students begin ALEKS when they first arrive, so that those who get to class early are not wasting time.  On ALEKS days we deal with other class items such as homework towards the end of class.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Students do ALEKS first thing on days they do not have a regular math lesson with the whole class.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
It is required one time per week. Students who work on it more than one time per week at home receive extra math credit.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send out class emails to parents about ALEKS, including advice on how to look at their student's pie, progress of students, and congratulations to those who master the greatest number of topics during the week.


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?
Yes, one time per week.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS counts for one homework per week, or about 10 percent of the total grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
This year I only required a certain number of minutes. However, next time I will require a certain number of mastered topics.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Several students have completed a much greater portion of the curriculum and moved ahead in math much more than they would have with just the regular lessons. Others use the time to learn materials we are working on in class. Most of the students love ALEKS days!


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Concentrate on number of topics mastered and not the amount of time on ALEKS.