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Ho-Ho-Kus Elementary School, Ho-Ho-Kus School District
Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom, Laptop Carts
Purpose: Intervention, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1-2 hours per week; 40 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 3
Martha Walsh, Enrichment Teacher
ALEKS is a wonderful way to gather data on specific math skills. It is effective in helping all students to be evaluated and taught, as well as practice math concepts that are specific to their needs.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Manipulation of various math tools (protractor, compass, rulers) was challenging for some students. Using these tools on the computer made it more exciting for the students.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
We often follow ALEKS use with a mini-lesson or benchmark lesson. Students are then asked to check their "ALEKS email." At times I have an assessment, other times there is just a practice. I even use the individual worksheet tab for students. This enables them to practice certain skills on paper, as well as for further remediation and enrichment.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Most of the time I follow the textbook curriculum, and other times I use the core standards.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students begin ALEKS by taking a pre-assessment that I have set up with the New Jersey State Standards. I work off of these results to plan my lessons and drive instruction.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Because it is also linked with the textbook curriculum that we use at our school, I am able to have a better understanding of what my students have mastered and then can pull mini-lessons based on the results.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
At least once a week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
A parent letter is sent at the beginning to explain the program, purpose, and how it can be used at home.
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?
At least once a week an ALEKS assignment is part of their math homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is 10 percent of a student's grade. Other components include: 10 percent for homework, 10 percent for class participation, 10 percent for projects, 20 percent for quizzes, and 40 percent for tests.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I think that this would motivate students even more and I would like to do that.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students are motivated to do well based on their pie. Children review concepts using ALEKS and then practice them at home. When I use ALEKS with my gifted and talented students, I find that they are being challenged even more and prove that they are capable of doing higher-level grade work. When I use it for remediation, these students enjoy practicing a skill on the computer. Many of the students enjoy working at home and checking their "ALEKS email" to see if I have a quiz or practice for them. They also love checking their progress with their very own pie chart.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
It's best to start the students right away on ALEKS. Pre- and post-assessments are a wonderful supplement to our math program. The assessment results help me to identify needs and created my facilitation grid with ease to truly enhance my learner-active classroom.