View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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William Wells Brown Elementary School, Fayette County Public Schools
Grade(s): K - 5
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: Improve State Test Scores, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 30%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1-2 hours per week, 18-20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables)
Cheryl Diamond, Teacher
ALEKS is a wonderful addition to my fourth grade math classes! The students work really hard to complete the pie pieces! My students like that the program explains how to do the problem if they miss it. This motivates the students to want to learn and complete that pie piece. The math content not only meets Kentucky standards but pushes the student above and beyond!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Motivating the students to want to do the work and be proud of it.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3-4 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS is used as independent work time. When my students give me quality class work, then they may work on ALEKS. At times, I use this as a review for topics that I have already taught.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I follow my county curriculum. The students work on the topics that we have covered first, and then move on as we go with the curriculum.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
My students work on ALEKS for independent time. This allows me to work with those struggling students and know the others are making progress on their pie chart.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I know that quality of work is a lot more important than quantity, so this program gives the students the opportunity to do quality class work and have something to look forward to when they finish!
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I work in an inner-city school, so most of my students do not have computers. I encourage them to work on ALEKS whenever they can.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Since I am in an inner-city school, it is very difficult to do this.
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, because some do not have computers or Internet service at home. I would love to make that part of the homework though.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
It is part of their class work and participation grade, worth about 20 percent.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, but I do encourage them to work hard and push themselves.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
My students have improved in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division since working on ALEKS. They are only allowed to use a whiteboard and dry erase marker to solve the problems, so it forces them to do the computation by hand. They love it when a pie slice is full, and they are so proud to hear their name called out in the morning announcements. It makes them want to work harder to complete the next slice.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Make sure they do not have a calculator around them. Praise those small successes as if they completed pie piece and encourage the students to go above and beyond in what they know. I use whiteboards and dry erase markers to show work. They love to work the problems out that way!