View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Plymouth Christian High School, Plymouth Christian Schools
Grand Rapids, MI
Grade(s): 6 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Supplement, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 10%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 day per week, 20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Foundations of High School Math
Nate Engelsma, Teacher
I use ALEKS as a supplement with my classes. ALEKS serves to help students keep their foundational knowledge as the class moves ahead. We also recommend it to students to use during the summer to retain their mathematical knowledge.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Kids forgot a lot over the summer and had trouble remembering what they learned earlier in the year.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1 day per week
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I found ALEKS online, shared it with the department, and then implemented it in one class. It seemed to work out pretty well, so we pushed it into other classes. Now we also recommend it for summer use.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Not at this point. This is something we will look at more in the future.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I let them use ALEKS in their free time and at home room and study halls.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I didn't really.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
A couple of hours a week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I talk to them at conferences and explain what it is. Most think it is cool and get their kids going on it, especially if kids have a bad test or something.
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?
ALEKS is not part of their homework because not all kids have Internet access.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
It makes up 10 percent of their final grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Kids have to pass a certain percentage of topics every marking period. This percentage is customized to each student.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
After two years, I like what ALEKS has done for my students. They definitely have a better core mathematical knowledge and concepts stay fresh in their minds. For the most part, students enjoy ALEKS; they like the success of finishing their pies. It is also cool when I introduce a new concept in class and students say, "I've done this on ALEKS before."
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Get the kids excited about ALEKS. Make it a competition and then they go crazy - especially if you tell them that when they hit 100 percent, they are done for the year.