View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Sonoran Science Academy - Tucson, Independent
Grade(s): K - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Intervention, After-School, At-Risk Students, Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 80%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 20 hours per week; 200 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2
A. Kadir Bahar, Math Teacher and Coordinator
I think ALEKS is a great tool for all teachers. It allows teachers to follow students' improvements, strengths, and weaknesses as students work at their own pace. By doing so, you will make sure that everyone learns. Is that not what we are looking for!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Some students were missing some background skills but it was not possible for a teacher to meet everyone's needs. That is what ALEKS does. If you are having hard time to modifying your lectures for each student, ALEKS does it for you.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
4 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I looked into the sequence of the topics in ALEKS and I matched them with my curriculum. Then I distributed each of them into my daily lesson plans.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Not exactly. I mix them depending on what I teach.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I have computers in my class. After I finish teaching, I assign some students to work on ALEKS on the computers while I help others.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I did not have to modify my teaching.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Once per week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I explain ALEKS on my syllabus and give directions via the syllabus.
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 20 percent of the homework load.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I just take the scores students get on ALEKS and convert them into my grading system.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Not necessarily. Each student is unique with their skills, but I follow their improvement week by week and set weekly goals.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students at risk do not become disruptive any more. I follow what the students learn and how they improve, and I make sure they get ready for state tests. Students' self-esteem has improved a lot, especially special education and at-risk students. They feel that they are learning and that makes them happy.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
It is important to integrate ALEKS into classroom setting and curriculum. Once you do it, the rest will be very easy. Having several computers and using them in the class is the most efficient method to use ALEKS.