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Naperville Central High School, Naperville Community Unit School District 203
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 15-25%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1+ hours per week; 25 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Foundations of High School Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2
Scott Miller, Instructional Coordinator for Mathematics
My experience with using ALEKS has been very positive. I am able to pinpoint what the needs of my students are and differentiate accordingly.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The challenge was finding an intervention program for students who struggle that can differentiate to the learning gaps of each student.
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 meet as a subject team and determine how much time students need to be using ALEKS. We also determine the growth per week that students need to meet.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We cover ALEKS topics according to our curriculum that we are working on in the classroom. If students have mastered those concepts, they can choose to work ahead.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We begin in the classroom to go over homework questions and new learning concepts. Then we go to the computer lab for at least half of the class period to work on ALEKS.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We schedule computer lab time for the entire semester. We also discuss as a team how the implementation is going and the gains that we see in our students.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are encouraged, but not required, to work on ALEKS at home.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We inform parents about the program at Open House in the fall and discuss it further with parents during parent-teacher conferences.
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 assigned as part of their class work responsibilities.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is part of a student's class work grade and is 15 percent of their grade before final exams.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
They are required to make a three percent gain per week. We monitor their progress on a weekly basis.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The progress that I have seen is more self-directed students and more confidence in the knowledge of the course material. Students also feel good about their progress, especially in the beginning because they are able to make a lot of progress quickly.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Be intentional about using ALEKS with your course work in the classroom. Find websites for students to go to after they have completed their work in ALEKS. The program is very flexible to use and helps to fill learning gaps that students have.