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Naperville Central High School, Naperville Community Unit School District 203
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.7 hours per week, 30 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Foundations of High School Math, Algebra 1
Anthony J. Schlorff, Teacher
ALEKS has been implemented in our Introduction to Algebra classroom. We spend 50 percent of our class time devoted to ALEKS to help improve students' understanding of the material. The students have been very receptive to this and I have seen improvement in their scores overall.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Keeping the kids motivated. I would take my students to the lab for 50 minutes every other day and sometimes it was hard for them to stay focused.
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?
ALEKS is half of our current Introduction to Algebra curriculum. The students get an improvement grade depending on the ALEKS assessments.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes, I cover ALEKS topics in the following order: Number Sense, Fractions, Percents, Solving Equations, and Solving Inequalities.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Every other day (Tuesday and Thursday), the students and I are in the computer lab working in ALEKS.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I spend less time on repetition with my instruction. I get to cover more material in my classroom, as well as harder problems.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Whenever students do not complete the required percentage growth, they must finish it at home.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
During open house, I have the parents see a demonstration.
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?
Yes, 15 percent.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
15 percent of the grade is attributed to growth in ALEKS. I grade on both percentage increase as well as assessment results. I am also considering adding a category for time spent in ALEKS as well.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, five percent learning progress per week.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students in my classroom are more confident when working on in-class material because they have seen it in ALEKS, or they are currently working on it. I also have students do their homework with ALEKS because of the explanations that it gives. This was the first year of implementing ALEKS in our curriculum and my students have really grown during this time. The average on the ALEKS Initial Assessment was around 22 percent. As students finish the ALEKS course, the current average is now between 70 and 80 percent. Students see their progress and they correlate it to the classroom growth as well.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Use it! You can accomplish more in the classroom as well as grow the students' number sense!