View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Fairfield Christian Academy, Private
Grade(s): K - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab, One-to-One Laptop Program, Computers in Classroom
Purpose: RtI, College and Career Readiness, Summer School, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3-4 hours per week, 25-28 hours per term
ALEKS Course: RtI 6, RtI 7, RtI 8, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, Fundamentals of Accounting (Sole Proprietorship)
Cathy L. Barthelmas, Teacher
I am very impressed with ALEKS. This program has been utilized for students who want MORE as they prepare for college, as well as intervention students who have struggled for many years. I have established a small computer lab with three laptops in one location, as well as a one-to-one laptop program. The flexibility of both scenarios is proving very successful, as students continue to learn and ALEKS continues to challenge each one. The scope of each program is right on target and I love the immediate feedback. We are rapidly approaching the end of our school year and students can continue to work through the summer, which is a major benefit to help keep up their math skills. MAJOR BONUS: Customer service is SPECTACULAR! Each time I have sent an email, within 24 hours I have a reply and the solution is forthcoming. I give ALEKS straight A's!
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
5 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
Prior to enrollment in ALEKS, we evaluate and review of each student's ability, assessment, and performance. It is an individualized approach, case-by-case and custom made for the student. We are always insuring that ALEKS is matched to the student and that we are serving that child with the math curriculum needed.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No particular order.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Very open. I am the coordinating teacher for ALEKS in our school and students can use ALEKS in my classroom on laptops, on allocated computers in our computer lab, or on a laptop in the intervention classroom. Students have one period for math, and they can do their math work ANY period they have available, or during their math period. For example, they can do math in a study hall period, math period, or elective period they have open.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Students work on their specific ALEKS course. If they have struggles, they come to me, or I float around and take care of any issues or pitfalls. Worksheets help me evaluate and identify any problem areas that I could miss due to multiple students on different ALEKS courses at one given time.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are always encouraged to work at home. Only a couple have taken this initiative. I have also asked parents to sit down with their child and SEE what ALEKS is all about.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I have met with each parent whose child is enrolled in ALEKS. I also give them an information packet about ALEKS, pulled from the web site, and encourage them to GO to the site and see what it is all about.
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?
Since the students in ALEKS are doing only ALEKS, their homework is not mandatory. This is a topic that will be evaluated at the end of the year, and hopefully we will assign time spent and topics mastered as mandatory homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I grade worksheets as quizzes and also give grades based on participation. Many of the ALEKS students have struggled and have math anxiety. My goal is not to be punitive, but to praise each success, regardless of how small.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Not at this time, but most definitely coming.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Every student that has been enrolled in ALEKS has shown progress. Basically, the more time they spend in the program, the more they learn. More importantly, the students and parents can easily monitor progress and determine WHAT needs to be done to be successful. My middle school and high school students love ALEKS. We have an independent work structure; students are given a goal and they like that they can log on anytime to work on meeting the goal that we have established. If they are hard pressed for time due to schedule demands, they know ALEKS can be done from home, study hall, or the computer lab. They come to me and ask for worksheets and each student has been excited to see their outcomes.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I encourage others to use the RtI component. It has been such a positive boost for students who hate math. They log on, pick their piece of pie, and see positive results. I would also make a mandatory time spent chart and topics mastered chart, and would also send them an email with their time goal and topics mastered goal on a weekly basis. Their effort grade in math would be tied to the Time and Topic Report. I LOVE THE REPORTS. The variety and detail is outstanding and when I lay one of those reports down in front of a high schooler who is trying to "pull one over on me"...well...IT IS SO SWEET! VICTORY.