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Beaver Dam High School, Beaver Dam Unified School District
Beaver Dam, WI
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Credit Recovery, Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 40%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5 hours per week, 14 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, High School Geometry
Kristine Leaver, Special Education Teacher
I work with a group of cognitively disabled students who have very low functioning math achievement levels. I enrolled them in the ALEKS Essential Mathematics course with QuickTables. This very individualized program allows me to work one-on-one with each child as I move around the computer lab. The program is very self-motivating with the pie graph, and all students have shown growth. Some students progress faster which is great, as I am able to show them this in the reporting mode. QuickTables is a means of reinforcement when they complete their daily work. On Fridays, I create an individualized test (worksheet) that quizzes them on topics they are being taught. This is also a means of giving students the feedback they needed to stay motivated. I also have a homebound student who has not been able to keep up with the demands of regular classroom Geometry. I enrolled her in the High School Geometry course since she can work on it at home; hopefully she will finish at the end of this term and stay on track for graduation. This has been a great opportunity for her.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Because of a wide variety of skill levels in one class, it was difficult to individualize lessons that would target each student's needs. Students who have dysgraphia and did not like the paper and pencil format are able to show growth with computer-aided math.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
It is a supplement to our Life Math curriculum, which focused on life skills math of whole numbers, measurement, money, time, fractions, decimals, percentages, and some Geometry.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes, whole numbers, fractions, proportions and percentages, measurement, Algebra, and then Geometry.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
In our block class, students login for half the period, about 40 minutes, three times per week. Additionally, they have a printed out worksheet to complete each Friday.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We spend time in the textbook during class, with a group approach to lessons. Then, the ALEKS time is spent doing their individualized instruction.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Except for the homebound student, not at all.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
It has been helpful to use the report printouts at Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. Parents can see their student's progress.
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?
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
The weekly worksheet is worth 50 points per week, which is usually about 50 percent of the total weekly grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
As long as I see progress and can show students that the computer is counting their minutes as they work on it, I do not require specific numerical progress. I would rather the student make slow but sure progress.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The greatest progress has been seen in the areas of whole numbers, fractions and decimals, and measurement. For this population, that is appropriate. Overall, the students feel proud of their accomplishments in ALEKS.