View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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New Horizons School, Harrison School District 2
Colorado Springs, CO
Grade(s): 6 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, Credit Recovery, Special Education, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 5 hours per week, 60 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, Foundations of High School Math, High School Preparation for Algebra 1, California Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus, Trigonometry
Renee Cowger, Teacher
We put students on ALEKS who were not succeeding in a regular classroom setting due to attendance issues or learning retention deficits. For the students with attendance problems, they were able to better retain what they learned through periodic assessments. The retention-disabled students also showed amazing progress. Students are proud of being able to set their own learning goals and reach them.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The challenges we faced were low retention levels and students "slipping through the cracks."
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?
We started with an ALEKS pilot program. The program showed excellent results with our population. We began using it on a regular basis in a computer lab the following year.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We allow the students to choose the topics they want to cover.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students sign into computers to access their pie charts. They add up the number of topics in the pie and divide by how many days they have in the term. They then round that figure up and know how many topics they need to cover each day. This is recalculated if they miss days. Student goals are recorded and a record is kept on how well they met each daily goal. We do have a reward system in place.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We can modify learning goals set by student according to each student's needs. For example, a student on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) may have different goals than a student who is not.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students work in ALEKS at home weekly, especially if they have missed class.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We use the ALEKS reporting section to show parents student 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?
ALEKS is completed with a highly qualified teacher in a lab setting, and is not part of the homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is considered a class by itself. Students are graded on assessments (40 percent), note taking (10 percent), and participation, which means they are setting and reaching goals on a regular basis (50 percent).
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes. Students calculate the number of topics they need to learn and divide by the number of days in a term. That is the goal for the day, unless the student has modifications.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students that showed difficulty retaining mathematical topics were able to not only retain knowledge but excel. The ALEKS pie chart is an excellent tool to show students their daily progress. Students are proud of being able to set their own learning goals and reach them.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Student goal setting with a reward system in place works very well with at-risk students.