View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Conifer High School, Jefferson County Public Schools
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 30%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3 hours per week, 54 hours per term
ALEKS Course: High School Preparation for Algebra 1, Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, Math Review for AP Calculus
Marjorie Ader, Teacher and Instructional Leader
I use ALEKS as part of the curriculum for a double dose (2 sections) of Algebra 1. The goal is to help students reach mastery by filling their skill gaps from Pre-Algebra (and below), and also teach the Algebra 1 content. ALEKS provides students with the ability to move ahead at their own pace, with some students moving up an entire level by the end of first semester. I also use ALEKS as a summer assignment for my AP Calculus students. They work through topics in the Math Review for AP Calculus course. The math department also uses ALEKS for struggling students as credit recovery during the summer and as a means of solidifying and improving their knowledge.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Organizing curriculum and grading have always been a challenge, along with diagnosing specific skill gaps for students and keeping track of their progress.
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?
Students rotate through three stations during my class period. ALEKS is used as one of those stations to reinforce what is being taught and to help students master skill gaps.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I have students basically work through skill gaps once they cover the first required pieces of the pie.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I see students for 90 minutes every day. Students are scheduled with me for two periods on an alternating block schedule.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I sometimes include topics that are presented as needing additional instruction based on students' work in ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are required to work in ALEKS at home for 90 minutes a week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
During parent conferences or when parents ask how they can support their student at home, I ask them to monitor the time that their student spends working in ALEKS. I also encourage them to sit with their students and have discussions about problems as they work through the practice.
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?
The total ALEKS time (school and home) required is 3 hours per week. Students receive a grade based on time on task and topics mastered. The percent of their grade for ALEKS is 15 percent.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is 15 percent of the overall grade. Additionally, classwork and homework make up another 25 percent, quizzes and tests are worth 30 percent, accelerated, individual work is 15 percent, and the final exam is 15 percent.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I require students to master a specific number of topics by the end of the semester.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have had several students excel and move from my intervention class to a regular Algebra 1 class. Most students like the individualization of the program and are excited when they complete their pie in High School Preparation for Algebra 1. Once students realize they are close to completing their pie, they get excited and spend more time on task.