View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Washington Union High School, Washington Unified School District
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab, Laptop Carts
Purpose: RtI, Exit Exam, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 5-6 hours per week, 450 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 1, High School Geometry
Chris Vue, Teacher
We first implemented ALEKS at our continuation school to address attendance issues for the students. After seeing success in the continuation setting we introduced it at the regular high school as a form of remediation for students who need to retake Algebra 1 and need support prior to their first time taking the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). Overall, the program is helpful at increasing engagement and accountability in those students that cannot demonstrate it in regular classes without the program. Many of the students who struggle with the material in a regular class thrive on the program in the ALEKS class.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The class had low motivation to engage in activities, classroom disruptions, and little homework done or turned in.
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?
I use ALEKS as an addition to the regular remediation curriculum. Half of the students' grade is based on ALEKS and the other half is from direct instruction.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I cover them based on our curriculum maps, but also in order of which skills are the most fundamental to continuing progress for the student.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I use group pull-outs based on topics students are lacking in the ALEKS program. There are days where the students will receive a 45 minute lesson on a topic, then time to work on ALEKS and there are times when 5-6 students are pulled aside to work on topics shown to be deficient in the ALEKS program.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I am able to pull aside specific groups to remediate skills they are lacking and to re-enforce ideas and topics in a small group setting.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
All of the time.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I email parents reports created through the ALEKS program.
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?
It is part of their homework, about 10-20 percent.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Forty percent of their grade is based on ALEKS and 60 percent on direct instruction. The ALEKS portion is broken into progress, meeting of goals, and on task or participation scores.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes. We set goals for the students to reach 100 percent on their pie charts, but we are looking at specific topics they will need in the next classes. We set goals for them to reach at six week intervals and look at progress daily.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Many students who do little to no work in the lecture based classes but are bright enough to understand the material, enjoy working on the ALEKS program and pacing themselves. It is very visual and easy for them to understand where they are headed. In addition, they can set goals and work towards them.