View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Danville High School, Danville Independent School District
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: RtI, Special Education, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 5 hours per week, 90 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Pre-Algebra
Christel Belcher, Special Education Teacher
I am currently using ALEKS with two students to improve their math skills. Both students were failing miserably and absolutely hated math. They are both improving their basic skills on a daily basis, as well as gaining the confidence to be better math students.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students failing class after class of math, and having no confidence in their ability to do math at all.
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?
Students are assigned a computer and get logged in. I come over and suggest the area to work on that day, However, I have been giving them some independent choices on where to work.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I began with two students, so I worked one on one with them while getting started. Next year, I foresee some class instruction at the start of the year, then moving into individual instruction. We are looking at using ALEKS three days a week, with direct instruction on problem areas two days per week next fall.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I am now more of a facilitator than the direct teacher.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We are not implementing it at home as most of the students do not have home computers.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
At this point we are not. As we learn to utilize it more, we will include parent involvement.
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?
Currently it is 100 percent but next year I see it being 50 percent ALEKS and 50 percent direct instruction and class work.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, but next year we will. We plan to work this summer in setting goals for each of our students after they pretest in the fall.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students are learning that even the basics of addition and subtraction are the foundations of higher math. Now they know the multiplication table is not just something an elementary teacher dreamed up, but rather something they can utilize everyday in life. Finally, they understand that with lots of practice they can grasp those concepts they thought they never would have. Overall, they students seem to love ALEKS, ever having struggled at first without a calculator, knowing they might have to do it the old fashioned way. They love their pie getting bigger and the sense that something is being accomplished, not just another failed math class. I also see them showing each other how to work issues out that they don't understand, that is amazing!
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I am still learning the program. I love it and there is plenty to learn. I will say, the support from the company has been fabulous and I love that my kids are becoming the teachers too.