View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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SuMMit School, Florence Unified School District
Grade(s): K - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: Special Education, Improve State Test Scores, Core Curriculum, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 33%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 22.5 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Elizabeth McFarland, Teacher
I teach emotionally disturbed and mentally ill students and I have found that they are often able to learn and practice state objectives better on the computer than when working with people. My students tend to have difficulties working independently on seat work and get easily frustrated when presented with worksheets that have a lot of problems per page. ALEKS presents the problems one at a time; the progression and success is very motivating. The kids like following their own mastery on the pie graph, and I have promised to make a pie of their choice if they made a pie by filling in their own graph. I have made many pies!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Finding materials which directly addressed Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) objectives for each grade level was difficult. Being able to provide lessons for each student at their level of difficulty and individual working level was a challenge.
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?
It is part of math time and computer lab time.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No. I let students choose what they want to work on.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
All students work on ALEKS at the same time, and teachers and assistants are available to help them when they need it. All students have their own computer in the computer lab and each student has a white lap board, marker, and eraser for computations. Everyone works for a least a half hour per day.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I am able to give students formative tests on objectives they already know from work with ALEKS and move on to instruction in areas where they are having difficulties. Sometimes students take the lead in telling me what they want me to teach them because they want to pass a certain area in ALEKS and fill in their pie.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Daily, but many do not have computers.
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?
We do not.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I look at the percent that is completed on the state standards summary and then reward growth.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students feel successful. They remember skills better, and often already know a skill when I get ready to teach it because they have already been exposed to it on ALEKS. I don't have student meltdowns like I used to have with worksheets.