View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Churubusco Junior/Senior High School, Smith-Green Community Schools
Grade(s): 6 - 12
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 30%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5-2 hours per week, 18 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), RtI 6, RtI 7, RtI 8, Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra Readiness, Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus
Nathan Wright, Teacher
We utilize ALEKS as our core math program for Grade 6 through PreCalculus. It has been a great learning experience for all teachers as we transition into a new generation of students and learning. I have learned how to address student needs and allow them to work independently while being supported with a diverse program.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3-4 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
ALEKS has taken the place of homework. We have very little to no homework in our math department.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes. I align to my textbook, which allows me to order my lectures and provide the instruction most of my students are ready for.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We start every class with ten minutes of QuickTables, followed by whole class instruction. Following the instruction, we transition to pie time where one-to-one and small group instruction may occur. Each student has a weekly goal of topics they need to complete, which forces some students to stay after school or work on ALEKS from home.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Instruction in the form of a lecture still remains, as the students still need this; however, the amount of time and depth of instruction has varied depending on the subject matter. The assessment of skills has changed the most. Using ALEKS makes us keep track of data and focus on skills the kids are not picking up from our instruction. Overall, ALEKS has not forced us to do anything dramatically different.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students work at home only when necessary to finish their weekly goal. Some work on ALEKS at home quite often and have advanced on to higher courses.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We have an ALEKS night where we explain the ALEKS process and ways it can be accessed at home.
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 about 80 percent of the homework/assignment load for my students.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
My grading system is as follows: ALEKS is 30 percent of a student's grade; assessments (on paper or on ALEKS) are 40 percent; and assignments (on paper or as an ALEKS quiz) are 30 percent.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I figure out the number of topics each student needs to complete each week in order to complete their pie. I measure this progress every Monday, looking for them to reach their goal. Goals are adjusted throughout the year to reflect their progress or lack of progress. This is the ALEKS grade they receive each week.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have seen students make huge gains in their math mastery levels, and some of them are working three grade levels ahead. I also have students working on their foundational skills as far as three grade levels behind. I see the kids being challenged at their current ability levels, but not becoming discouraged due to the vast choices they have. The students who have invested time in ALEKS are very proud of their progress. They are always challenging each other to do more and push further ahead. Those who have not invested the time still keep track of their progress, as it can be an inspiration to some of them.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Continue to instruct and provide examples for your students.