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Choices Charter School, San Juan Unified School District
Grade(s): 7 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 95-100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 5+ hours per week, 90 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus, Trigonometry
David Bories, Teacher
I like the ALEKS courses.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
There are very low incoming math scores and a lack of multiplication and addition skills. Students also come in with a negative mentality.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1-5 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
Our desire is for the students to fill gaps in their knowledge within 2-3 weeks at the beginning of the semester, and then to really start the materials.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes. Since we are part of a school district that has adopted a textbook, we try to use ALEKS to emulate the textbook.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
This semester we tried to have 20-30 minutes of lecture followed by class time in ALEKS. Students are also encouraged to use the math lab at any time for additional support.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We normally would have passed out packets of homework, or assigned problems from a textbook. Now, ALEKS is used for the homework and quizzes.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
5 days per week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We teach parents how to read ALEKS reports and their student's pie.
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 the main part of their homework. However, they are learning enough to pass assessments, but then forgetting the material for quizzes. Students are expected to reach dashed chapter bands on target dates as chapter quizzes follow the next week.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS chapter quizzes and in-class midterm/final is 60 percent of a student's grade. Meeting a targeted percentage compared to textbook completion is the remaining 40 percent of their grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I break down the percentage of topics to be completed each week based on what would be completed during the same time period at our neighboring high school that uses the district textbook. So the students' homework grade each week is the ratio of actual completion based on the assessments compared to my target.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
For those who try at all, the acceptance ratio of ALEKS by the students is very high.