View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Henry County High School, Henry County Schools
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, Special Education, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 30%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5 hours per week, 20-25 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Foundations of High School Math, Algebra 1, High School Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus, Trigonometry
Thomasine Carmouche, Special Education Teacher
ALEKS has greatly improved our students' perceptions of math. The students are progressing and they truly enjoy working in the program. They have something tangible that marks their progression and illustrates what they have mastered, what they're ready to learn, and what they need to work on. I also like how ALEKS is individualized for each student, allowing the student to work at his personal level and at his own pace.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The biggest challenge we face is an overall lack of fundamental mathematics knowledge.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We do not cover topics in a particular order, but we try to cover areas that we see students struggle in. Our overall goal is for students to have a balance in all topic areas.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We have students work on ALEKS at least twice daily. The majority of our students are able to work on ALEKS during enrichment time, as well as in their regular math class.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We implement ALEKS topics into our daily lesson by providing refreshers, bell ringers, or a simple worksheet that reinforces what students are learning in ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We encourage students to work on ALEKS from home on a daily basis.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We recognize students who meet or exceed their weekly goals in ALEKS. Students who meet or exceed their goals on a monthly basis are invited to attend the Student of the Month awards ceremony. We also call the parents to inform them of their child's accomplishment and to invite them to attend the ceremony. Students who reach their goals for the entire month will also have their pictures taken and posted for Student of the Month.
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?
Although we strongly encourage students to use the program at home, ALEKS is not assigned to our students as homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is counted as a quiz or test grade. We honor our students' achievements and feel that when they work hard in ALEKS, they should be graded accordingly.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
We set goals for our students on an individual basis to give them something to work towards. We gauge students' weekly goals based on their previous week's performance or assessment. We also have a harmless competition among the classes that are using ALEKS.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students are thrilled with ALEKS. They have something tangible that marks their progression and illustrates what they have mastered, what they're ready to learn, and what they need to work on. As a result, our students have an increased interest in math, and an improved understanding of math concepts.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
The best advice I can give is to be flexible and meet students at their level. The key is to be their cheerleader when they have little faith in themselves. Re-enforcement, consistency, patience, and flexibility work wonders.