ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes. 

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Evans Middle School, McKinney Independent School District
McKinney, TX

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20-100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 7.5 hours per week

Elizabeth Landrum, Instructional Specialist
We used ALEKS with a couple of our struggling sixth graders. They enjoy the experience of being able to attempt new concepts, practice, and eventually, show mastery.


Scenario

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?
90 minutes.


Implementation

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I looked at the most critical topic and started there. I started the sixth graders with fractions so that they could appreciate what we were doing with proportions in class.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Our student who used ALEKS during class attempted the warm-up activity with his classmates, and then moved on to ALEKS material. Initially I worked with him to get him going in the right direction and to find out more about ALEKS. Later, another teacher worked with him while also helping others. This seems to work pretty well.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
One of our students worked on ALEKS at home, almost daily. The others did not have access at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Our teacher who worked both before and after school with an at-risk student communicated with the parent to help foster parental support and involvement.


Grading

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Grades are based on progress made and effort put into the learning process. We did not simply grade with percentages because the kids would not see that their hard work pays off. Eventually they see the correlation.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Some of this depends on the actual topic. If the student can communicate his understanding, then we can witness his progress. However, sometimes quick quizzes are used to measure achievement.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I think ALEKS is a great tool for differentiation in the classroom. After the first few times, the kids can really do what they need to do in order to improve their performance.