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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Palombi Middle School, Lake Villa School District 41
Spring Grove, IL

Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 100%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 6 hours per week, 90 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables)

Kari Thicksten, Teacher
I have had a great experience with ALEKS because it gave me the documentation I need to prove that my student is ready for high school. It has allowed me to assess exactly what she needs to know and what she currently knows, and allows us to have flexibility in the lesson and show progress.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The student I am working with was on the verge of failing eighth grade. The high school wanted documentation that she is ready for high school math.

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?
40 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I pulled one student from her core class and use ALEKS as a necessary intervention.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I allow the student to choose her topics and work on things that interest her first. I make suggestions when some pieces of the pie are nearly complete and others are untouched.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I use ALEKS with one specific student who is working independently on a lab computer. I answer questions and assign problems as needed.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
It is completely different than when I taught a regular class.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I use the ALEKS worksheets for homework.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
The parent of the student I work with is not involved.


Grading

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?
I assign the printed worksheets from ALEKS as homework.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I grade the student's homework and also consider how many topics she covers per day. I expect her to cover a certain number of topics, and grade her down if she starts a topic and does not finish it.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
If the student is not making progress, then I check in with her to see what is going on.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The student I am working with has shown more willingness to work on math. Her Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) scores have risen and she is gaining new skills every day. Additionally, she is excited about math for the first time; she understands it and asks questions. This is a huge step for my student and I am so excited to see her life changing.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I monitor the student's growth, and allow her to solve problems with her own methods and use the resources she has.