View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Rockland District Middle School, Regional School Unit 13
Grade(s): 5 - 8
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program, Laptop Carts
Purpose: RtI, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 35%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5 hours per week, 17-22 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1
Anne Pietroski, Gifted and Talented Teacher
ALEKS provides incredible learning experiences for my students. Each ALEKS course allows for appropriate placement and pacing, and support is provided for every example. Our students have made great gains through the use of the ALEKS program, and overall test scores have improved. Students love checking their progress on the pie chart; the visual helps them see their areas of strength and where they have to work to improve.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Gifted and talented students had limited opportunities to work at their levels, and the general population needed additional opportunities to make gains.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1-2 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
As the Gifted and Talented teacher, I work with regular classroom teachers to make sure the students have the opportunity to test out of the core curriculum and work on ALEKS.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
First, I introduce new material and general class work, if needed. Next, students work on ALEKS, with breaks for problem solving in groups.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
The classroom teacher moves from direct whole-class lessons to individual work and smaller mini lessons when appropriate.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I encourage my students to spend at least 30 minutes, 2-3 times per week, but I don't make it a requirement.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
In the past I have had sessions to explain the program to parents so they know how ALEKS works. Now my students are able to show their parents what they are doing and how they maneuver through the program.
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?
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Each individual teacher is responsible for incorporating ALEKS into the grading system.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No. I don't usually have to require regular amounts of progress because my students are extremely motivated to progress at an appropriate pace.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Overall test scores have improved. Students love checking their progress on the pie chart; the visual helps them see their areas of strength and where they have to work to improve.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
At one point we had an amazing tutor working with our gifted math students. She would look at their ALEKS progress and design mini lessons to supplement areas in which they were being challenged. She always had a problem on the board to start the class. The students would solve and discuss the problem, and then they would move on to individual ALEKS work.