View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Midnight Sun Family Learning Center, Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District
Grade(s): 2 - 8
Scenario: Computers in Classroom, Laptop Carts
Purpose: Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1
David Dorsey, Teacher
My experience with ALEKS over the past year has been extremely positive. Student data in graph form helps when meeting with parents, and the kids love sharing when they are about to finish a section. The problems can be difficult, but the explain button helps the kids understand the material without running up to the teacher. There have been many instances where students will reword ideas being explained by the teacher or other students using things they have read in ALEKS. All of my kids can progress at the speed they need to, allowing the kids who are at-risk to focus on different concepts than the advanced kids. They are excited about watching the pie fill in, and can tell you the areas where they need some improvement.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The school had trouble with some basic concepts and holes that would pop up with random kids.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1 day per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I make ALEKS mandatory. We review their progress and I plan to use it each week.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
When they have finished with their weekly lessons they can work on ALEKS. On Fridays, the entire class works on ALEKS for at least half the period.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I watch to see what problems the kids run into during the class, whether it is in ALEKS, lecture, or book work, and I focus in on them. I also have the kids work on the section of the problem area in ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are encouraged to work on it at home, but I do not require it of them unless they are falling behind.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
By going over ALEKS with the parents, and having their children run through what they have done and could be doing on 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?
Sometimes; 75 percent when it is required.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The kids have a better understanding of the concepts and material. There have been many instances where students will reword ideas being explained by the teacher or other students using things they have read in ALEKS. All of my kids can progress at the speed they need to, allowing the kids who are at-risk to focus on different concepts than the advanced kids. They are excited about watching the pie fill in, and can tell you the areas where they need some improvement.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Use it often, but make sure you don't make it a chore. Kids tend to love to do things on the computer, but once they see it as a "have to," their interest level and attitude drops.