View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Medical Lake Middle School, Medical Lake School District
Medical Lake, WA
Grade(s): 7 - 12
Scenario: Computer Lab
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 40%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5-2.25 hours per week, 24 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Foundations of High School Math
Stormy Weathers, Math Teacher
ALEKS has taught my students in grades 7-10 skills that they have not been able to grasp in previous classes. We have monitored their progress and found that their district test scores are improving. Each student receives the attention they need from ALEKS. The teachers no longer have to teach to the middle of the class, and students have the choice to focus on their individual needs.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Most of my students didn't know the fundamentals of math before beginning with ALEKS. They were unable to grasp the concepts in previous classes, which caused a great deal of difficulty.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2-3 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
We started at the middle school last summer with just 10 licenses and only three weeks of school left. We were so impressed we decided to implement ALEKS in all of our support classes moving forward and even decided to roll it out in our Special Education department.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No. We let students take the assessment test and then choose from their pie.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We use ALEKS 2-3 times a week for the full 45 minute class period. Our use is subject to the computer lab sign-up sheet, as we share it with other classes.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We have found a great combination in supplementing the use of ALEKS with detailed process problems and direct math application exercises on our off-days. It seems to be working extremely well.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We encourage working at home, but do not require it.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We are still striving to get parents involved in the process, and anticipate it being a priority for the next year.
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?
No. We do not have homework in our support classes.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
We look at both time in class and items per hour grade. For QuickTables, we look at percentage of growth.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
We do require the students to make regular progress, and have high expectations. We compare their individual progress to the class progress as a whole to get a good measure.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have noticed that student confidence levels have risen, as they are much more engaged in class than before. Our test scores for our fall Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test were also much better than expected, especially from students using ALEKS. Their experiences with the program have been positive, and most students enjoy ALEKS very much. As a testament, I have had students request assessments because they are so excited about their progress.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Teacher involvement and monitoring can be extremely beneficial and motivating. Helping the students to maintain their dedication and keep up their efforts will ensure that they learn the needed skills.