View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Indian Mound Middle School, McFarland School District
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Summer School
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 10 hours per week, 20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Foundations of High School Math, Algebra 1
Damon Piscitelli, Math Coordinator/Eighth Grade Math Teacher
I am very pleased with ALEKS. I plan to continue to use it and recommend it to colleagues. The incorporation of ALEKS into this summer program has definitely resulted in higher levels of motivation to learn and achieve goals.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The main challenge was finding effective instructional methods that achieved results with remedial classes with a wide range of aptitudes.
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?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I use ALEKS to help fill in the achievement gaps and differentiate curriculum for my students who are enrolled in my two week supplemental course.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I allow my students to retain control over the topics they cover, with the condition that they work to keep a balance between those pie pieces that are least and most filled in.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students meet from 8:00am-3:00pm for my two-week class. Each morning and afternoon contains an ALEKS session ranging from 30-60 minutes.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Based on initial ALEKS assessments, my curriculum needed to be modified to address areas where there were weaknesses for the majority of the class. I also implemented more interactive group lessons to offset the time that students spent on their individualized ALEKS programs.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I do not require or encourage my students to work with ALEKS at home, as they are involved in a comprehensive accelerated two week supplemental course that meets for six hours daily.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
At the end of the course, parents are notified about their child's use of ALEKS, and that the child has the opportunity to continue to use the program throughout the school 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. The work is done during the class.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
A final ALEKS exam is given and scored on a 100 percent scale. Daily worksheets are graded, and ALEKS quizzes are taken and graded. ALEKS grades account for 24 percent of the overall grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students are not actually required to make progress. However, when a midterm exam and final exam are given, points are awarded for progress. For example, if a student improves from 24 percent to 54 percent, the grade for the exam is 84 percent (54 + 30).
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have seen a range of progress including students passing math classes for the first time in their academic careers. Additionally, many of my students are much more vocal in class; asking more questions and showing more interest. The incorporation of ALEKS into this summer program has definitely resulted in higher levels of motivation to learn and achieve goals. Overall, I have heard very positive comments. It is obvious that the students truly feel as though they are accomplishing something with their time.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I believe that the students will be more successful in the long run if teachers require students to document in writing the problems completed each day. I recommend creating a format or template on which students complete their work.