View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Wauconda Middle School, Wauconda Community Unit School District 118
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1-3 hour per week
ALEKS Course: RtI 6, RtI 7, RtI 8
Donna Swanson, Library Media Specialist
I am very impressed with selection process, as well as the assessment process. After using ALEKS for several weeks, the students took the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). Several weeks later, these same students took their Spring Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests. Many of my ALEKS students, who are either Response to Intervention (RtI) identified or special education, mentioned that both tests were easier because of ALEKS. Many are proud of how many topics they have completed.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Low scores on the ISAT and MAP, and frustration in math class.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
Students are assigned based on ISAT and MAP scores for tier II RtI intervention.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, it's the student's choice.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
ALEKS is not used during math class. Students are excused twice a week from Exploratory class and Study Hall to use ALEKS.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
The math teachers did not modify, but they do communicate their students' strengths and weaknesses.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are encouraged all the time, but only two use it regularly from home.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
During parent/teacher conferences.
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?
It is not assigned.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Currently, we do not incorporate it.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, we do. We track and record the number of topics completed. We require approximately 4-6 topics mastered per week.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
After using ALEKS for several weeks, the students took the ISAT. Several weeks later, these same students took their Spring MAP tests. Many of my ALEKS students, who are either RtI identified or special education, mentioned that both tests were easier because of ALEKS. Many are proud of how many topics they have completed.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Discuss the benefits of ALEKS with students and explain why they are assigned to use it. There is less confrontation from middle school students if reasons are given. Talk up the benefits: increased comfort when attending math class, higher test scores, etc. It also helps to make connections between difficult topics and the real world.