View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Crawford Middle School, Fayette County Public Schools
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Improve State Test Scores, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 80%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3.75 hours per week, 67.5 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra 1, High School Geometry
Dr. Amy C Galloway, Administrative Dean
ALEKS has been a wonderful tool for extending math instruction for both the accelerated students and students needing extra help with content skills they have missed along the way. The program allows me to implement math extension classes that move our low performing students to higher levels of achievement, and to offer extension beyond what is currently taught at this level so that our high performing students can work on mastering some of the high school content that they are ready for. All of our students utilizing ALEKS have increased their ability levels and their content mastery by over 60 percent of the required amount at their levels in less than half of the year's instructional days. This is huge when considering that the majority of the students were well below grade level and had not mastered even 10 percent of the content on their level when we began. They love it!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We have been a failing school and have not made AYP in over four years. Additionally, there were not options for the accelerated kids prior to the implementation of the ALEKS extension classes.
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?
ALEKS aligns with the state standards and has been implemented through the utilization of Title I funds and grants as the main program for our math extension classes.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
This varies with student needs and standards mastered.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students are assigned to the ALEKS extension classes for one semester. Each student works on ALEKS every day and is pulled for further small group or individual instruction by the teacher 1-2 times per week depending upon the student's individual needs.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
An ALEKS teaching position was created for the extension classes. It has also helped the teachers understand the value of differentiation, small group instruction, and individualized instruction.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are encouraged to use ALEKS at home as often as they can. The majority of our students do not have computer and Internet access at home. Those that do have used it at home.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Letters and updates are sent home to parents.
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?
ALEKS extension classes utilize standards-based grading, and the overall grade for the course is based on participation. Students are not penalized for achieving standards at different rates.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Progress amounts are not required but individual growth, goal setting, and participation are.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
All of our students utilizing ALEKS have increased their ability levels and their content mastery by over 60 percent of the required amount at their levels in less than half of the year's instructional days. This is huge when considering that the majority of the students were well below grade level and had not mastered even 10 percent of the content on their level when we began. They love it! They have bought into the prizes and rewards that we have for them as they reach new levels of mastery, and really enjoy the fact that they can see their own progress and can be proud of what they are achieving. They like making gains and have a sense of pride from their achievements.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Don't let the computer do all of the teaching. Build a relationship with the student that encourages them, helps them set goals, rewards and praises them for achieved growth levels, and utilizes the extension activities that ALEKS has for you. Push the student to monitor their own growth, to understand and look at their own data, and to keep achieving.