View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Euclid Middle School, Littleton Public Schools
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab, Home Access
Purpose: RtI, Intervention, Core Curriculum, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 15%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.5 hours per week, 54 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Evan Biddulph, Teacher
I love that ALEKS has filled in the gaps in student learning this year. While I have been unable to teach all the concepts I have wanted to this school year, ALEKS has allowed the students to learn new concepts at their own pace and in their own time. Test scores have gone up since the beginning of the year. When I go to teach a new concept, students have been exposed to it already which really puts them at an advantage over other students. Every time I tell the students we are going to do ALEKS, they get positively excited! The students love how it is individualized, and it allows them to take a break from traditional math because it is at their own pace and level. Since using ALEKS, we have documented proof of state test scores going up! It's ingenious!
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Our school had lower test scores. Since using ALEKS, we have documented proof of state test scores going up!
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
Our school bought subscriptions and we have a designated computer lab, called the ALEKS Lab, that allows us to share it throughout the school week.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Our sixth graders start with the third grade course. Many of them get to the sixth grade level by the end of the school year.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We do 30 minutes twice a week and have the students do 30 minutes a week at home. The total is 90 minutes a week.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
We take 30 minutes out of the end of class twice a week. I often refer to concepts in the form of "as you learned in ALEKS..."
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are required to do 30 minutes at home weekly.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We send home a parent letter letting them know our weekly expectations for ALEKS. We then allow students with no Internet access at home to have time during or after the school day to do the required 30 minutes in the library or ALEKS Lab.
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?
Yes, ALEKS is 25 percent of the students' homework grade requirement.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Tests and quizzes are 50 percent of the grade. Homework is 40 percent of the grade. ALEKS is 10 percent of the grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students are required to complete the third grade level course and be on to fourth grade by October. By May, they are encouraged to be in the sixth grade course.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Test scores have gone up since the beginning of the year. When I go to teach a new concept, students have been exposed to it already which really puts them at an advantage over other students. Every time I tell the students we are going to do ALEKS, they get positively excited! The students love how it is individualized, and it allows them to take a break from traditional math because it is at their own pace and level.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I love how ALEKS fills in the gaps in ways that a teacher cannot. Allow the students to work at their own pace, and don't put negative pressure on them to finish or they will think of it as a punishment. Most of my students think of it as a reward, and when they look at it in that light, they love every minute! A weekly requirement of 90 minutes has worked perfectly for our school.