View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Riverview Middle School, Huntington County Community School Corporation
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Laptop Carts
Purpose: RtI, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 40%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2-3 hours per week, 30-40 hours per term
ALEKS Course: RtI 8, MS RtI Tier 3, Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1
Jami Craft, Teacher
Overall, my experience with ALEKS has been very successful. Students have been placed into various courses based on their needs. I am visually able to see what standards students have successfully completed or have not completed so that I can focus on those areas of need. I feel a sense of confidence has grown in them because they are able to work at their own level, but still make connections to what we are doing during regular class time. It is a tremendous classroom tool that I use to easily differentiate for the various needs of my students.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
One challenge was the time it takes to differentiate lessons for all of the various levels of knowledge.
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?
I attempt to do a day of teaching and then a day of ALEKS.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Some days students will work to complete a certain number of topics for points, and anything added over the required amount is extra credit. Also, there are days that they complete quizzes and then can work to add topics we have discussed in class.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
There is less direct instruction and more one-on-one time with students.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
It is not required, but I encourage them to work on it as much as they can. We even encourage students to have their pies filled by a certain date so that they can earn a free ticket to a baseball game.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Newsletters and parent fairs or conferences are used to explain and encourage ALEKS.
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?
I just give points on ALEKS days for the number of topics added. For example, four topics added earns 20 out of 20 points; three topics added earns 16 out of 20; two topics added earns 12 out of 20; and one topic added earns 8 out of 20 points. Some days anything over four topics added is extra credit.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, but I have created ALEKS posters in my room for students to move their name as they complete percentages of their pie.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students have been placed into various courses based on their needs. I am visually able to see what standards students have successfully completed or have not completed so that I can focus on those areas of need. I feel a sense of confidence has grown in them because they are able to work at their own level, but still make connections to what we are doing during regular class time.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
The best results come when students are put into appropriate classes based on their needs.