View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Sequoia Schools
Grade(s): K - 12
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program, Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Special Education, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.25 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2
Stacy W. Castro, Teacher
ALEKS is a great tool to measure an individual student's strength and weakness. After the Initial Assessment, I have a better idea of my class and individual students' weaknesses and how to improve these weaknesses. Also, many students enjoy working from home during weekends, holidays, and vacation. ALEKS QuickTables includes basic math games and it helps students with their quickness of response and accuracy.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I had a difficult time meeting each student's level of needs. Each student has different weaknesses and strengths. With ALEKS, students are given the opportunity to become independent and only require help when needed. They improve on their reading comprehension as well.
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?
Once or twice a week I give activities, lectures, homework, and a homework check. Students work on ALEKS in class two or three days a week while a teacher walks around make sure students are working and making progress.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Sometimes I require some students to work on particular topics in a certain order, while other students pick topics they want to cover. Most of the topics have already been covered in class.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I give each student an expected number of topics to master weekly. If they meet the expected number of topics mastered in a week, they receive full credit; if they complete less, they lose credit. If students demonstrate a quick growth weekly, then I give them more challenging tasks to accomplish.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
It is encouraged for students to work on ALEKS 30-60 minutes at home, three times a week. Some students do not have access to a computer at home so it is flexible.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I maintain open communication with parents on how their student is doing and show progress as well. Parents are encouraged to support ALEKS usage at home and during summer time.
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, if students are unable to meet their responsibilities at school, they must complete the work from home.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is 20 percent of a student's semester grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes; I establish a minimum amount of topics students must accomplish weekly. If students do not accomplish this, they need to earn the points back in the following week or stay during lunch to catch up.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students are motivated and want to do better for themselves. Students are constantly making progress in all areas. When they realize that they are not making progress or are doing an adverse job, they dislike more work. Therefore, they become more motivated to do better and compare their progress over time. Students are also performing better on state standardized tests and on classroom tests.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
At the beginning of class, students practice basic math facts for 10 minutes to get their mind going and begin working on topics. Sometimes I let students know that I can do better on timing than them, and challenge them to beat my timing in multiplication and division.