ALEKS - Assessment and Learning

Implementation Strategies

View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes. 

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Poplar Middle School, Poplar Public School District 9
Poplar, MT

Grade(s): 5 - 8
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Special Education, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 40-50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2-2.5 hours per week, 10 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, High School Preparation for Algebra 1, Foundations of High School Math, Algebra 1

Nina M. Gregory, Special Education Teacher
My experience with ALEKS has been very rewarding, My students are at a level where they can work on different concepts at their own speed and make progress. They enjoy doing math on the computer and having a ready explanation with examples. They are able to make charts, shade fractions, do place value, count money, and do word problems. I have time to go to students, or my aid can go to them and help them out. I can also print out papers and show them how to do problems on the paper and then they can easily do it on the computer. I love ALEKS and my students love ALEKS.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
It is hard to meet all the needs of special education students and I feel that ALEKS helps because it exposes them to many more areas in math.

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?
20-35 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
A teacher from the college helped us get started and then we just took off on our own. I love ALEKS and feel it is really good for our school.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes, I show students how to do concepts on the interactive whiteboard and let them interact with that. Then we move on to the paperwork and computer work.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
In one of my classes I have more students than computers, so I have some students work on paper while the rest work on the computer. Then they switch so that I can easily help them all.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Being a special education teacher, I made modifications for our students, which was the easiest modification I have ever made. Thank you.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Most of our students do not have computers at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
The parents are shown ALEKS at the parent-teacher conference and whenever they come to the school.


Grading

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?
ALEKS is two-fifths of students' homework assignment. I send printed ALEKS worksheets home.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I use students' grades in my gradebook from their paperwork and the computer printouts. 50 percent of the grade is from ALEKS.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I want students to make monthly progress and they get progress reports every six weeks.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Even though my students progress at a slower rate, they are exposed to more varieties of math and not scared of trying to figure out things for themselves. They feel good about their progress and are glad when their pie charts fill up.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Do the ALEKS program yourself first so that you are familiar with what to do. Use your interactive whiteboard to show the students and then let them practice on the computer. The students catch on pretty quickly.