View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Telluride Mountain School, Private
Grade(s): 5 - 12
Scenario: Laptop Carts, Home Access
Purpose: Credit Recovery, Exit Exam, After-School, Summer School
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25-35%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 12-15 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Rexford Lybrand, Teacher
I have used ALEKS for two years in a small school. I use the program specifically with fifth and sixth grade students, and our school uses it all the way through twelfth grade. I find ALEKS helpful in assisting students through practice and scheduled tests. I also find the program extremely helpful as an assessment tool and for tracking. It certainly helps to find out where students are struggling to grasp content, and ALEKS helps me deliver more targeted lessons to students.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
One challenge was not having a comprehensive scope and sequence, but instead various curricula that were mashed together. ALEKS is attractive since you do not feel like you are missing any concepts that the students should be learning at grade level.
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?
We use ALEKS as a supplement to our curricula and often as homework.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I have students work on sections that they feel like working on during that class period. They often gravitate towards working with integers. Some days I have students work on topics that are farthest away from their goals.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I teach a concept and we practice in class. Then students work in ALEKS for individualized needs.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I can target concepts that the class is having a difficult time understanding. The instant feedback on ALEKS is very useful!
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students work in ALEKS at home three to four days per week for 15 to 20 minutes.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I show parents the student history and progress at parent-teacher conferences.
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 50 percent of the homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
The participation grade and topics covered grade total 25 percent.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I have students create learning goals for themselves. Using the amount of time it takes them to achieve mastery, they create weekly goals to learn a certain number of topics. They become quite competitive about achieving their goals!
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students consistently make progress through the year in ALEKS. Although it can be overwhelming for some students when they see a small portion of the pie completed, they feel the program has value as the year goes on and they see steady improvement. They are motivated to complete each pie slice before the summer!
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Setting personal goals for achievement and having students take responsibility for learning the material in a timely fashion has created an atmosphere of self-motivation. Students strive to achieve the goals they set for themselves.