View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Rancho del Rey Middle School, Sweetwater Union High School District
Chula Vista, CA
Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Supplement, Special Education
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week, 32 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Arithmetic (with QuickTables)
Brett Savage, Teacher
I use ALEKS in a remedial Math 8 class and have had great success. ALEKS works at each student's individual level so it lets students progress at their own pace. I use the quiz feature to give the students weekly quizzes. If students do not do well on these quizzes, they must take them again until they score at least an 80 percent or better.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Prior to using ALEKS, the students did not have enough examples or assistance to help them.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1 day per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I began by requiring students to complete at least one quiz per week with an 80 percent score or better. I also gave credit for how much of their pie chart they completed and for the number of hours they logged in.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I have each student take the assessment, and then work on their pie in their self-chosen order. They are also responsible for weekly quizzes.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I try to spend as much time as possible on ALEKS. I take role, walk my students to the lab, and then have them work on ALEKS until the last five minutes of class.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I often use a projector and a laptop to project ALEKS topics on the white board and then go over them with the class. I also look at the students' quiz results and then I re-teach the most troubling concepts.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
I require students to work on ALEKS at home as much as possible. When I meet with parents or talk to them on the phone, I remind them that students should be on ALEKS at least one hour each night.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I speak about ALEKS during open house, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), student meetings, and parent phone calls.
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?
I assign ALEKS as part of the students' homework, and it counts as 30 percent of their overall grade.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I use the weekly quizzes as the students' quiz grade for that week. I also the students a 30 percent grade for their work completion. The more they log on and work in ALEKS, the more credit I give them.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
When I taught the regular Math 8 class, I required students to score 80 percent or higher on their weekly quizzes. I now work with special education students and individualize their grades based on their abilities.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I had two classes at Southwest Middle School and all of the students were in there by scoring Far Below Basic (FBB) or Below Basic (BB) on the California Standard Test (CST) the prior year. After using ALEKS for a year, every student ended up scoring Proficient or Advanced in Math 8. I also found that students help other students in the class when they have a set task such as weekly quizzes.