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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Norwayne Middle School, Norwayne Local School District
Creston, OH

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Improve State Test Scores
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week, 36 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2

Katherine Bullach, Teacher
ALEKS does an excellent job of providing concepts to work on at each student's level. It also does a great job of reviewing concepts that we may not have covered recently in the classroom. Many of our students pick up concepts faster in the classroom because they have already worked on them in ALEKS. Many students have commented that ALEKS has helped them do better in math.


Scenario

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2-3 days per week.

What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
40 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Students have a special computer lab 2-3 times per week which is when they work on ALEKS.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students work on the multiplication and division QuickTables for the first 15 minutes of class, and then begin work on their pie charts. I walk around assisting students with choosing and completing topics. I set goals for them and reward those who have met the goals with a party at the end of each nine-week period. I also print out any certificates they earn from ALEKS and display them on the classroom walls.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
In the past, I often used bellwork (a math review time at the beginning of each class period). However, since ALEKS reviews concepts with the students, I spend more time on the current concepts we are covering and less time reviewing.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We encourage them to work on ALEKS at home, but nothing is required since many students do not have Internet access at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Many students are not able to do ALEKS at home, so we do not ask parents to get involved. However, at parent/teacher conferences, we sometimes recommend ALEKS to the parents of struggling students, if they have Internet access at home.


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?
No.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is not used for a grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
We encourage as much progress as possible, and we occasionally set various goals with a reward for the students to work toward.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Many of our students pick up concepts faster in the classroom because they had already worked on them in ALEKS. Many students have commented that ALEKS has helped them do better in math.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I try to make each student feel successful as they work on ALEKS. The point of the program is for every student to feel like they are becoming smarter and more prepared for their regular classroom. This reduces frustration and builds confidence. I try to keep it fun by providing incentives and posting certificates of their accomplishments on the classroom walls. I aim to help every student feel successful by giving extra one-on-one help to those who are struggling.