View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Lapel Middle School, Frankton-Lapel Community Schools
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Intervention, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Core Curriculum, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 6 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), RtI 6, Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1
Debbie Kinner, Teacher
I absolutely LOVE ALEKS! I have the two higher level classes this year and students are soaring with ALEKS. Even the ones who are not really enthusiastic about math have seen how much growth they have accrued. I think, with learning aside, ALEKS is good for self-esteem and for helping my students see they are capable of more than they think they are.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We were kind of in a rut, and our books were in sad shape. Now, we can do the same curriculum, but using computers instead of books.
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?
I am using it as a supplement only but can't wait to make it my primary curriculum next year. We have a lab issue to resolve first.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Not yet, but I want to develop that for the next school year.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We have very limited lab use, so I can only get my classes in the lab maybe one or two times per week. I ask my students to do about one hour per week at home.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I went from teaching a lesson every day from the book to teaching four lessons per week and using the lab for ALEKS whenever we can get in.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are required to work on ALEKS one hour per week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I send a letter home and encourage parents to call me if there is a problem with their understanding of the program or with their computers. I am planning to have a parent meeting at the beginning of the next school year to try and head off some of these problems at the start.
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?
It is assigned as 25 percent.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Right now, I am only giving credit for time spent on ALEKS. I can't use it to grade because we have too many computer issues. I need to develop a rubric with my colleagues for the next school year.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
No, not yet. I encourage it, but I don't require it.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Within the first week or two after the initial assessment, I had four students move from the first course into the second and who are now almost ready to move into the third. Everyone can see their own progress, which they never knew they were making. Most of my students love the freedom that they have to work at their own pace. It has increased the competitiveness in students who weren't motivated by using books.