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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Clark-Pleasant Intermediate School, Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation
Greenwood, IN

Grade(s): 5 - 6
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: RtI, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, At-Risk Students, ESL Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3.5 hours per week, 63 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), RtI 6, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1

Bethany Guilfoy, Instructional Coach
At our intermediate school, we use ALEKS for a variety of fifth and sixth grade students. Some use ALEKS for extra help, practice, and remediation purposes while others use ALEKS for enrichment and challenging above grade level math students. We have seen success with ALEKS for several years. We have students that are passing our state test for the first time due to their work on ALEKS. Most importantly, 33 of our 40 at-risk students that use ALEKS improved their benchmark scores beyond the grade level norm! We also have two of our gifted students that have used ALEKS and aced our state standardized test. Our students love the frequent assessments and strive to meet weekly goals by mastering a set of topics each week. We love ALEKS and find creative budget options to make sure our students are provided with this outstanding program each year!


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We had little growth in mathematics compared to our state's growth model. ALEKS has provided an option for differentiating instruction and progress monitoring for our at-risk and gifted students, and has enabled more of our students to experience success with mathematics.

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?
42 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Our students receive an additional 40 minutes each day to work on ALEKS during our "Success Time." It is an additional piece of our curriculum to help those that struggle master skills previously taught. Our ALEKS lab is much smaller than a general classroom so students are able to receive help from adults in the room while they work through each topic.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We don't cover ALEKS topics in a particular order but allow each student to take responsibility for mastering the topics by our spring state standardized assessment.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Our students spend four days a week working on ALEKS for 40 minutes for enrichment and remediation, and one day a week working on QuickTables.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Our teachers use ALEKS for progress monitoring and use the data to drive their instruction. We are able to modify our approaches for all types of kids with ALEKS: English as a second language (ESL), high ability, struggling, and special education students.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Our students are encouraged to work on ALEKS at home each day. We have some families that request an ALEKS subscription in order to further support their child at home.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We meet with each family individually at the beginning of the year and discuss the purpose of ALEKS and how it will help their child be more successful with math. We give them their child's user name and password so they can work on it together at home as well.


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?
It is not assigned as part of their homework responsibilities.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is not incorporated into our grading system.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
We set goals for each of our students to master 50-60 percent of their individual pies before our spring state standardized test. Working with our local ALEKS representative, we have looked at data several times together and he has helped us set these goals!


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
We have students acing our state standardized test and students that are passing our state test for the first time due to their work on ALEKS. Our students love the frequent assessments and strive to meet weekly goals by mastering a set of topics each week.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Set goals for topics mastered each week and have a "Wall of Fame." Make students track their pie points and give them rewards at various intervals. Get them involved with their data. Motivation is the key, especially in May!