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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Kennedy Road Middle School, Griffin-Spalding County Schools
McDonough, GA

Grade(s): 6 - 7
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program, Computers in Classroom, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, Special Education, Core Curriculum, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3 hours per week, 27 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3

LaVette Terry, Special and General Education Teacher
I have been so pleased with the progress my Special Education students have made while using ALEKS. The program was used with another program in our county, and as a teacher, we had a student account and had to work on our ALEKS Pie as well. This whole experience has given me a greater appreciation for the program and all the techniques and explanations that it provides in conjunction with the strategies used in my classroom.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
A large percentage of the students were lacking the fundamental standards and concepts needed for them to be successful at their grade level. This program was a true bridge to close the gap in learning that lecture doesn't always provide.

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?
40 minutes.


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
I'm using it daily in conjunction with the lessons being taught to loop material.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
We follow a pacing guide using the Georgia Performance Standards. As we change or introduce new topics, we look at the areas that students have available in their pie chart relevant to the current subject matter, and use their pie for continued practice.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We rotate QuickTables, assessment, ALEKS, and mini lesson breakouts until class is over.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
ALEKS allows me to focus on the areas students are weak in and advance them in the areas they are stronger in. It also challenges many students to work harder and strive to do the best they can because their progress is evident in the pie chart.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Daily, especially over school breaks and weekends.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I notify parents of their child's progress and the availability of the program at home, so that they can work with their child to see what they are learning in the classroom.


Grading

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
I generally use ALEKS as a classwork grade twice a week. For instance, if they complete three out of the daily five, they get a 60 for the day. The grade depends on the desired amount of topics the students feel they can complete for the day.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, students should increase the number of pie topics completed weekly at a minimum of ten.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students who only knew 15 percent of their multiplication and division tables know them with much more fluency now. Students who only knew two topics initially now know over 50 or more. To see the gradual change and pride in students as they work in ALEKS and help each other is amazing. I am so pleased with the focus the students take with their own success while using this program.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
ALEKS is a great tool when used correctly. It can be a challenge, which students these days like and thrive on. Have the students compete against their classmates, as well as have them explain a topic to one another if they understand it using manipulatives or their own strategies (if correct). Students love being peer teachers (not tutors), and you can see it in their progress.