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Thomaston Grammar School, Regional School Unit 13
Grade(s): 5 - 7
Scenario: Computer Lab, Home Access
Purpose: Intervention, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 12 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables)
Susan Watts, Teacher
I use ALEKS with my students in two ways. All year the students have a math study hall for 30 minutes, and they use the program during this time. I keep track of their progress on a weekly basis. Some of my students ask if they can use it at other times during the day. Of course I say they can. Most recently I have used ALEKS as homework two nights a week. Most kids can get access to it, but a few have Internet issues. I think this is a good way to reinforce skills already taught and to introduce them to new skills not yet covered.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Our curriculum didn't meet state standards. Additionally, there wasn't enough time to catch the students up from years of being behind.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I use ALEKS for homework two nights a week and also during math tutorial time.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes, I start with whole numbers and advance to fractions, decimals, etc.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students work independently while I circulate around the room to help individual students.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
The tutorial is now specific to each student instead of whole-class intervention.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They work at home two nights a week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
The students have used this program for two years now. The parents see the improvement in their child. Most parents support the homework aspect of it.
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?
Yes, it is required homework two nights a week.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
At this time I do not grade ALEKS. I am considering making it ten percent of the grade next year.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I have not given specific targets to work towards. This is the first year I have had ALEKS for the whole class. Next year I will require specific targets for them to work towards.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have seen progress on the students' pie charts. Some have been significant. Most students like the program and willingly work with it.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Have the students keep track of their progress using a graph. When they can see their progress, they become more invested in the program.