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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Cousins Middle School, Newton County Public Schools
Covington, GA

Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom, Laptop Carts
Purpose: Intervention, Special Education, Improve State Test Scores, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 10%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2.5 hours per week, 110 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3

Sherelle Holder-McCray, Teacher
I am a Special Education teacher in Georgia and an advocate for ALEKS. I firmly believe that the program works if it is implemented correctly. The results from our standardized test speak volumes because the majority of our ALEKS students passed the state standardized test. I love the easy, thorough, and adequate records that are available with a click of the mouse. I even have my Language Arts colleagues asking if there is an ALEKS for Language Arts. I feel that I am quite fortunate and privileged to be teaching with this program.


Scenario

What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Our school failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
4 days per week.

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


Implementation

How do you implement ALEKS?
Students who have failed the state test spend 30 minutes per day on the program. They have extra time on the program whenever there is downtime or as homework.

Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes, I try to have students work on topics based on the standards that are covered in the regular class.

How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students use QuickTables and complete a mini-lesson on the program.

How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I am not sure.

How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are encouraged to work from home as much as possible and are offered incentives when they do so.

How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
ALEKS is mentioned during all conferences. Parents are usually happy to know that students can do school work when students say they don't have any homework. With ALEKS, there is always something for the student to do.


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, since not all students have Internet access at home.

How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
To determine a student's grade, I factor in the following components: progress in the ALEKS Pie; progress in QuickTables; hours spent in the program; number of topics mastered; and how much effort and motivation the student has put toward completing his or her goal during the nine week term. I also look at each assessment grade.

Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I determine the amount of progress each student should be making by averaging the most and least amount of progress in the class.


Learning Outcomes

Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Students love ALEKS and have better scores on our state standardized test because of it. Other students want to be a part of the program, too.


Best Practices

Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I offer weekly incentives for top students based on the most gains in ALEKS, the most gains in QuickTables, the most topics mastered per week, and the most hours spent in the program.