View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Orcas Christian School, Washington Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: Computers in Classroom
Purpose: Intervention, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 10%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 3 hours per week, 27 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Pre-Algebra
David May, Teacher
ALEKS has provided an environment that allows students to excel on their own level of learning while remaining in a classroom of their peers. It has been extremely positive and effective. My students were given the opportunity to opt out of ALEKS and pursue other venues to accomplish their academic goals, but all of them have expressed their desire to remain in the program.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Three of my seventh grade students work at about the fourth grade level. They have been mainstreamed in the academic process. In class, they go through the normal rigors of the seventh grade class instruction. However, they are only required to demonstrate a comprehension of the lesson as it was presented by me in person. After that, they only do ALEKS. Two of my eighth grade students have been placed in Pre-Algebra in an attempt to challenge and supplement their math training. One of my students is actually a parent of one of the students in the elementary building who is working on earning his GED. I put him in sixth grade ALEKS to boost his confidence and help prepare him for his upcoming test.
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?
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Students are allowed to choose to encourage interest.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
The first portion of the class the students remain in their regular class for instruction. The remaining 30-45 minutes are spent using ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Not required, but they are reminded that they can access ALEKS from anywhere.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I seek parental permission and support. This is done through parent-teacher conferences.
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?
Never assigned as homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Each quarter I designate a specific number of points the students can earn. Their score is derived by the number of lessons and percentage of the lessons they have accomplished.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
My only requirement is the amount of time spent on ALEKS during class.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The most evident outcomes have been the students' success rates and how they personally feel about their work. In contrast to the traditional classroom setting, my at-risk students have demonstrated a real desire to complete their work and have displayed a significant difference in focus. My students range in ability from at-risk to gifted and have been placed in ALEKS to meet their individual needs. All of them have expressed their desire to continue in the program.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I believe that if you make the goals achievable, put the students on the appropriate level of work, and reward them for their efforts, ALEKS will pay great dividends.