View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Newhalen School, Lake and Peninsula Borough School District
Grade(s): K - 12
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program, Computers in Classroom
Purpose: At-Risk Students, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 50%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 4 hours per week, 36 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables)
Derek Luke, Teacher
ALEKS has given my students the opportunity to advance through the material at their own pace. I see advanced students progress more quickly than usual. Students who have high reading ability do very well and enjoy ALEKS. Differentiated instruction, student-centered, choice-driven learning, self-assessing, and self-adjusting all make ALEKS a great tool in the classroom.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students forgetting material that they learned previously.
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?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I implement it by doing it every day. I split my class into two separate levels.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Yes, I have aligned it to enVisionMATH Grade 5 and Prentice Hall Course 1.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I have two different levels of math that I teach, fifth and sixth grade. I meet with the fifth graders first for a half hour of direct instruction while sixth graders work on ALEKS. After a half hour, I switch the groups so that I am teaching the sixth graders with direct instruction and the fifth graders work on ALEKS. The last half hour of class is spent with one-on-one questions. Students are allowed to help each other on anything except ALEKS assessments.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I can offer my students options in their learning through the use of ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
They are encouraged to work at home every day.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
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?
ALEKS makes up 100 percent of their homework.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Students must complete 50 percent of their ALEKS work before they are given their mid-level assessment. After that, they must complete the rest of their ALEKS level before they are given their end-level assessment.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students must cover about ten topics per week. I want most students to get done with MORE THAN one level of math per year. This is all measured once a week with a student "check-in." Each student prints out a picture of their pie chart. This print-out goes into a binder or folder that each student has with them. I look at their current number of topics and compare it to the total. I assign ten topics (depending on how quickly they can complete the work) per week and then sign and date it so that I know it has been checked. If they have not made enough progress, they are not eligible for gym night, sports, or other events at the school until they are completed. They must make up the work before they are allowed to participate.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I see advanced students progress more quickly than usual. Students who have high reading ability do very well and enjoy ALEKS.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Student check-in is very valuable. Have each student print out their current pie chart and assign ten topics per week. Check it the following week to measure progress.