View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Riverview Middle School, Huntington County Community School Corporation
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom, Laptop Carts
Purpose: RtI, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Improve State Test Scores, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 25-30%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week, 30-35 hours per term
ALEKS Course: RtI 8, MS RtI Tier 3, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 with Trigonometry
Brian Abbott, Teacher
It has been a better experience this year than our first year. We understand how to use the program now, and it has been a great addition to our curriculum. We have had 24 out of 115 kids complete a pie this year, and several more are close. Our Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) scores are the best they have ever been (over nine points per student growth for the year), and we hit 83 percent for our target growth which is the best ever. Overall, I believe the students are enjoying the experience.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Interventions for the lower students and challenges for the top students.
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?
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
The structure is very flexible with ALEKS. Some days we get on ALEKS right away and work on a quiz, pie pieces, or an assessment all period. Other days I will instruct for 15 minutes, and then we will get started. I also do mini-lessons with students who are struggling with topics or certain quiz questions. I address the whole class at times while they are working if it benefits a majority of the students.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
We shoot for two hours a week; we also require five hours at Christmas.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
Through communications sent home, parent-teacher conferences, Moodle Page, and school-wide involvement.
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 20 percent.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is 25 percent.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes. Every month I track their pie pieces, and we have individual conversations about where they are at and whether there is progress. We are having a pizza pie party for everyone who has completed a pie this year at any level.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
We have had 24 out of 115 kids complete a pie this year, and several more are close. Our NWEA scores are the best they have ever been (over nine points per student growth for the year), and we hit 83 percent for our target growth which is the best ever. Overall, I believe the students are enjoying the experience.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Make it an accepted part of your classroom, and share with them that it is an expectation that will help them grow. It has been a good year for us with ALEKS as a part of our curriculum.