Corpus Christi School, Private
South Bend, IN
Grade(s): K - 8
Scenario: Laptop Carts
Purpose: Intervention, Enrichment/Gifted and Talented, Improve State Test Scores, At-Risk Students
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 10-20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 0.6 hours per week, 8 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Mathematics - LV 3 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 4 (with QuickTables), Mathematics - LV 5 (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1
Roberta Brant, Teacher
We began using ALEKS as a pilot program. Students were very motivated to do the program and liked seeing their ALEKS Pies grow. When the pilot ended, we offered the program for a reduced fee so the students could keep their accounts. Approximately 80 percent of the pilot students kept their accounts. I have seen a great deal of growth in the students' confidence and math knowledge. I often hear from the students when I'm teaching, "I just did that in ALEKS." I am anxious to see how the students' Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP) scores will reflect their hard work. We are hoping to keep the program in the future.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
We had a problem with retention of information. Students would practice the material in class and at home, and a week later it would be like they were never exposed to the concepts.
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 to supplement what I do in the classroom. When students are given class time to practice skills, those with an ALEKS account work on their pies. I have coupons that they fill out every time they hit the "Done" button, and they record the date on the card. When the card is full, they turn it in for bonus points in my class.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I recently discovered that I can integrate a textbook with ALEKS, so I intend to use that in the future.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We are fortunate to have 12 laptops. I usually divide the group into activities where half of the students work in ALEKS and the rest work on other review tasks.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I make use of the technology we have available. I allow students to work and learn on their own time at their own pace. I structure time a few times each week for the students to go online with ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Every day! I try to send quick messages to those students who are working outside of school.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
At parent-teacher conferences, we set up a table and have students demonstrate ALEKS. The students get really pumped and it carries over to their parents.
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?
Not everyone can access the program at home, so I use it more as an enrichment program. I have printed worksheets for students on occasion.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS is currently extra credit.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
The extra credit coupons seem to work well for us.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The students are more confident and their skills have greatly improved. The students are also more willing to work on the program. The examples are easy for them to understand. It is a great addition to our school.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Be sure to give students time in class to work on the program. Also, be sure to encourage them. Students love to get notes of encouragement in their email.