View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
Medomak Middle School, Maine Area School District 40
Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: Improve State Test Scores, Core Curriculum, Supplement
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 20%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 13 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Algebra Readiness, Pre-Algebra
Kelly Robbins, Teacher
ALEKS is a great tool for reviewing and re-teaching basic skills. I teach mid- to higher level math students and I find that this program challenges them by not only teaching them new skills, but by also requiring them to continue using skills they have already learned. Plus, ALEKS provides explanations a different way than I might teach a topic, helping students to understand topics more fully. I like to use ALEKS at the start of the day to get the students' brains working mathematically, or at the end of class when students have finished an assignment and need something to work on.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students were lacking in basic math skills, and we were not getting enough practice with our previous math program.
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 was given the program and suggestions by our math specialist. Students receive a grade for number of topics completed and time spent on ALEKS.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
I either start with ALEKS for the first 15-20 minutes or use it for the last 15 minutes as the class is finishing up. I sometimes use it to fill time as students finish tests and quizzes. In addition, every Wednesday we use ALEKS for 20 minutes in the afternoon.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I allow more time for skills using ALEKS.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
If they have Internet access they are encouraged to use ALEKS for 30 minutes a night or more.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I have not really stressed ALEKS with 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?
Yes, if we do not have other homework they are encouraged to use ALEKS for 30 minutes a night, but it cannot be enforced as some students do not have access at home.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
It counts as one assignment every 1-2 weeks, averaging about 15 percent of the class grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Regular progress is encouraged.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
Our Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) math scores have improved. Students enjoy using ALEKS and completing the pieces of their pie charts.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
We reward students for completing a section of the pie chart by making them a real pie in the flavor of their choice.