View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Meadowbrook Middle School, Orange County Public Schools
Grade(s): 7 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab
Purpose: Improve State Test Scores
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 40%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week, 16â€“20 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Essential Mathematics (with QuickTables), Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3
Tracy Littles, Teacher
I am very pleased with the ALEKS program. ALEKS is used with all my students for an Intensive Math course that was created for all students who placed at Level 1 on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) math component. All of my students have shown tremendous gains in learning.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
The students that scored at Level 1 on FCAT Math had difficulty remembering basic math procedures, steps, and skills.
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 set performance goals. For example, all students must be at or above 50 percent of the entire pie by mid-year. The majority of my students do not have access to the Internet at home, so I offer extra credit to students who go to the library or a friend's house.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, students were given all topics available to seventh and eighth grade students. I allow students to do what they know first and gradually tackle the more difficult concepts.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We have computer lab days every Monday and Tuesday where we dedicate the entire class time strictly to ALEKS.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
My district-provided Intervention Kit correlates with ALEKS, which makes learning easier for the students. They learn how to work problems in ALEKS and use what they learn to complete homework skill worksheets from the Intervention Kit. Instead of lecturing, I review and reflect on the skills they learned the previous day.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students can work on ALEKS at home to earn extra credit but it is not required.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
The ALEKS program was presented to parents so they could get a better understanding of how the program works. I also showed each student's ALEKS pie to the parents so they could see their child's progress.
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?
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
ALEKS comprises 15 percent of a student's total grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Yes, I give deadlines based on weeks. For example, by mid-year all students must be at or above 50 percent of the ALEKS pie.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I see improvement every day on quizzes and class work. My students enjoy ALEKS because they can click on the Explain button and get a step-by-step explanation of how to work different problems.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Monitor student progress closely. This will help you to identify weaknesses so you can implement additional learning strategies to help students achieve high learning gains.