View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Johnston Middle School, Johnston Community Schools
Grade(s): 8 - 9
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 60%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1.75 hours per week, 31.5 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra
Debra Lyons, Eighth Grade Math Teacher
Being able to align ALEKS with our textbook has been extremely helpful. The program is quite powerful and very specific to addressing the needs of my students.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students struggled with meeting assessment goals.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
3 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
We implemented ALEKS as an additional class to supplement our eighth grade math class.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
Some days, I have students work on the section of pie that pertains to the chapter or skill we are covering in class.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students usually get an email telling them what they will be working on during the period. We usually go to the computer lab on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
After working with ALEKS, I am able to provide more one on one meetings to review where they are in the program and where they are headed!
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
Students are encouraged to work at home whenever possible.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
We sent letters home, held a meeting during Open House, and grades are posted online.
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?
Most of my students do not have computers at home, so we work only in the classroom.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
In Math Connections, 30 percent is focused on lab time; 35 percent is based on quizzes and progress reports from ALEKS; and 35 percent is classroom work.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
Students are graded on their effort based on time spent on ALEKS versus their progress assessments.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
The biggest obstacle early on was getting the students to stay focused on their learning when working at the computer. However, they have gotten more excited as the year progresses and they see some of their classmates "graduate" out of the class.
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
Bringing students to my computer and viewing their progress together has made a big difference. We discuss what they have mastered, how are they using their time on the computer, and how to better use the resources ALEKS provides.