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Meadowbrook Middle School, Orange County Public Schools
Grade(s): 6 - 8
Scenario: Computer Lab, Computers in Classroom
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 10%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 1 hour per week, 30 hours per term
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3, Pre-Algebra
Ofelia Ortiz, Bilingual Math Teacher
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
I found myself obligated to go back constantly and re-teach certain concepts.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
1 day per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
How do you implement ALEKS?
I take my students once a week to the computer lab and whenever feasible, I rotate them in my classroom.
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
I usually request from my students to work on number sense since it is the foundation for all other concepts.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
We visit the computer lab once a week.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
Very often my students tell me that they have seen the concepts while using ALEKS, therefore I am able to accelerate the lesson for that specific concept.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
For those students that have access to a computer at home, I encourage them to use the program one hour daily.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I have informed the parents about the program and asked for their support by making sure that their child uses it as often as possible. I also asked the parents to sit with their child and work some of the exercises with them.
How do you incorporate ALEKS into your grading system?
Since we use the program once week, I use it as 10 percent of their weekly grade.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
I keep track of the number of exercises that the students solve, then I request from them at least two-thirds more every time we go to the lab.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
My students are always looking forward to the days that we go to the lab. Last year, their Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores show that 96 percent of my students had learning gains in the math portion of the test!
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I have reviewed the pie before taking the students to the lab, therefore I have an idea what the program has to offer. I try to cover some of those concepts before the students encounter them, so that they will be able to go through them without much trouble.