View a selection of implementation strategies from educators who are successfully using ALEKS to achieve dramatic learning outcomes.
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Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School, Groton-Dunstable Regional School District
Grade(s): 5 - 8
Scenario: One-to-One Laptop Program
Purpose: Intervention, Core Curriculum
ALEKS Portion of Curriculum: 90%
Time Spent in ALEKS: 2 hours per week
ALEKS Course: Middle School Math Course 2, Middle School Math Course 3
Karen Gartland, Teacher
I have been nothing but pleased with this program. The students are enjoying it; they are being exposed to different types of math and they are motivated by the ALEKS pie. I like the artificial intelligence aspect of the program since it tracks what students know and what they need to work on. I am also pleased with the explanations that are provided.
What challenges did the class or school face in math prior to using ALEKS?
Students of lower level capability were not motivated to practice mathematics in a traditional manner.
How many days per week is class time dedicated to ALEKS?
2-3 days per week.
What is the average length of a class period when ALEKS is used?
Do you cover ALEKS concepts in a particular order?
No, I do not require an order for the majority of students.
How do you structure your class period with ALEKS?
Students begin using the program at the outset of the class period, often take a break for about five minutes (or longer, if they need to work on homework from their regular classroom), and then have about five minutes at the end of the period for "free time." Some students continue to use ALEKS during their free time.
How did you modify your regular teaching approach as a result of ALEKS?
I chose to use ALEKS as the primary method of remediation, so we no longer use other supplementary materials, except perhaps to practice open-response questions.
How often are students required or encouraged to work on ALEKS at home?
3 hours per week.
How do you cultivate parental involvement and support for ALEKS?
I have done the following: included information about ALEKS in our school newsletters; put information about ALEKS on our school website; sent letters home to parents of students who are using the program in school; and sent emails to parents to remind their students to use the program during vacation.
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?
It is not part of their final grade at this time as I am using the program to supplement their regular classroom learning.
Do you require students to make regular amounts of progress in ALEKS?
They are not required to use ALEKS for regular progress other than to consistently use the program while they are with me.
Since using ALEKS, please describe the learning outcomes or progress you have seen.
I have had students who will not shut the program down when it's time to leave class because they want to keep working! I also have students working on ALEKS diligently at night and they don't want to go to bed. Students who once had math anxiety are pleased with their work and send me "I love ALEKS" messages. Overall, students are much happier to come by my class than they have ever been before! The fun has just begun!
Are there any best practices you would like to share with other teachers implementing ALEKS?
I am providing an incentive program with small prizes for students who complete a multiple of 10 topics or a slice of their ALEKS pie. It seems to be working.