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Monday, December 13, 2010

ALEKS

Click here to try ALEKS for 1-month free trial.
Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial

As part of TOS Crew I  received a free one-month trial to ALEKS which is an online mathematics course. We put away our regular math curriculum so that we could spend more time on this product. I'll tell you what we thought of the program and then I'll give you some details on how it works.

Amber (9), and Delaney (8) used the program every school day. Amber was hooked from day 1, after school was over she logged back in and actually spent 6 hours doing math that day! Delaney isn't much of a computer person even when it comes to games, so she wasn't as willing to give her evening up to do math. Amber and Delaney both were a little proud of themselves after taking the assessment, because they had dark areas in their Pie Charts and that meant they had already mastered those topics and didn't have to work on them. They both liked the fact that they had a choice on what type of problems to work on. The biggest thrill was from the Pie Chart, they loved to watch it fill up with the darker color. The only complaint from using ALEKS was from Amber, she thought they shouldn't limit you on the amount of Quick Tables (speed drills) you could do in one day.

I really like ALEKS, math has never been mine or my kids strong subject and I always wonder if we should be spending more time in one area or are we going to slow. The main thing for me is that the curriculum is individual based, after taking the assessment your child is given a curriculum that will work for them and where they are in their mathematical understanding. You can forget about wasting a lot of time working on topics they already know or getting lost because they didn't do enough exercises in an area. If a problem is missed the student knows right away and can correct it or get an explanation on how to work it. As the teacher I have access to a master account. From this account I can check on my students, how they are doing, how much time they are actually working and how much time they are idle while logged in. I have the option of assigning quizzes, new assessments, or printing off worksheets for each child.

We were pleasantly surprised when ALEKS decided to extend our free trial for 2 more months. I am very eager to see how much progress the girls make with this program.

ALEKS stands for Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces. It is a Web-based, assessment and learning system that uses questions to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows in a course. No two students will experience the same path while working through ALEKS because the individualized instruction meets the student at their level and instructs them only on topics they are ready to learn.

ALEKS can provide you with the instruction and support that you need to homeschool your children in mathematics for grades 3-12. With a comprehensive course library ranging from elementary school math to complex subjects such as PreCalculus, ALEKS acts much like a human tutor to help take the stress off of homeschooling parents.

Each student must first take an assessment test. This lets you know what your child already has mastered, what they need to work on and what they have not learned yet. The ALEKS program then gives the student a pie chart which indicates the assessment results.
Each pie represents different categories such as Whole Numbers, Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication & Division, Measurements & Graphs, Algebra, and Geometry. The dark area of each pie shows what the student has already mastered, the light color shows what they need to work on. When the cursor is held over a particular piece of pie a box pops up with the topics listed for the child to chose what to work on. Some sections cannot be completed before work is done on other categories, so in the pop-up box it will tell the student to select a topic from a different slice of the pie.


The questions in ALEKS are not multiple choice, they actually give you tools to work out the problem. My students didn't have trouble following the directions on how they were to use the tools to answer the questions.


In the Learning Mode there is an explanation of topics and procedures needed for the new problems. Once the student has shown mastery in the Learning Mode, the topic is added to their Pie Chart, and that material is now ready to be worked on. There is also a quick help on each of these type of problems that will explain how to use the tools to answer each one.


If the student doesn't know how to work a problem there is an "Explain" button that will give them an explanation of that problem. The problem is explained in a step-by-step solution. 





If the student misses a problem they are told right away that the answer is incorrect. The student can then try to answer it again or click the "Explain" button for an explanation. 


Worksheets can also be printed out for extra work, they are generated based on the student's current knowledge. 


ALEKS also has Quick Tables, or speed drills, for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Of course there are games to be played to build the students speed.

As the teacher I had a Master Account which gives me access to all of my students records in one place. I could log in and check on each students progress.


The Attendance Report lets you see how much time the student has spent in ALEKS per day and shows the topics attempted, mastered and added to the Pie Chart. 



On the Student Progress Report you can track each students progress. The blue bar represent the material the student had mastered during the ALEKS  assessment. The green bar represents the new topics from the Learning Mode since the last assessment. The yellow bar represents topics the student has yet to learn to complete the course. 



When a quiz is taken, the results are available for the teacher and student immediately. 

ALEKS offers several ways to purchase a homeschool subscription. It is $19.95 per student, per month, or only $99.95 every 6 months, or only $179.95 every 12 months. They also offer family rates for 6 or 12 months.



Click here to try ALEKS for 1-month free trial.
Visit ALEKS for 1-Month Trial
If you sign up on the ALEKS website you only have a 48 hour trial. 

Stop over at The Old Schoolhouse Crew blog to read what other people have to say about ALEKS.


As a member of the TOS Crew I received one-month free subscription to ALEKS in exchange for my review.

1 comment:

Denise said...

My kids really enjoyed Aleks! Funny how they don't mind doing math when it is on the computer! lol

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