ALEKS Review: Top Homeschool & Classroom Award Winner!

Alek
Educents is proud to announce ALEKS® as a winner of the Educents Top Classroom and Homeschool Award! A huge thanks to Krista from Teaching Momster for using and reviewing the ALEKS® program!
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MHE-ALEKSThis summer, I was looking through some math programs to use with my daughter. She is going to be in 5th grade and actually likes to learn new math concepts, even if she doesn’t always want to practice those that don’t come easy for her (who does, right!?). While I was planning on doing many hands-on things while I was with her, she was also going to my mom’s house for a couple of weeks and I wanted something that would not be difficult for my mom to help her use.  As luck would have it, I was contacted about a program from McGraw-Hill Education called ALEKS® that is web-based and focuses on math skills.  Of course I jumped for the chance to review it and use it with my daughter!

After receiving activation instructions from ALEKS, I was able to quickly sign my daughter up for an account.  I was also able to sign up for a complimentary Master Account for myself so I could view her progress (I also get automatic emails regarding her progress, so I don’t have to remember to login every so often!). The program was fairly easy for my daughter to navigate and use.  She was able to login and use it without many questions.  It started by giving her an assessment. Afterwards, it gave her a pie chart of her assessment results. She liked seeing where she excelled! I was able to view the same chart by logging in to my account.

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You can hover over a pie slice to see what topics your student is ready to learn.  Clicking on a topic link will then take her to a problem to start working on.
ALEKS student view
Every problem includes an “EXPLAIN” button if your student isn’t sure about what to do.  After answering a question correctly, they get praise and will be told how many more times they must answer a correct question in order to add the topic to their pie.
ALEKS student view 2
My daughter liked being able to click and move around to different topics without getting “bored” by one topic.  As a parent or teacher, you could also direct them to work on certain topics.
Here are examples of topics that will be covered for my daughter (5th grade level).  Progress reports are also available that will tell you what the student CAN do and what they can NOT do.
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In addition to the grade-level content, there is also a place for the students to practice their basic math facts.  It is called QuickTables.  This is pretty simple.  You can choose addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.  There is a variety of questions asked and they are given a time limit in which to answer the question.  I like that they offer both horizontal and vertical questions.
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Overall, we both liked this option for computerized learning.  While I would not use it as her sole learning curriculum (we would also add some games as well as some face-to-face teaching), it could certainly work for the majority of the content needed.  As a former teacher, I could see this being used for RTI or as a math center.  As a homeschooler, I could see this being used for independent work while I am working with another child.  If you are looking for a program in which your student can be independent, and yet held accountable, I urge you to check ALEKS out!
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