SMS’ Kellner named ALEKS Academy panel leader

Staff report



SIDNEY — Sidney Middle School teacher Ken Kellner has been selected to be a member of the “panel of professionals” for the McGraw-Hill Education ALEKS Academy, which will take place Nov. 16, 2017 in Columbus, because of his dedication to the success of his students and for his passion for the art of effective and personalized learning.

Based on Kellner’s success leveraging cutting-edge technology, he is proving to be a positive example of the kind of impact teachers can have on the overall success of their students.

“I am so glad that we have found a tool that has allowed for the opportunity to so effectively reach all of the students at every level,” said Kellner. “It really comes down to motivating the students to make a consistent effort.”

Ken has encouraged and inspired his students to reach beyond what they thought they could achieve while making the learning engaging and FUN. For that reason, McGraw-Hill is asking him to share his strategies with other teachers and administrators from all around the State of Ohio who hope to emulate his achievements in student progress.

The last two years, Kellner says, have been greatly impacted when he observed students who discovered that, no matter what their current ability is in math, they are going to grow significantly utilizing the technology of ALEKS and the support of the teaching staff.

“The expressions on the faces of the students are priceless as they gladly share the new concepts learned, or the excitement that something they learned in the past is making more sense.”

At the ALEKS Academy Collaborative where Kellner will be a panelist, the main objective is to learn best practices and collaborate with other teaching professionals toward maximizing student achievement. Each educator in attendance will be able to network with other successful teachers and have the opportunity to learn from each other’s successful strategies. An exclusive panel of professionals will share their own stories with the entire group. Ken has been selected as the leader of this exclusive panel.

Utilizing artificial intelligence programming, ALEKS treats each and every student as an individual, with their very own path and pacing. Each student takes ownership of his or her learning and feels a sense of empowerment and responsibility. If there are gaps identified, ALEKS tailors the steps needed to remediate missing concepts before moving the student on to continue their own tailored route. In addition, reaching milestone achievements are celebrated for all students, no matter the current level of the achievement. Many students who had felt left behind and overwhelmed in the past, often feel capable, confident, and begin to enjoy the feeling of catching on to Math. Accelerated students have the opportunity to progress multiple grade levels within one school year if the effort is made to do so. ALEKS builds Math skills that will last a lifetime and provide opportunities for a bright future. But of course, ALEKS can’t do it alone. A strong teacher needs to partner with ALEKS to guide students at the specific level in which the student is ready to retain the new material. The tools for that are provided by ALEKS, but nothing will ever replace the expertise and effect of a caring teacher. It is like the teacher is given a tool that actually offers the ability to have an individualized education plan for each and every student.

“Students who have told me ‘I am not good at math’ or ‘I’ll never get it’ have some of the biggest smiles on their faces as they experience success. Students who have a predisposition to do well in math are also pumped to hear that they can go as far as they want.”

Kellner added that if they want to try and gain the knowledge of a couple of grade levels in one school year, we will make sure they have the opportunity to do that.

“I want to say that the entire team at SMS has contributed to the growth of the students’ math knowledge. They teach cross-curricular material, provide occasional opportunities to work on ALEKS, as well as enthusiastically motivate the students to do their best every day and set goals for success.”


Staff report