Montana LINCS Update

2/1/10

Greetings from Montana LINCS

Problems with the links in the email?

Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/index.htm

  

1.   Montana ABLE Professional Development Survey – Deadline Friday, February 12

 

Click here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K2PD76X  to let Montana OPI know what your wishes are for ABLE Professional Development.      

 

The state has spent the last three years focused on building infrastructure through providing data workshops, developing content standards, implementing distance learning, joining the CAELA network, creating the PEP Talk process, and supporting the Leadership Academy. These strands have been developed and explored in order to position your programs for reauthorization and to strengthen Montana’s adult basic education delivery system.

It is now time to develop a strategic plan that will tie these strands together and define our future professional development delivery system. Your responses to this survey will guide the state in planning for the future. Together we will enhance our ability to meet the needs of programs and students.

Thank you for your time!

Margaret Bowles
Adult Literacy and Basic Education Specialist
Montana Office of Public Instruction

 

2.   Distance Learning and PEP Talk Project Grants Available for Montana ABLE Programs

Click here http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/opiableupdates.htm#Distance Learning and Pep Talk Grants for more information about grants.  Deadline 2/26/10.

 

3.  MABLE ConnectPro Minutes

Click here http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/opi/connectpro_minutes_1-22-10.doc to access minutes from ConnectPro MABLE meeting.

 

4.   Montana University System Writing Assessment (MUSWA) Training

Click here for more information about MUSWA and to register for training: http://mus.edu/writingproficiency/index.asp .

 

5.  WIA Reauthorization Community Conversations Transcripts and Summaries

 

Go to MTLINCS Email Archives and click on 1/28/10 to access transcripts and summaries.  In the meantime here is one more summary that had not yet been posted. 

 

·       Professional Development  – Moderator Jackie Taylor:  http://wiki.literacytent.org/index.php/Responses_to_PD_Questions

 

6.   Math Resource:  SABES Math Bulletin

Click here http://www.sabes.org/resources/publications/mathbulletin/math-bulletin-dec2009.pdf  to access the Massachusetts SABES Math Bulletin:

In this issue, we discuss the value of good classroom questioning (p. 4),the development of algebraic reasoning by fostering the “habit of not knowing” during early stages of arithmetic learning … Tricia Donovan, Ed.D., Editor

 

7.   Math Courses for Teachers

ProfessionalStudiesAE.org, a partnership of ProLiteracy and World Education, is pleased to announce the launch of two new online professional development courses that are part of a six-part series of online courses focused on effective adult numeracy instruction.  

For more information and to register, look for the Numeracy topic at: www.professionalstudiesae.org. If you have questions, e-mail prodev@proliteracy.org.

Teaching Reasoning and Problem Solving Strategies


Course Dates: March 1 - April 9, 2010

Course Description

Numerate adults do more than calculate figures. They think about the relationships between mathematical concepts and real-life situations. They look for patterns, make predictions, and evaluate their conclusions. They can form problems, represent them, and solve them. They apply critical thinking skills. As an instructor, you stimulate their numeracy development by choosing appropriate problems and guiding students as they try out new reasoning and problem solving strategies.

This course examines mathematical reasoning and problem solving strategies and provides numerous teaching strategies and activities that you can apply to your teaching right away. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • understand the five processes of the cognitive and affective component of numeracy that adults use to solve mathematical problems
  • build students' comfort and skills in numeracy
  • use numerous reasoning and problem-solving strategies and activities in your own teaching

Course Format and Schedule: facilitated, online. Throughout this course you will engage in self-paced activities and readings, as well as asynchronous discussions with the facilitator and course participants.

Course Facilitator: Barbara Goodridge

Estimated Completion Time: approx. 2-3 hours per week; 12 hours total

Prerequisite: Foundations of Teaching Adult Numeracy or equivalent experience

Number Sense: Teaching About Parts and Wholes


Course Dates: April 12 - May 21, 2010

Course Description

Teaching students how to use estimation, mental math, benchmarking, and calculators will enhance their conceptual understanding of numbers and what numbers represent. This course focuses on helping adult students develop number sense by addressing two key questions: When is it necessary to have an exact answer, and when is an estimate sufficient? When calculation is necessary, which tool is appropriate to use? This course examines how students develop and apply number sense and provides numerous teaching strategies and activities that you can apply to your teaching right away.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • analyze appropriate uses of various computation approaches (estimation, mental math, calculator, paper and pencil)
  • compare and contrast two models for developing a conceptual understanding of benchmark fractions and their equivalents
  • design math activities that are permeated with estimation, mental math, and reasonableness strategies.

Course Format and Schedule: facilitated, online. Throughout this course you will engage in self-paced activities and readings, as well as asynchronous discussions with the facilitator and course participants.

Course Facilitator: Jean Stephens

Estimated Completion Time: approx. 2-3 hours per week; 12 hours total

Prerequisite: Foundations of Teaching Adult Numeracy or comparable experience

Kaye Beall       

Project Director

World Education

 

Online Course:  College Transition Math

Introduction to College Transition Math
March 1-April 16, 2010
Reflect on your own and your students’ math backgrounds, examine and experience the college placement test your students take, try out math activities and exercises you can use in your classrooms, and explore the math knowledge and skills you will want to present to your own college transition students. Fee: $249

http://professionalstudiesae.worlded.org/index.html#ctmath

 

8.  Reading and Writing Resource:  MakeBeliefsComix.com – Free Website

 

MakeBeliefsComix.com Unveils New Featuresto Help ESL and Literacy Students Write, Read and Tell StoriesOnline

 

MakeBeliefsComix.com has launched a new version of its educational comics web site with added features to enrich the experience of students as they write, read and tell comic strip stories online.

 

·       We have increased the number of diverse fun comic characters to 20. Each character has four different emotions – happy, sad, angry, worried --that can be deployed in stories, for a total of 80 different faces and expressions. Users can select the ones they want and write words for blank talk and thought balloons to make characters talk and think.

 

·       We have added a new function that displays 25 objects and  environments that can go with the characters as stories are created.  These objects include foods, hobbies, toys and sports equipment.  In addition, there are trees, flowers, buildings, sun and moon.   By adding these objects to the comic panels, students can create more complex, interesting stories and in so doing, practice new words. Seven languages, including English and Spanish, can be used on the site, and a teacher’s guide is provided.

 

·       We have linked MakeBeliefsComix.com to our other free web site, http://www.billztreasurechest.com , which features many activities and idea prompts to help reluctant writers express themselves. 

 

Click here http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/  to access MakeBeliefsComix.com.

 

Our site is used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in English as a Second Language programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling, as well as computer literacy.

 

 

9.  Reading Discussion

 

Click here http://www.nifl.gov/pipermail/assessment/2010/date.html  to read an interesting discussion about reading that is taking place on the Assessment Discussion list.  Here are just a few snippets taken from comments by John Sabatini, Senior Research Scientist at the Educational Testing Service.

 

RE:  Assessment

K12 reading assessments tend to correlate with each other in the .5 to .7 range, depending on sample and study.  So, it is not adult literacy comprehension measures alone that are measuring slightly different things/constructs.  In fact, TABE, CASAS, and GED are intended to measure different constructs and their item and task designs reflect these differences.  Consequently, there are implications for what proficiencies learners need and what instruction would support those proficiencies. 

RE:  Spelling

But it is important to remember that the English language is also morpho-phonemic (or morpho-graphemic, if you wish).  That is, there is a preservation of spelling (and sound patterns) that serve as clues to the meaning.  English is a  polyglot of language influences with borrowings from around the world.  [Have you ever noticed all the cognates when one learns  Spanish, German, or French?] When the words are or were adopted, there were often shifts in spelling and shifts in sounds.  But there is remarkably a great deal of consistency at this level.  The most important influence for many of the content words of academic English and information content reading from 4th grade level on out are of Latin-Greek origin.  There you have the classic prefix, root, suffix structure (e.g., structural, constructive), which allows you to identify the syllable structure, form and manage in working memory a fluent pronunciation of often long, multi-syllabic words (indefatigable),  infer meanings of similarly structured vocabulary, determine syntactic role (hence read more fluently), etc.  So, once you know ‘general’, you can generalize.  Generally.  True, roots and affixes can be deceiving and inconsistent as well (e.g., flammable, inflammable), but now you have students studying the language, not merely spelling or phonics.  And that’s a key to vocabulary growth and reading skill.

   

 

P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at http://www.nwlincs.org/mtlincs/ .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let MTLINCS know!  Thanks!

Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101
norenehp@bresnan.net