Montana LINCS Update


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1.  Montana Learning to Achieve Training for OPI ABLE Programs:  Western (10/20) and Eastern (10/27) Region


Learning to Achieve, initially launched by the National Institute for Literacy, is designed to build state capacity to increase the achievement of students with learning disabilities.  L2A training provides practical intervention strategies.  A major theme in research and practice is that effective interventions for this heterogeneous group are appropriate for all individuals who struggle with learning.

During some of the instructional modules, I remember thinking to myself,  “I as an instructor may think I have a different and or better method, but as an instructor I have to be very careful that I am not teaching according to how I learn.  If it means getting out of my comfort zone to try something different and new, I have to try.” 

Shirley Burns, FVCC


The Learning to Achieve training helped me realize how strategies that I've used to teach math may also be applied to a variety of other subject areas.  The best part about it is that we are just a couple weeks into the school year, and I have already been able to see students benefiting from what I learned! 

Christine Malchuski, Billings Adult Education


Western Region:

Eastern Region:

 Note to Montana ABLE Programs:

Please submit names of participants to Carol Flynn at the Office of Public Instruction by October 10, 2011. OPI will reimburse up to four ABLE participants per program. Director participation is strongly encouraged; the trainers believe director understanding of L2A is a critical component of successful implementation.


2.  Montana Data Quality 2011:  Resources Coming Soon!


3.  Montana Career Pathways Workshop:  September 28 from 8:30 to 3:30


DESCRIPTION: The need for effective partnerships between educational institutions and employers has long been recognized as a pillar in effective career and technical programs. These partnerships ensure community ownership and build local support, commitment and resources to the Career Pathways (Programs of Study) mission. Advisory committees are groups of local employers and community representatives who advise educators on the design, development, operation, evaluation, and revision of programs. The workplace knowledge and resources provided by committee members helps to ensure all aspects of career pathway reflects the needs and current conditions of the workplace and that program graduates are capable of performing in the occupations for which they have trained. This workshop will prepare faculty and administrators at to effectively select, work with, and make use of advisory committees in a career pathway system.


Topics include:


·        Talking to the Customer: Role of Advisory Committees

·        Advisory Committees under Perkins IV and a Career Pathways System

·        Joint Secondary and Postsecondary Advisory Committees

·        Governance, Policy & Structure

·        Advisory Council Functions

·        Planning a Program of Work

·        Communications & Meetings

·        Beyond the Meeting: Using Communication Technologies

·        Sustainability & Special Considerations


For questions please contact Leisa Smith at, or 406-444-1609


4.   Assessment:  Thoughts on an Assessment of Common Core Standards


Taken from LINCS Assessment Discussion List

New resources have been added to the Assessment section of the LINCS Program Management Resource Collection including the paper Thoughts on an Assessment of Common Core Standards by authors from ETS, Pearson, and The College Board.  You can read an abstract as well as reviews by experts from the field on this resource by going to:


In light of last week’s discussion on the GED 21st Century Initiative (transcript forthcoming), I thought this resource in particular would be of interest to subscribers.


Marie Cora

Assessment Discussion List Moderator


5.   Math:  CAAL Publication – Facing the Challenge of Numeracy in Adult Education


Click here to access Facing the Challenge of Numeracy in Adult Education


This 42-page report, by project director Forrest Chisman (9/13/11) is the final report on CAAL’s two-year Adult Numeracy project.  The topic is one of the most complex, neglected, and extremely important areas of adult education. The report discusses the case for shifting from the current emphasis on traditional math instruction in adult education to instruction in a more comprehensive set of “numeracy” skills, and urges action in a number of areas as well as a good deal of further discussion.  One major area of focus is the several articulation problems that exist between ABE preparation for the GED and between the GED and college placement based on COMPASS).  Another is the paucity of math instruction for adult ESL students with low levels of prior education.  Suggestions are given to reform math in adult education in such areas as curriculum design, assessment, and teacher training and recruitment.  A companion publication, Adult Numeracy: A Reader, was published in July.  Both numeracy publications are available (as OT12 and OT10) from the CAAL website.  

6.   Math Resource:  Thinking Blocks:  Model Your Math Problems


Taken from LINCS Numeracy Discussion List

Click here  to access the Thinking Blocks math website.


7.   Workforce: LINCS – Integrating Curriculum

Click here to access the report, Integrating Curriculum: Lessons for Adult Education from Career and Technical Education.

This report describes and examines the integrated curriculum as a strategy that has been implemented in career and technical education (CTE) programs in high schools that holds promise for preparing students for career advancement and training or postsecondary education.

8.   Workforce: CAAL Publication – ROI from Investing in Workforce Development


Click here  to access ROI from Investing in Workforce Development 

This is a 4-page CAAL policy brief prepared on September 9, 2001 by Andrew Sum, a member of the CAAL board and Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.  It summarizes the key return-on-investment findings since the 1990s on the effectiveness of workforce development programs for low-income adults and dislocated workers in the U.S.  This short policy brief is available from the publication page of the CAAL website, as item OT11.

9.  Writing: Snippets from the TEAL Project and Strategies for Research-Based Writing Instruction Discussion


Taken from LINCS Reading/Writing Discussion List

                    Click here to read more of the discussions.


One concept that was frequently repeated in our TEAL sessions was: "writing improves writing." Often our ABE /GED students avoid writing as it has always been difficult for them to get their thoughts down. As mentioned by Ryan in his post, adult students may be overly concerned about spelling and word use. I too have used the quick write approach for overcoming this reluctance. Quick writes are a fun or thought provoking topic on which we ALL (teachers included) write for three minutes. It is informal, quick and nonthreatening. …

Dale Pohlman


Think Alouds

It's true that writers cannot articulate everything that they think while writing. It's also true that weak writers have more trouble saying what they are thinking. On the other hand, lots of cognitive research has used think-aloud protocols to study writing, and it's been quite productive of insights. As a research tool, a think-aloud protocol involves giving the person a writing task, asking them to verbalize their thoughts as they work, and recording both what they say and what they do …

Skip MacArthur


Writing for New GED

I think the SRSD framework for strategy instruction has a proven track record and I highly recommend it. The specific planning strategy you mentioned, POW + TREE, is just one of many strategies that can be taught using this framework (a great resource is Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students by Harris, Graham, Mason, & Friedlander). I assume you are asking about what possibly to do differently in light of the changes to the GED which will require integration of reading comprehension and written expression because POW + TREE doesn’t address the reading component.

One instructional approach to integrate these components that has research evidence is KWLH+, Know, Wonder, Learned, How Do I Know, and +, which is a summarization of the content read. This is what many educators know as KWL, but with the enhancements of having to identify how you know what you learned from the text is accurate/valid and the written summary using information from the KWLH chart. Such a chart could be drawn by a student during the exam as a planning tool for their writing while they are reading, so it could be used not only for instructional purposes but also as a tactic by the adult learner while being tested …

Gary A. Troia, PhD, CCC-SLP, Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies in Special Education Associate Editor, Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools Principal Investigator, Michigan State University


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 .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!


Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101