Montana LINCS Update


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


Crunch time coming closer!  Maybe you better put some marshmellows in that hot chocolate! 

Don't worry!  MTLINCS will soon be taking a holiday break.  Just what will you do?!?!?


1.  Montana ABLE January Regional Meetings:  Cohorts and Data


January 17

Billings Lincoln Center Board Room

9:00 A.M. to 3 P.M.


                    January 31

Missoula Dickinson Lifelong Learning Center

9:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.


Contact Carol Flynn for more information.


2.  Research Snippet:  Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, National Academy of Sciences, 2012


In the MTLINCS email on 11/26/12, MTLINCS shared the research’s expanded definition of literacy and the workplace.  Reading and writing statistics were cited.  Now let’s take a look at what the research is saying about our clientele.  Who are we serving?


Heterogeneous Population


The population of adult literacy learners is heterogeneous. Consequently, optimal literacy instruction needs to vary according to adults’ goals, motivations, knowledge, assessed skills, interests, neurocognitive profiles, and language background. The population of adults who need to develop their literacy ranges from recent immigrants with only a sixth grade education in their native country, to middle-aged and older U.S.-born high school graduates who find they can no longer keep up with the reading, writing, and technology demands of their jobs, to adults who dropped out of school or whose learning disabilities were not fully accommodated in school, to highly educated immigrants who need to learn to read and write in English.

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 21


With such a diverse population, adult educators tend to individualize student programs; however, recommendations are still being made that whole group instruction may be beneficial. 


Within the past few years another group of students has been added to the mixture:  youth.




The overall annual dropout rate (known as the event dropout rate—the percentage of high school students who drop out of high school over the course of a given school year) was 4.1 percent across all 49 reporting states and the District of Columbia (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010). Although students drop out of school for many reasons, it can be assumed that these students’ literacy skills are below those of the rest of the U.S. population and fail to meet society’s expectations for literacy. In fact, 55 percent of adults in the 2003 NAAL survey who scored below basic did not graduate from high school (compared with 15 percent of the entire adult population); adults who did not complete high school were almost four times more likely than the total adult population to demonstrate below basic skills (Baer et al., 2009).

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 31


Given these statistics, it is not surprising that, although originally designed for older adults, adult literacy education programs are increasingly attended by youths ages 16 to 20 (Hayes, 2000; Perin, Flugman, and Spiegel, 2006). In 2003, more than half of participants in federally funded adult literacy programs were 25 or younger (Tamassia et al., 2007).

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 31

Now this mixture is transitioning to community colleges.  What is happening there?

Community College and Developmental Education


The problem of inadequate literacy is also found by colleges, especially community colleges. More than half of community college students enroll in at least one developmental education course during their college tenure to remediate weak skills (Bailey, Jeong, and Cho, 2010).

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 31


And the dropout rate is perpetuated because the community college participants who take developmental classes tend not to complete their degrees.  Once again they become a negative statistic.


What is clear, however, is that remediation is costly: in 2004-2005, the costs of remediation were estimated at $1.9 to $2.3 billion at community colleges and another $500 million at 4-year colleges (Strong American Schools, 2008). States have reported tens of millions of dollars in expenditures (Bailey, 2009). The costs to students of inadequate remediation include accumulated debt, lost earnings, and frustration that can lead to dropping out.

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 31


For those in the field, this research is not surprising because these are the faces of the Adult Basic Education student.  Now we know how the research defines literacy and who the research confirms is a student.  So what has the research assumed?


An assumption of our framework is that to be functionally literate one must be able to engage in literacy practices with texts and tools that are demanded by and valued in society …

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 35


Stay tuned!  Coming in 2014:  Foundations of Reading and Writing

3.  Research Snippet:  Connecting Systems, Connection Youth:  The Interagency Forum on Disconnected Youth

Taken from OVAE Community Connection

More about Youth

Amidst high youth unemployment rates and skill gaps in several job sectors and geographic regions of our nation as the baby-boom generation retires, the U.S. also faces a widening opportunity gap for vulnerable young people. In the U.S. today there are nearly 6.7 million “disconnected” young people ages 16 to 24 that are homeless, in foster care, involved in the justice system, or neither in school nor employed. According to the White House Council for Community Solutions this amounts, roughly, to one in six people in this age range. The consequences of being disconnected are serious for both the individual and society. These young people not only fail to meet their personal potential but also cost the nation billions of dollars every year in lost earnings and tax revenues as well as high levels of expenditure on social and other services. Improvements in their prospects would also brighten the economic outlook for the U.S. for years to come.

National Information

4.  General Announcement


Taken from LINCS Community

Click here  to download the report: OVAE’s Policy to Performance: Transitioning Adults to Opportunity.  The initiative recently released the Policy to Performance State ABE Transition Systems Report, a federally funded resource that can be accessed for free in the LINCS Resource Collection.

This report provides information about the activities that were conducted by the Policy to Performance project and the findings from the participating states’ work during the project. Also described are the key elements of a state ABE transition system, technical assistance activities, planning processes, examples of strategies used by states to implement ABE transition policies, and the lessons learned and conclusions from the project concerning state transition system development.

Here is a snippet from the research:

Partnership Development. The creation and expansion of partnerships was a critical process for ABE state leaders and enabled them to increase coordination in the delivery of local transition services, expand resources to support services, and position adult education as a significant component of a state transition system. The findings from the project point to the need for the strategic use of partnerships in supporting ABE state transition systems development, and that it often takes time to determine how to work with partners so that expected outcomes from the partnerships can be realized. Partnerships also need to be reinforced so that the activities between partners can grow in depth and importance. Partnerships often begin with a focus on low-risk activities, such as sharing information, and need to be nurtured and reinforced in order to move to high-risk activities, such as blending funding.19

 5.  Math:   Math Webinar Resources - Reasoning and Sense Making in Context: Algebra Resources that Support Common Core Standards

Taken from LINCS Community:  Math and Numeracy

Here are some of the resources from the Webinar:

·       Curriculum on "Reasoning and Sense Making",

·       Math Lessons on "Reasoning and Sense Making",

·       Core Math Tools Home page,

·       "Get the Math", a website with modules that have brief videos and lessons that relate to the common core math standards:

·       "Get the Math", the teacher's resource to the above website:

·        Self-paced lessons for "Get the Math": When you go onto, search "get the math" to access the self-paced lessons.

6.  Reading:   Tech Tips for Teachers - Reading

Taken from LINCS Community:  Technology and Learning

Click here to access the blog Tech Tips for Teachers.

Tech Tips for Teachers is a blog by Steve Quann and Leah Peterson of World Education for the LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center. The goal for the blog is to provide a resource to adult education teachers and tutors who are interested in integrating technology into their instruction, but are not sure where to start. This month's focus is reading. Take a look and send us your feedback.

Kaye Beall

Here are some snippets about online sources for reading.

Game-based Vocabulary Practice Sites


Tech skills: typing, clicking, and intermediate web navigation

If I had to pick one site that helps teachers create online games or activities such as flash cards, it would be But because it does just about everything (even works on your iPhone!), it can be a bit challenging to use. So although it caters to a range of ages and levels, those new to technology integration might want to try the following website first: VocabularySpellingCity. This website’s mission -- and they do it well -- is to create an efficient game-based study of literacy skills using any word list.


Another use of Google: Google Definitions


Tech skill: ability to send and receive text message

There is strong evidence that focusing on improving our students’ range and depth of vocabulary is a key strategy for teachers increasing students’ reading comprehension. There are tech tools that can help them with word meaning.


Prereading Activities Using Google


Tech skills: typing, clicking and basic web navigation

Before we start reading a story, say for example about Hawaii, most of us can conjure up images of lush volcanic islands, surfers, and palm trees. But how many of us and, more importantly, how many of our students have any prior knowledge or images of Lapland? Silja Kallenbach from
World Education used just this example in a workshop years ago when she was talking about the importance of activating background knowledge for students before they start reading.

7.  Writing:   Free Online Mapping Tool

Taken from LINCS Community:  Reading and Writing

Click here  to access a website that lets your students map their essays.


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