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


Happy Holidays!

Time for a break!  Enjoy your time with family and friends!


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.


2.  Montana ABLE Reading Standards Committee


While some of you have been busy shopping, your Montana ABLE Standards in Action group has been hard at work.  Click here to check out their activity!


3.  Montana ABLE Teachers and Students Reflect on GED 

Click here   to watch a video of Bozeman’s students and teachers sharing potential concerns about new GED.

4.  Research Snippet:  Adult College Completion Toolkit, U.S. Department of Education OVAE


According to the Adult College Completion Toolkit, state administrators and local practitioners can do quite a bit to promote college access for adult learners.  The MTLINCS email from 12/3/12 cited action done by state administrators.  According to the Toolkit, there are three main actions local practitioners can take. 


Local Practitioners


1.     Prepare adult learners for college by setting high expectations and developing their academic readiness skills from the beginning.


… the authors present a case for integrating academic readiness skills—reading and listening, organizational and note-taking skills, and critical thinking—into adult English as a second language (ESL) instruction.

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.21 at

What type of college readiness strategies are you teaching your students?  How are you doing it?


2.     Link adult learners to career pathways by creating adult education bridge programs using contextualized instruction or IET.


… Several OVAE resources and tools can help adult education practitioners develop bridge programs locally. These include the Adult Career Pathways Training and Support Center website and the ABE Career Connections Manual, designed for programs just beginning to explore strategies for connecting adult education with postsecondary career pathways. The manual summarizes findings from five demonstration sites, including their approaches to implementing pathway components (student recruitment, orientation, and placement; course development; partnerships; and data collection and analysis), and the implementation challenges they faced. Project resources provided to the sites also are included ...

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.22 at

Have you looked at all of the resources available on the Adult Career Pathways Training and Support Center at  Have you checked out what your Montana colleagues have designed for you at


3.     Integrate college and career guidance services into adult education to promote student awareness and use of financial aid and other available support.

To help local practitioners with this process, OVAE supported the National Career Awareness Project  to strengthen career awareness and planning for adult learners by providing program staff with professional development on incorporating such services into their instruction and existing counseling activities. Sixteen state teams participated in the pilot, which provided online instruction on the Integrating Career Awareness into the ABE/ESOL Classroom curriculum guide. The curriculum guide includes:

·       The cultural context for career awareness;

·       Self-exploration (e.g., skills, values, experience, interests, education);

·       Occupational exploration (e.g., occupational and job profiles, informational interviews, career and job fairs, and labor market information); and

·       Career and education planning (e.g., decision making, goal setting, college success skills, and action planning).

Besides exploring these resources with students, practitioners can help them gain a better understanding of the content by incorporating them in a lesson, taking students on a field trip to a local college financial aid office, or inviting a college financial aid counselor to speak to the class.

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.20 at

If you have access to a local college, have you taken your students on a field trip or invited the college counselors to visit your program?  What type of strategies are you using if you do not have access to a local program?

Coming in 2013:  Quality - Evidence-based practices used by programs to ensure their services prepare students adequately for postsecondary education

5.  Research Snippet on Persistence:  Improving Literacy Instruction:  Supporting Learning and Motivation

Taken from LINCS Community

Motivating Adult Learners to Persist

Setting Goals

Goals are extremely important in motivating and directing behavior. Adults often have very general ideas about why they need or want to learn to read and write. To motivate persistence and success, instructors need to help learners break down their learning goals into short-term and long-term literacy goals. If learners set near-term goals, not just distant ones, they are much more likely to experience success, which enhances selfefficacy. Supporting learners’ awareness of progress week-by-week can motivate persistence,as learners reach their near-term goals and recognize that these are the path to reaching long-term goals.

Improving Literacy Instruction:  Supporting Learning and Motivation, p.16 at

National Information

6.  General Announcement:  Policy to Performance Project


Taken from LINCS Community

Last week MTLINCS posted information about OVAE’s Policy to Performance:  Transitioning Adult to Opportunity.  See below.

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.

This week LINCS has announced the P2P (Policy to Performance) Toolkit:

Click here  to download the toolkit.

OVAE’s Policy to Performance project recently released a valuable new toolkit, which can be accessed for free in the LINCS Resource Collection. The Policy to Performance Toolkit is a federally funded, high-quality resource that offers guidance and tools for developing policies and practices that support effective adult basic education transition systems, including:

·        Descriptions of the models used in the Policy to Performance initiative to create a transition system for adult learners;

·        Processes for analyzing practices and identifying policies;

·        Steps for developing, implementing, and evaluating policies;

·        Planning documents, checklists, and other downloadable tools to use in developing, implementing, and evaluating policies; and

·        Implementation examples from the project’s partner states.

7.  Reading:   Textmapping Continued:  Specific Example

Taken from LINCS Community:  Reading and Writing



Text mapping, like these other kinds of guided group learning processes, also appears to enable a group of learners to work together to unlock the features of a particular kind of text, from a particular genre, using _all_ the clues in the ext, and all the knowledge and reading experience of the group to do so. It seems to me to be a constructivist (project-based) approach to learning.

David Rosen


Example by Dave Middlebrook


Let's say you think some or your students might be interested in an article from National Geographic. It's way above their reading level, but it offers a lot of visual support (photos, maps, etc.). And a lot of adults find it interesting.

So you make a scroll (buy 2 copies of the magazine; zip off the spine with a razor knife; arrange the pages; tape them together) and tape it to your blackboard. And let's say that you want to focus on vocabulary development. So you pick a few words for them to search for -- names, places, whatever seems appropriate.


·        You ask them to circle or highlight each instance of each word. Use a different color for each word.

·        Have them take turns using each color -- in effect, checking the work of the previous person and finding any stray words.

·        Then you have them step back and look at the article as a whole -- much as they might look at a painting on the wall at an art gallery or museum. Have them talk about the word-instances: Where are they? Are they clumped together or spread out? What can they infer from this? What's this article about? What do the illustrations have to do with the words?

·        Then point to some headings. Ask them, Are all these headings at the same level? Do we have any sub-headings? How do we know?

·        Have them decide on colors to use for each heading level, then have them circle each heading with the correct color. As they did with the words, ask them to check each other's work. Ask them to explain why they used a certain color to mark a certain heading. What visual information can they use to make these decisions?

·        Ask them to read aloud the heading and discuss what it means. How does this relate to the article as a whole?

·        Then have them draw a bounding line around the text in each section. Leave the illustrations outside the bounding line -- free-floating, as it were.

·        Now stand back again and look at the article as a whole. Look for patterns -- certain word-instances in certain sections. Does this improve their understanding of what to expect from this article?

·        Have them take turns reading aloud some of each word-instance's surrounding text -- perhaps just a few words in either direction, or maybe entire sentences. Does this improve their understanding of what to expect?

·        Have them share their thinking -- their questions, connections, inferences, and predictions. For each illustration, ask them to draw a line to the part of the text to which it relates. Have them share their thinking about these connections.

·        All along, try to move back and forth between visual thinking and textual thinking. Sound out words selectively. Only decode enough to keep the conversation developing.

·        Let them use the illustrations and typography to guide their focus. The goal here is to use the comprehension piece to keep them engaged and to motivate them to decode, bit by bit, more words.

·        The overall experience should be engaged, discovery-based, conversational, and -- despite the decoding piece -- not at all dumbed-down.

8.  Technology:   College Admissions Resources

Taken from LINCS Community:  Technology and Learning

Click here  to access Digital Divide Hits College-Admissions Practice


Marie Cora of the Technology and Learning Group posted the following:

I read an interesting article in today's issue of Education Week's Digital Directions that discusses how college admissions are becoming increasingly all online and it presents the pros and challenges this creates for students. I found a lot of the article to resonate with what ABE students face, and they discuss the specific issues that create barriers for disadvantaged high school students, a lot of which also sounded familiar to me.

The article also shares a number of resources - ranging from obtaining information on test scores, to helping prospective students get organized for the admission process, to games that students can play online that allow them to practice the activities and skills they will need to fill out online applications. One looked very cool: it's called Mission Admission


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