Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at


Need a break from the holiday madness?  Coffee, tea, or cocoa? 

Grab a cup, sit back, and peruse some research snippets!


1.  Montana Data Follow-up:  Retention Resources for Programs


Do stress and trauma affect a student’s ability to stay in a program?  Looking for some resources to help you with retention?  Maybe the New England Literacy Resource Center’s Managing Stress to Improve Learning will have some ideas.  In fact, here is a snippet that may help all of us during this time of year:


Recognizing that laughter lowers stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine), eases anxiety and fear, and helps create classroom community-building, we tried to be conscious about incorporating laughter regularly into the classroom as a way to reduce stress.


Yes, folks, laughter is good medicine!


The New England Literacy Resource Center at World Education has developed quite a few resources for adult educators to use to help learners affected by stress and trauma to focus on learning and build their resilience. Our Managing Stress to Improve Learning project, implemented with ABE and ESOL teachers and a few counselors, developed lots of strategies captured on a robust website


As well, the Sep 2012 issue of The Change Agent magazine is on resilience with stories about how individuals, by I Want This">neighborhoods, and whole communities have drawn strength and persevered to respond to challenges and create change. The articles are identified by the reading level and many are available on audio, consistent with STAR reading instruction guidelines ...


Silja Kallenbach, Vice President

World Education


Don’t forget there are other resources about persistence/retention on MTLINCS Research page at .


2.  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.


State Administrators


State administrators can use standards-based reform as a practical strategy to promote quality and academic rigor in their adult education programs and ensure students gain the skills and knowledge needed to meet the expectations of colleges, universities, and employers.

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.16 at

Montana ABLE has been working hard implementing Standards-In-Action initiatives.  Standards are continuing to be refined.  Check √ !

Many states and local programs have established career pathways—a series of linked education and training courses, combined with support services, leading to certification and career advancement within an industry or occupational sector—with promising results …

State adult education administrators can facilitate this process by reaching out to college leaders and business and industry to help with curriculum development.

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.17 at

Career Pathways?  Have you seen Montana ABLE’s resource link for Career Pathways at ?  Check √ !

Connecting students to college counseling, financial aid, and other support is an important component of career pathways. This means that both students and practitioners need a greater awareness of resources, including several U.S. Department of Education websites …

Other U.S. Department of Education resources include the federal TRIO Programs. These outreach and student services programs are designed to help individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g., low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities) access higher education and achieve their academic goals.

Adult College Completion Toolkit, p.19 at

Accessing other resources?  Montana ABLE partners with others to complete many tasks.  The new High School Equivalency Panel includes members from the Board of Education, post-secondary education, labor, corrections, GED, and ABLE.  On the road to Check √ !

Coming next:  What can local practitioners do?

3.  Research Snippet:  Literacy Challenges for the Twenty-First Century

Taken from OVAE Connection Issue 129


Last week posting from Improving Adult Literacy Instruction stated the following:


A significant portion of the U.S. population is likely to continue, at least in the near term, to experience inadequate literacy and require instruction as adults.

As is stated in Literacy Challenges for the Twenty-First Century, the literacy problem is not due to lower reading assessments but may be caused by the escalation of workforce requirements. 

… The comprehension required of workers in the early 21st century goes well beyond that required in earlier years. It is not that the reading scores on standard assessments have declined over the last 40 years, rather the requirements for competency in the workforce—as well as for competent citizenship—have escalated. In fact, the average reading scores for white children over the past few years are similar to those of white children born in the 1960s. Moreover, black and Hispanic children now score considerably higher than their peers of that decade. At the same time, the gaps in reading scores between students of high and low socioeconomic backgrounds have widened significantly …  

ABLE students at the Low Intermediate level may encounter a double-edged sword:  escalating workforce requirements and marginal reading skills.

… During the transition to the departmentalized subject structure of grades six through eight, literacy instruction is typically severed from content instruction. Excellent readers and well-informed readers do not suffer under this regimen; they adapt their reading skills to the reading of science and history textbooks. But students with marginal reading skills, and good readers with limited knowledge stores, encounter often insurmountable tasks. No one teaches them how to read science or history. And their history and science teachers, unaware that the literacy demands of their texts deviate from those of books their students have read earlier, often do not know how to teach reading.  

National Information

4.  ESL:  Helping English Language Learners Meet Common Core Standards


Taken from LINCS Community:  Adult English Language Learners

Remember last week’s MTLINCS post about reading statistics of the U.S. population?  You might also want to reflect on the information below.  Yes, The Times They are a-Changin’!

The Alliance for Excellent Education Releases New Report on Helping English Language Learners Meet Common Core Standards

The Alliance for Excellent Education recently released a new brief, The Role of Language and Literacy in College- and Career-Ready Standards: Rethinking Policy and Practice in Support of English Language Learners. It states that by 2020, more than half of all public school students will likely have a non–English-speaking background. Nevertheless, in all college- and career-ready standards, including the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), English is embedded throughout. Thus, in order to meet these standards, the growing proportion of students who are English language learners (ELLs) must possess and be able to demonstrate an understanding of not only the subject matter being considered but also of the English language. This could be a daunting task for many ...

The brief notes that emerging technologies should enable teachers to extend instructional time for ELLs. Digital tools “can increase access to content anywhere and anytime, provide approaches to learning vocabulary and content, support language acquisition, expand practice opportunities, and deliver timely feedback.” The brief further notes that states bear the “primary responsibility” for ensuring that teachers and school leaders can provide ELLs with effective language and content-area learning, and it offers recommendations that are focused at the state level in the following four areas. First, in regard to states ensuring “robust implementation of college- and career-ready standards through close alignment, assessments, and professional development with these standards;” second, in the area of strengthening teacher preparation; third, in regard to improving the use of data by states, districts, and schools; and last, in the creation of support systems targeted to meet the needs of students who are ELLs.

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

Taken from LINCS Community:  Math and Numeracy

Click here to access information about the webinar.

TWO SESSIONS on Wednesday, December 5, 2012: 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM (Eastern Time)


Textmapping is a scrolls-based graphic organizer technique that can be used to teach reading comprehension and writing skills, study skills, and course content.

6.  Reading:   Scrolls and Textmapping for Strategies and Content Instruction

Taken from LINCS Community:  Reading and Writing

Click here to access more information about scrolls and textmapping.

Textmapping is a scrolls-based graphic organizer technique that can be used to teach reading comprehension and writing skills, study skills, and course content.

Click here to peruse some lesson guides.


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