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



1.    MT ABLE Program Directors’ Meeting Resources


Did you miss seeing the Directors’ Meeting Resources?  Were the email links not working?  Remember – you can always access MTLINCS email in the Email Archives at


Click here to see what information was discussed during the MT ABLE Directors’ Meeting.  Find out what is new for MT ABLE!


Click here to access all information presented or click on the individual links below:


ABLE Directors Meeting

·        MT Adult Education Program Directors Meeting by Margaret Bowles

·        Summary


·        GED/Postsecondary 121Clarification

High School Equivalency Test

·        GED Beginning Strategies for Math - CEA

·        Geometry Flashcards for Sorting Study with Game

·        Introduction to GED 2014 Handbook


·        Site Performance Overview 2013 by Linda Gardner


·        Accommodations

·        Educational Functional Level Descriptors

·        Strategies for Success with TABE by Renee Bentham

·        TABE Training by Jesse Sauskojus


2.    Montana High School Equivalency Test – HiSET – ABE Informational Webinar, Tuesday @ 11:00 a.m.


Attention Montana ABLE Programs!


Tune in to the HiSET ABE Informational webinar Tuesday morning.  Amy Riker of HiSET will be providing information for Montana ABLE programs.  The webinar will be archived if you are unable attend.  Stay tuned for that information.


Topic: ETS HiSET ABE Informational Session
Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Time: 11:00 am, Mountain Daylight Time (Denver, GMT-06:00)
Meeting Number: 922 855 153
Meeting Password: ETSHiSET

To join the online meeting (Now from mobile devices!)

1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: ETSHiSET
4. Click "Join".

To join the audio conference only
Toll-free number: 8775136202
Participant code: 8310052989

For assistance
1. Go to
2. On the left navigation bar, click "Support".

You can contact Amy Riker at:

The playback of UCF (Universal Communications Format) rich media files requires appropriate players. To view this type of rich media files in the meeting, please check whether you have the players installed on your computer by going to

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, discuss your concerns with the meeting host prior to the start of the recording or do not join the session. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.


Have you checked out the ETS website for HiSET, the High School Equivalency Test?  If not,

click here .


Take a look at the following:

·       Test at a Glance

·       Sample Questions

·       Practice Tests

o   Language Arts–Reading (PDF)

o   Language Arts–Writing (PDF)

o   Mathematics (PDF)

o   Science (PDF)

o   Social Studies (PDF)

Please contact Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Specialist, if you have any questions.


3.    Montana ABLE Program:  ABLE Partner in Building Student Success ~ Adult Basic Literacy Education


Click here to read about the successful venture of the Great Falls ABLE program.  Congrats to Great Falls!


4.  Montana Alt Ed Summit:  Designing the Future of Learning


Where:  Paris Gibson Alternative School, Great Falls, MT

When:  June 9 & 10

On June 9 and 10, 2013, State Superintendent Denise Juneau is hosting Montana alternative education leaders at an Alt Ed Summit Designing the Future of Learning to be held at Paris Gibson Alternative School in Great Falls, Montana. Alternative education practitioners, educators, and administrators should consider attending. There is no fee for the Summit, and travel reimbursements for travel over 150 miles one-way are available.


Preliminary topics for the Summit include: technology: tapping the explosive use of technology for greater student learning; policy: incorporating greater flexibility with sample variance to standards requests through Chapter 55; and student-centered learning: supporting strategies for student success in the 21st Century.


The Summit kicks off with an early evening reception on Sunday, June 9 at 5pm and concludes on Monday, June 10 at 4pm.


To register, please go to


For more information, please contact Deb Halliday at or 444-3559.


Note from Margaret Bowles:


I am thrilled to be forwarding this email. Representatives from state ABLE programs are cordially invited to attend the first annual Alt Ed Summit. The Summit is being hosted by Superintendent Juneau, and it is a wonderful opportunity for ABLE staff to glean information on cutting-edge strategies and participate in conversation with our state education partners. It would be wonderful if we could have representation from each of our ABLE programs.


Mark the dates on your calendar and hit the registration link.


I look forward to seeing there.




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


Principles of Learning for Instructional Design


The last review of the research provided some strategies for ensuring retention of new concepts.  What?  You did not retain that information?  That is not surprising during this busy time of year for Montana ABLE programs.  So any time you need to review any of the adult literacy instruction research provided this year, just check it out at

Now let’s see what the rest of the research has to tell us about Instructional Design.


We know that many of our students lack knowledge, skills, and meta-awareness needed to comprehend text.  Have you had a chance to look at the new College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education?  The first Key Shift in instruction is the following:  Complexity:  Regular practice with complex text and its academic language.  In fact, the standards document states


This important shift finds explicit expression in CCSS Reading Standard 10, which includes a staircase of increasing text complexity for students to read independently and proficiently. Rather than focusing solely on how students read, the focus also is on the complexity of texts read by students. Closely related to text complexity and inextricably related to reading comprehension is a focus on frequently encountered academic vocabulary—language common to complex texts across the disciplines of literature, science, history, and the arts. 


College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education, Page 9


What strategies does the research suggest we employ?


As we look at the first strategy, we know this one.  Remember Learning To Achieve?  I DO; WE DO; YOU DO!  Yes, we have heard this multiple times via different modalities.  So are we doing it?


Complex Strategies, Critical Thinking, Inquiry, and Self-Regulated Learning


Strategy #1:  Structure Instruction to Develop Effective Use of Complex Strategies


There is moderate evidence that complex strategies can be acquired by well-engineered instruction that is structured, explicit, scaffolded, and intensive. Scaffolded instruction is the systematic selection and sequencing … instruction typically goes from simple to complex, with substantial practice at each step … Procedural skills can be modeled effectively through modeling-scaffolding-fading


Personal Note:  At times some might think I am adverse to new strategies.  I am not.  I am always looking for a more effective tool.  However, I may not always be willing to let go of a tool that works.  If I have a small hammer that is working, why do I need a bigger hammer?  Remember – asking why is just as important for teachers as it is for students.  With that in mind, I do question some research.  For example, in regard to the research below, I like to believe that we older folks are not slow – sometimes we are just cautious.  (Anyway that is what I told the instructor when I took my ATV safety class.  The young girl in the class maybe got to the finish line first, but I did make it and enjoyed the ride!) =) And sometimes we are more reflective.  We have learned that jumping the gun does not always bring good results.   


Although even older adults benefit (from Mneumonic training), it is possible that age-related decreases in fluid abilities may slow the acquisition of new strategies in later life (Brehmer et al., 2007, 2008; Hertzog et al., 2008).


OK, enough of the editorializing, for this next comment is huge when it comes to reading.  Several of our students readily admit that they have trouble with math and spelling, but many believe that they do not have any problems with comprehension.  Could that be because of what the research states? 


One would expect children to have limited metacognitive knowledge, but it is somewhat remarkable that adults also have limited metacognitive proficiency after their years of experience. More specifically, the vast majority of adults are not good at judging their own comprehension of text (Dunlosky and Lipko, 2007; Maki, 1998).


Adult students are encouraged to take an active part in the development of their programs; however, they do need our guidance. 


… they also are not good at planning, selecting, monitoring, or evaluating their strategies for self-regulated learning (Azevedo and Cromley, 2004; Azevedo and Witherspoon, 2009; Winne, 2001), inquiry learning (Graesser, McNamara, and VanLehn, 2005; White and Frederiksen, 2005), or discovery learning (Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark, 2006; Klahr, 2002).  Therefore, explicit training, modeling, and guided practice are needed before students acquire adequate strategies of comprehension, critical thinking, metacomprehension, self-regulated learning, and discovery learning (Dunlosky and Hertzog, 1998).


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 135-137


Strategy #2:  Combine Complex Strategy Instruction with Learning of Content


The number 2 strategy is logical.  The more you know – the easier it is, right?  Nope!  We need substantial subject-matter knowledge, but sometimes knowing too much can be confusing.  So asking why is a good strategy.


It is a good strategy for readers to be asking the question “why” when reading texts because it encourages the student to build explanations of the content … Substantial subject-matter knowledge is needed to effectively apply many reading strategies because comprehension involves the integration of prior knowledge and text.


Are we teaching strategies or are we just having students practice reading?  They need strategies on how to comprehend specific texts.


Comprehension can improve after instruction on the structure of expository text, such as compare-contrast, problem-solution, cause-effect, description, sequence, and other rhetorical frames (Chambliss, 1995; Meyer and Poon, 2001; Williams, Hall, and Lauer, 2004; Williams et al., 2005, 2009).


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 137




Strategy #3:  Accurate and Timely Feedback Helps Learning


We just can’t give students material and have them practice over and over without giving them feedback along the way.  We need to chunk our instruction/materials and provide optimal feedback. 


Feedback helps learners finetune their knowledge, skills, and strategies … Immediate feedback has the advantage of maximizing contiguity of correct information and of preventing elaboration of incorrect information. Just as people learn correct information from accurate feedback, they also can learn incorrect information.


Yes, feedback is very important; however, we do need to be cautious.


A learner’s motivation can be threatened when there is a barrage of corrections and negative feedback. Frequent interruptions of organized action sequences (such as reading a text aloud) can be not only irritating but also counterproductive in the acquisition of complex motor skills.


Strategy #4:  Qualitative Feedback Is Better for Learning Than Test Scores and Error Flagging


This seems only logical, right?  If we are asking our students to tune into quality, not quantity, than we need to expect the same from ourselves.


Excessive feedback also runs the risk of preventing the development of self-regulated learning, and so a fading process is needed to gradually shift control to the student.


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 137-140


Stay tuned: Environment, Motivation, and Emotion – Final Considerations in Instructional Design


National Information

6.  Adult Education College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education

Taken from LINCS Community:  Evidence-based Professional Development

Just Released: College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards for Adult Education

The work is the result of a nine-month process that examined the Common Core State Standards from the perspective of adult education. It was funded to provide a set of manageable yet significant CCR standards that reflect broad agreement among subject matter experts in adult education about what is desirable for adult students to know to be prepared for the rigors of postsecondary education and training.

The report, available at:, was written by Susan Pimentel, prepared by MPR, Associates, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

If you have any questions please contact Ronna Spacone at

7.  Career Pathways Brief:  Engaging Employers to Support Adult Career Pathways Programs

Taken from LINCS Community Notice

The Adult Career Pathways Training and Support Center (ACP-SC) has a new free, federally funded issue brief on partner engagement available to download. The Engaging Employers to Support Adult Career Pathways Programs issue brief offers practical strategies on engaging employers and building business-education partnerships to support Adult Career Pathways (ACP) programs and highlights promising examples from adult education providers in three states.

To view the issue brief visit the News and Events page on the ACP-SC website:

8.  COABE Resources Repository:  Career Pathways Snippet

Taken from LINCS Community:  Program Management

COABE has recently made available a repository of the 2013 conference materials, resources, and PowerPoint presentations which can be found via the following link:

The repository contains topics across many areas including program development, math and numeracy, technology, career pathways, ESL resources, the 2014 GED test, workforce development and others …

Gail Cope, SME

Sample from Repository

Career Pathways

Career Pathways 101–Background, Models, Resources

With federal support from ED, HHS, and Labor, the field of adult education is moving toward the career pathways model to enable lower-skilled adults to progress on a career pathway and prepare for postsecondary success at a more rapid pace. With the varying models and approaches that currently exist, it’s difficult to know what works best or how to best implement effective career pathways programs. At this session, presenters from Kratos and CORD will share proven models and resources that support Adult Career Pathways, and will discuss ways to access training and TA to help states and local organizations move forward with building and implementing effective career pathways systems.
• Michelle Carson, Senior Education Analyst, Kratos Learning
• Hope Cotner, Vice-President,Center for Occupational Research and Development
Strand: Transition/Career Pathways

Career Pathways 101–Background, Models, Resources (PDF Version of PowerPoint)
Presented at the 2013 COABE LAPCAE National Conference New Orleans

9.  Math:  Financial Literacy

Taken from LINCS Community:  Financial Literacy

This week we are highlighting Money Smart - A Financial Education Program developed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Money Smart is freely available as both an instructor-led or computer-based training program that helps adults build their financial knowledge, develop financial confidence, and use banking services effectively. Click here to read Money Smart’s tips for financial educators!

10.  OVAE Connection:  Will It Be on the Test?  A Closer Look at How Leaders and Parents Think About Accountability in the Public Schools

Taken from LINCS Community:  Formative Assessment

How does the information below affect the ABLE community?

According to new research from Public Agenda and the Kettering Foundation, Will It Be on the Test? A Closer Look at How Leaders and Parents Think About Accountability in the Public Schools, parents and education leaders think about and define accountability in education in different ways—differences that may be anticipated to have important implications for the trajectory of education reform.

Most parents, as well as most Americans, approve of the goals of the accountability movement as it has developed over the past decade and a half, especially the raising of academic standards and the promotion of students based on the mastery of content. If children are given proper guidance, most Americans accept that most can succeed in school. However, there is a fundamental difference between parents and education reformers over the issue of primary responsibility for students’ success.

“In effect, the nation seems to be having two parallel discussions about accountability in education reform.” According to the study, education leaders focus on what schools and educators should do more proficiently to raise student achievement, while the public’s focus is on student behavior and student motivation and parents’ responsibility for helping their children develop the habits and values that ensure success in school. Parents also place more of an emphasis on the role of schools in building communities.

One of the discussions most needed, according to the authors, centers on whether the goals of schooling can best be accomplished through giving parents more options and choice about the schools their children attend, or whether reform is best accomplished through strengthening neighborhood public schools. With good arguments and what the report calls “moral reasons” on both sides, making sense of the best option, going forward, will require clear thinking in an open and cogent conversation among the stakeholders.

The authors also identify three other areas where dialogue between parents and all the stakeholders could be fruitful: “(1) What should we do when some parents don’t take the responsibility for teaching their children to behave and work hard in school? (2) Do we have to close failing schools, and if we don’t, what can we really do to turn them around? (3) How can we help parents raise responsible children in today’s society, when there are so many mixed messages in the media and the broader culture?”

Again, the report proposes frank conversations among all the interested parties parties to the issue of schooling about how to improve it and who has responsibility for which parts of the improvement.

11.  PIAAC, the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies

Taken from LINCS Community:  Formative Assessment

                    You may just want to remember this acronym, for you may be hearing more about it in the future.

For information on the PIAAC background questionnaire, its history and design, and other aspects of this unprecedented international project (more than 22 countries are involved), visit the website of the National Center for Educational Statistics.

According to new research from Public Agenda and the Kettering Foundation, Will It Be on the Test? A Closer Look at How Leaders and Parents Think About Accountability in the Public Schools schooling about how to improve it and who has responsibility for which parts of the improvement.

 12.  Reading:  Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling Webinar Materials

Taken from LINCS Community:  Reading and Writing

At this time there is no plan to post an archived video of this event.  However, there is a great online resource at , Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling:  An Adult Course of Study.  This is a Teacher’s Guide, Lesson Plans, and Learner Activity Book. 


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