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 

Montana Information

1.     HiSET Blast

Share your HiSET success and graduation stories!

Do you have any graduation or celebration information and/or photos you would like to share?  If so, please send them to Margaret Bowles at .  She, in turn, with share these with ETS so that others may learn about Montana success!  Time to share!  Your successes will also be posted at

Resources:  New Resources Posted!

1.           Montana Library Information:  Postings on Homework MT

       HiSET practice testsFree practice tests from ETS website

(Also posted at .  Click on Practice Tests.)

       Content videos:  Videos from Homework MT  

Click here

        Click on Connect Now at the bottom of the screen.

        Then click on Test Prep at the bottom of the screen.

        Select the following from the drop-down menus:

o   Standardized Tests Preparation, Other Tests, and HiSET.

        Then click on See all 6 Videos.

2.          Persuasive Writing Resources

Click here and click on Writing.

       Persuasive Essay Thesis Practice NEW

       Argumentative (Persuasive) Essay Guidelines

       Sample Persuasive Essay

Check out the newly shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

Remember:  The resources below are teacher-designed resources that may be changed as teachers learn more by experience with HiSET and more vendor HiSET materials become available.

Have you created or found any resources that you are willing to share?  Please email them to MTLINCS.

2.  Montana Directors’ Meeting Resources

Click here to access the resources shared at the Montana Directors’ Meeting.

        ABLE Agenda

        ABLE Directors’ Meeting PowerPoint

        Cohort Presentation

o   Using the Cohort Report

        College!NOW Summary

        ESL Flyer

        REO Application

3.  Montana ABLE Meetings

Montana ABLE will be hosting a variety of meetings within the next two months.  Click here on the calendar to view dates.

                              Information from the meetings will be posted on MTLINCS!  Stay tuned!

4.  MTLINCS Research 2013-2014:  Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research

Review Research Postings! 

Click here to access 2013-2014 research postings from Improving Adult Literacy Instruction.  Click here to email questions or comments.  

National Information 

5.  Correctional Education Article

Taken from LINCS Correctional Education

Click here  to read the New York Times article, “College for Criminals”.

6.  ESL Resources

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Resources from Online Course:  Principles of Second Language Teaching

Good discussion and sharing of ideas can be found on the discussion at example, one participant posted information about the following:

The Pharmacy Plan

My plan is to include use the theme of a visit to a pharmacist for students to create a dialogue (in pairs) in order to communicate what is ailing them and for a pharmacist to make a recommendation.  This will be practical, learner-centered, and will provide a natural grouping opportunity for my students.  Below are the steps I followed in order to develop my plan: 

Go to to access more information.

Workplace Skills Resource

Click here  to access the Workplace Skills resource.

7.  ESL:  Professional Development Opportunity from AIR

Taken from LINCS Notice

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) requests your help in recruiting experienced ESL teachers for an exciting new professional opportunity.  Through a contract from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), AIR is working to increase awareness and use of high quality ESL Open Educational Resources (OER) in Adult Education through the LINCS ESL Professional project. We are currently recruiting two rounds of teacher user group members who will identify, use, and evaluate adult ESL appropriate OER. Accepted participants will be provided with free professional development and an honorarium for completion of responsibilities.

The LINCS ESL Professional project will support up to 20 ELL educators to identify, use and review ESL OER through a 6-month online user group.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital teaching and learning materials of all types, including text, video, games and assessments that are freely available and adaptable for use in any educational setting for all types of learners. 

The abundance of open educational resources presents opportunities for educators and learners.  By participating in this effort, you will make a positive contribution to instructional practices for ELL teachers and adult learners. 

Please click here to see our flyer for more details and a link to the User Group application. 

For more information about this opportunity and access to the application please contact Amanda Duffy at or 202-403-6117.

8.  Math:  Problem of the Week

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy

Taken from .

Take two quarters, place one heads up and the other tails up, keep the quarter with the heads motionless.  Rotate the other quarter around it, never slipping and always tangent.  When the rotating quarter has completed a turn around the stationary quarter, how many turns has it made around its own center point?  Explain your reasoning. 

9.  PIACC:  A Time to Reskill Webinar Now Posted

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

The webinar has now been posted at .

PIACC Discussion

The discussion has continued.  Check out the following comments.

Federico Salas-Isnardi shared:

Each of us will focus on a different concern arising from the PIAAC report. To me, these are three big challenges:

        First, while, according to the report, our adults are below average in terms of basic skills (numeracy, literacy and problem solving using technology) at the same time we have the second highest percentage of available jobs requiring post-secondary education or higher. That is, the skill gap is bigger for adults in the USA than in most other countries in the sample. So, unless we do something urgently, we cannot hope to come out of the recession any time soon and cannot hope to recover our competitive edge in the global economy.

        Second, in 1993, the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) drew attention to the fact that over 20% of the adult population was functionally illiterate and fully 90 million adults in America performed at the lowest two literacy levels in the survey. It is worth considering the PIAAC results indicate, twenty years later, that the situation has not improved and may have actually worsened slightly.

        In addition, we are, as a nation, not doing as well as other countries educating our young. A separate OECD report on the skills of in-school 15 year olds (3) shows that our youth score below their international counterparts in literacy and numeracy. When coupled with our national drop-out problem, the outlook for the future is not good unless adult education is prepared to help these young adults who learn in a manner very different than what most of us are used to

The fact that we haven’t improved the skill situation for our adults in the last 20 or 30 years shows that adult education is woefully underfunded (as we know) but it also may indicate that we need to change what we have been doing and how. On the other front, in 1983 A Nation at Risk raised the alarm in terms of the shape of public education and, in spite of a public education system that is much better funded than adult education, 30 years later many of the concerns raised by that report are still haunting our schools. Perhaps our attempts to fix the problem have been consistently focused on the wrong solutions. I believe whether it is in the K-12 system or in adult education, our challenge is addressing the underlying causes of the problem and not just the presenting symptoms.

Click here to read more.

10.  Science Discussion

Taken from LINCS Notice

Interesting discussion and resources are being shared on the special online discussion in the Science group in April: Using Polar Sciences in Adult Basic Education Programs.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) published just last month a good overview called "What We Know:  The Reality, Risks, and Response to Climate Change."  The document may be found at

This is a clearly written summary, and I believe it could be a great resource for adults and young people to get a concise explanation of the evidence as well as a better understanding of the risks.  It is text-dense; that is, it is not illustrated with charts or graphs.  Over the next two weeks, I will share a few additional resources that provide for more opportunities for adult learners to work on quantitative literacy at the same time, and I invite you to suggest others that provide excellent data visualizations.

The document concludes with, "In summary, responding effectively to the challenge of climate change requires a full understanding that there is now a high degree of agreement among climate scientists about the fact that climate change is happening now, because of human activities, and that the risks –including the possibility for abrupt and disruptive changes — will increase the longer greenhouse gas emissions continue."

This mention of greenhouse gas emissions leads me to share an animation that tracks the rising carbon dioxide measurements over time (CO2 is one greenhouse gas).     I really like how there are many graphs being produced simultaneously using time as the common parameter -- but I know that I would need to help my students, perhaps by providing them with a series of guided questions that could be answered in small groups.  

Please join the Science group to participate in this special online discussion.

If you have any questions about this announcement, please contact us.

11.  Teaching Discussion:  Watching Teaching in Action

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

Special Online Discussion: Watching Teaching in Action on April 9-25


We begin our conversation with two videos this week: My Favorite No: Learning From Mistakes and What’s Your Sign: Integer Addition.  I have included some questions that the Teaching Channel suggests to guide your viewing along with the Common Core Standards that the lessons in the video align with.  Below are the links to the videos and the questions:


Video 1: My Favorite No: Learning From Mistakes:

Common Core Standards: Math.MP.6

Attend to precision.

Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions. (Source:

Questions to consider and respond to as you watch the video:

        How does this teaching strategy allow for immediate reteaching?

        What criteria does Ms. Alcala use to pick her favorite “no”?

        How does Ms. Alcala use assessment data to inform her teaching?

Video 2: What’s Your Sign: Integer Addition:

Common Core Standards: Math.7.NS.A.1b, Math.7.NS.A.1d

Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with functions

Understand p + q as the number located a distance |q| from p, in the positive or negative direction depending on whether q is positive or negative. Show that a number and its opposite have a sum of 0 (are additive inverses). Interpret sums of rational numbers by describing real-world contexts.

Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract rational numbers.


Questions to consider and respond to as you watch the video:

        How does the use of number lines help students visualize integer operations?

        How does this approach support long-term conceptual understanding as compared to rote memorization of the rules?

        Why is it important to use both horizontal and vertical number lines?

Watching Teaching in Action is a way for instructors to engage in professional learning and view good instructional strategies! 

This month, the LINCS Community College and Career Standards group will host a special two and a half week online discussion, Watching Teaching in Action. The discussion will guide group members through a series of selected short videos produced by the Teaching Channel at that demonstrate a variety of instructional practices and strategies in incorporating standards in the classroom. We invite you to participate in this activity from April 9-25 and take a look inside schools to watch how teachers are implementing standards in the classroom. Guest adult educators from Kentucky will also join the discussion to share their experiences and ideas for adapting these instructional practices into the adult education classroom.

Please join the College and Career Standards group to participate in this special online discussion.

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