Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

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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


ETS Enhancements to Website:

          ETS has made upgrades to the eReg Registration and Scheduling system.

1.     Scheduling multiple tests in one day is now easier for test takers.

2.     Collection of Test Center fees for retests.

a.     For those clients where we are collecting Test Center fees, the registration system will now be able to also collect those fees on retests. Test Centers will no longer have to worry about collecting those fees directly from the candidate on test day. 

3.     When candidates add an appointment to the shopping cart, in the ‘Review Your Cart’ page, the battery purchase option will now be defaulted, and the individual test price will have a strikethrough and say $0.00 (included in battery). (Note: This assumes the candidate did not already have an ‘Individual’ (non-battery) appointment in the shopping cart from the same state/agency).

Montana HiSET Guidance:

Click here to access Montana HiSET Guidance.  

Writing Test Update: 

ETS is reviewing the packaging and delivery mode. In the meantime, Montana will align test administration with other HiSET states. Breaks are not allowed during the paper-based writing test.


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 ABLE Programs MABLE Webinar Tuesday, April 22:  Updates for Spring Cleanup

April 22 from 11 to 12:30

Topics to be covered:

       Updates on Instructional Year

       Updates on Site Summary/Student Summary

       Assessment Only

       Open discussion-Linda would like to address any questions you may have about MABLE

3.  Montana Directors’ Meeting Resources

HiSET PowerPoint coming soon!

Click here to access the resources.

4.  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!

5.  PEPTalk Updated:  Save the Date!

May 6 PEPTalk Webinar

11 to 12

Click here to preview updated PEPTalk.  All material is linked from Career Resources Network at .

6.  PIACC Update:  See posting #11  below!


National Information 

7.  Critical Thinking:  Teaching Rigorous and Reflective Thinking

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Click here  to read the article, Teaching Rigorous and Reflective Thinking.                                           

Derek Turner argues that posing a set of questions on a piece of writing can be an effective way to support the development of critical thinking skills. I think Turner makes an excellent point. The process of writing questions for peers also provides learners with the opportunity to enhance their skills as critical thinkers, so both the writers and the peer reviewers use and refine critical thinking skills in the process.

Susan Finnmiller


I find that asking questions at every stage of the writing process is very helpful for all students to learn to focus and revise their writing. I try to function as the audience for my students' writing and ask my genuine questions about what they mean, where they are going with their ideas, and what I'm curious about that they haven't mentioned.

Click here  for more comments on the article.

8.  Earth Day in ABE

Taken from LINCS Science

Click here for ideas to celebrate Earth Day throughout the week. 

9.  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.

10.  LINCS Webinar:  Students & Families Living in Rural Poverty: Research and Strategies for Educators

Taken from LINCS Notice

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., ET

Overview and registration link:

Description:  How can educators better support students and families living in rural poverty? At this Bridge Webinar, Professor Thomas Hirschl at the Department of Developmental Sociology at Cornell University will present research on poverty in rural areas and on the diversity of rural communities and their attitudes toward poverty. Dr. Hirschl will address the landscape of poverty and the difficulties that families face navigating a society where middle-class values predominate. He will also present a set of strategies to assist rural educators in their work with low-income families, including approaches to minimizing stigmatization. Members of the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance from Maine and New York will reflect on Dr. Hirschl’s presentation and share strategies they have instituted within their own schools and districts.

Who Should Attend?
Rural and urban educators and researchers as well as state-level education agencies and organizations across New England and New York are encouraged to attend.

Sign Up Today!

Register now for this webinar. Login instructions will be emailed to you 24 hours prior to the event. For more information, contact

11.  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.

12.  Reading:  Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

Click here  to read the Washington Post article, Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say.

13.  Teaching Discussion:  Watching Teaching in Action

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

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

                                             Snippet from Week 2:


Writing Higher Order Questions:

I enjoyed watching this video clip.  So many times instructors just expect students to "get it" when reading, no matter the how complex or simple the passage might be.  Learning strategies are key to breaking down the process of comprehension, and for students, developing and using those strategies on a daily basis is important …


Making the Declaration of Independence Come Alive:

I absolutely loved how this teacher decided against the lecture method.  She instead involved her students through pair share and table groups.  As I watched this video, she even had me hooked with her hands on lessons and break up letter in the beginning.  This shows how creativity and student based learning can outweigh the boring and dreaded lecture based learning and teaching.  This teacher also gave students small pieces of information and a clear guide to follow.  Her lesson was effective and successful because she not only allowed students to construct their own knowledge, but she guided them in doing so. 


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