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Check out the newest postings from EQ 2014 – pictures included!

Montana Information

1.   HiSET Blast

Check out many new items below:  Marketing, Success Story, Research about HiSET Passing Scores, etc.!


HiSET® Program eUpdate | September 2014

Resources for States and Educators and Test Center Staff

Answer sheets for the HiSET® practice exams are now available in the Download Library. These blank answer sheets correspond to the practice exams and can be printed and photocopied for your test center.

Test Center Reminders

For PBT Centers:

In 2015, HiSET Test Books will be packaged by battery. You will be able to order nine different battery forms, each containing all five subtests (A-1, A-2, A-3, B-1, B-2, B-3, C-1, C-2, C-3). We will send you detailed ordering instructions soon.

Test Administration Services

HiSET Program Success

Congratulations to Nevada's Department of Education for their recognition by Gov. Brian Sandoval. Sandoval highlighted the ongoing effort to provide critical high school equivalency and alternative education opportunities that help to reduce unemployment and enhance Nevada's workforce. Nevada was the first state in the country to offer multiple options for high school equivalency assessments which are the basis for a Nevada High School Equivalency Certificate. For the full story, visit

HiSET Success Story — Billings, Montana

Battling drug use, Adam Munoz of Billings, Mont., decided to drop out of junior high school. Now sober, in his mid-20s and raising a family, Munoz is motivated to get a college education that will help him pursue a career. Read more about Munoz's success story and how passing the HiSET exam is helping him fulfill that goal.

Does your state have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Sheri Mayo with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

ETS HiSET Conference

Conference registration closed – no openings!

Montana HSE Information

Conversion Scores:  Please delete.

The revised conversions from GED scores to HiSET scores have changed.  If you have been using a previously posted chart, please delete it.  The conversion is no longer applicable.


Click here for current HiSET practice test results chart.


Marianne Shomaker, Montana High School Equivalency (HSE) Specialist

Math and Language Arts Essay Information

Scheduled to be released in the coming weeks is a recorded Webinar to explain a new aspect of the math test. Another Webinar is going to be released on the 2015 essay portion of the language test.

Montana Examiners/ABLE Meeting:  HiSET Resources

Email Follow-up to Examiners: 

Click here   


Attached are the trifold templates from Jonna McDonough with the following explanation:

Our marketing team developed one black and white template and three color templates.  Of the three color templates, one does not have a front graphic, the other two have different graphics.  The funky text is simply a text place holder for custom text inserts by programs.


Click here to access HiSET Trifold Templates.

Research Memorandum – Recommending Passing Scores for the High School Equivalency Test: 

Click here to read about the recommended Passing Scores for HiSET. 

Montana HiSET Resources

Check out the 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.

HiSET Success:  Montana

Do you have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Margaret Bowles with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

2.   Montana ABLE Fall Conference and Career Pathways Initiative 2014

In case you missed the postings from the ABLE Conference 2014, here is one last reminder.

Click here on Montana ABLE Conference 2014 Resources to find the following resources:




Data:  Desk Audit



Faces of EQ 2014


  • ABLE Meeting


  • Examiners Meeting




Moving Pathways Forward

OPI Introductory Presentation


Materials from Great Falls


·        2014 AE Fall Brochure

·        2014 Fall Adult Ed Quick Reference Guide

·        2014 Quick Reference Flip

·        College Class Brochure

·        College Class Flyer

·        ESOL 2014 Fall Brochure

·        Postcard Schedule Fall 2014


·        2014 Fall Adult Ed Quick Reference Guide

·        2014 Fall Adult Ed Quick Reference Guide backside

·        Do You Need More Tools - HiSET

·        Faces of Adult Ed - Amy

·        Faces of Adult Ed - Gerard

·        Movie Ad Copy - Tagline for Radio

·        Movie Ad Final

·        Plugged In Radio

·        Talking Points - Elevator Speech


·        Blue Sheet Backside Computer Skills

·        Blue Sheet Pathway Checklist Fall 2014

·        Green Sheet Backside 2015 Orientation

·        Green Sheet TABE Cover Sheet 2015

·        Pink Sheet Backside Fall 2014 Class Schedule

·        Pink Sheet TABE Scores

·        Prezi Link Rebranding Adult Education Conference Script

Pathways Opportunities

·        Blue Sheet Backside Computer Skills Survey

·        Blue Sheet Pathway Checklist Fall 2014

·        CDL Class Info

·        CDL Permit Opportunity Flyer

·        CDL PreAssignment

·        CNA Opportunity Flyer Fall 2014

·        CNA PreAssignment October 2014 Letter from Sheila

·        Distance Learning Contract January 2014


Materials from Miles City

3.   Montana Pep Talk Books

Pep Talk books are now ready.  PEP Talk coordinators, call Mary Ann Walker at 800-541-3904 to order books.

FYI:  One quick note about the new publication. The new DOL website is delayed again until Nov. 24th.  In the PEP Talk books, the login screen shot is for the new website. People can still log into MCIS from webpage, but it won’t look the same as what is posted in the book.

4.   MCAN Poll

Please complete the MCAN Poll by October 29.  Click here to access the poll.

What it is: a poll for MCAN members that will help us determine what services and programs are most important for moving forward.  The survey is a simple 6 question poll, rating importance of services/programs from a scale of 1-10. Should only take a couple of minutes and responses will be invaluable to MCAN.

Why it’s important: this poll will offer valuable insight into how MCAN can continue to grow in 2014/15 and beyond, how to improve its services and enhance members’ efforts in the college access and success arena -- essentially we are asking, What can we do to better benefit you?

Margaret Bowles

5.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out the Postings 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 below for ideas about instruction. 

6.   WIOA Update:  Montana ABLE Programs – Stay informed!

WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here  to access Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

WIOA National Updates:

Click here  

U.S. Department of Education WIOA Reauthorization site

Transcripts of Videos

·         9/8/14 Video:  Session IV:  Title I - Performance Accountability System

o   Transcript:

·         9/2/14 Video:  Session III:  Title I - State Workforce Boards and Unified Plans

o   Transcript:

·         8/20/14Video:  Session II:  Overview of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (WIOA)

o   Transcript:

·         8/7/14Video:  Session I:  Overview of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

o   Transcript:


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): An Overview of Adult Education and Literacy Webinar. This webinar, featured on Aug. 28, provided a broad overview of the legislation, key dates for implementation, and useful information on resources and materials for adult education and literacy partners and stakeholders. The event also featured a panel of representatives from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Labor. See the Presentation slides PDF] and Archived webinar.

National Information

7. Career Pathways:  Team Teaching

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges has just posted some new I-BEST team teaching classroom videos. Three short videos focus on six I-BEST team teaching models and include classroom examples of team-teaching. We have just added links to these videos on the Media Library of Teaching Skills (MLoTS) web site at The Media Library of Teaching Skills is designed for teachers of adult basic and secondary education (including ESOL/ESL) as a "video window" into other teachers' classrooms. MLoTS includes a large section with links to other professional development videos, making it a "one stop" video library for adult basic education professional development.

Links to the I-BEST videos will also be found at . To my knowledge these videos are the first example of models of team teaching in adult basic education, although other examples of team teaching, and even team teaching classroom videos, exist. (You will find an MLoTS video showing integrating technology in basic skills and job skills training in health care .)

David Rosen

8. Career Pathways Exchange:  Resources

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways Exchange

Partnerships: A Workforce Development Practitioner's Guide

Commonwealth Corporation, 2013

Through their work as funders and evaluators, the Commonwealth Corporation has observed partnerships in workforce development and identified factors that contribute to their effectiveness. This guide for workforce practitioners focuses on Establishing the Partnership, Leadership and Staffing, Processes for Partnerships, and Sustaining Partnerships. Questions and action steps are provided for each chapter as well as examples from partnerships, tools and templates, and case studies.

Courses to Employment: Partnering to Create Paths to Education and Careers

Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative, 2012

This report summarizes research from the Courses to Employment (C2E) project, which studied six community college-non-profit partnerships that collaborated to help low-income adults succeed in the classroom and labor market. The report provides an overview of the approach and strategies the partnerships used, how the partnerships were structured with respect to institutional roles and responsibilities, factors that influenced their structures, and the education and employment outcomes participating students achieved during the C2E project. Findings from participant outcome studies point to the project's approach as a promising strategy for serving low-income adults. High percentages of participants completed community college programs, most graduates obtained employment after training and earned higher wages than they did prior to training, and many graduates continued to do well in their education and employment experiences after initial training and job placement.

9.  ESOL:  ESOL Apps to Use Offline

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

There are quite a few apps that need to connect to the internet periodically if you want update content, but once the content is updated, a student or teacher can use the app offline.  Productivity apps like Evernote and Dropbox allow this so students can write or respond to questions offline.

Quizlet needs a data connection to load new content but then can be used offline.  And this website has many sets of Quizlet flash cards already created. 

BookCreator is an app that allows teachers or students to create books with their own photos, writing, video, and audio which can be saved to  the app and accessed on that device, or if there is periodic internet connect, can be saved and accessed from Google Books or Dropbox and then used offline.

I would also suggest looking into Everyone On which may have affordable plans for wireless internet so then you could have WiFi in the classroom and students could have WiFi in their homes.  I found a plan in my zip code that is $10/month for unlimited data to which I can connect up to 10 devices.  I find that the signal is robust enough to stream movies.

Nell Eckersley

10.  Funding:  Family Self-Sufficiency/Job Training and Employment

Taken from NAEPDC


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded $75 million to help public housing and Housing Choice Voucher residents across the country connect with local services to improve their education and employment and to put them on a path to self-sufficiency. Read more about the local impact of the grants announced today.

Funded through HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), these grants allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to work with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses, and other local partners to help public housing residents and individuals participating in HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program to increase their education or gain marketable skills that will enable them to obtain employment and advance in their current work. In 2014, Congress combined funding for the Public Housing FSS (PH FSS) and Housing Choice Voucher FSS (HCV FSS) programs into one program serving both populations.

As HUD approaches its 50th anniversary next year, HUD Secretary Julián Castro is focused on advancing policies that create opportunities for all Americans, including helping families and individuals secure quality housing by connecting housing efforts to education and job opportunities.

"HUD connects folks to opportunity," said Castro. "These grants will link people to the computer access, financial literacy, job training, childcare and other tools they need to compete and succeed in the workplace. Every American deserves access to the skills and resources necessary to become self-sufficient."

HUD's FSS Program helps local public housing authorities to hire service coordinators who work directly with residents to connect them with programs and services that already exist in the local community. These Service Coordinators also build relationships with the network of local service providers so as to more effectively serve the residents. The program encourages innovative strategies that link public housing and Housing Choice Voucher assistance with other resources to enable participating families to find jobs, increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for rental and/or welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.

Participants in the program sign a five-year contract that requires the head of the household to obtain employment and that no member of the FSS family is receiving cash welfare assistance at the end of the five-year term. Families in the FSS program have an interest-bearing escrow account established for them. The amount credited to the family's escrow account is based on increases in the family's earned income during the term of the FSS contract. If the family successfully completes its FSS contract, the family receives the escrow funds that it can use for any purpose, including improving credit scores, paying educational expenses, or a down-payment on a home. More information on the FSS program can be found here.

The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program is a long-standing resource for increasing economic security and self-sufficiency among participants. HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research issued Evaluation of FSS Program: Prospective Study in 2011 that evaluated the effectiveness of the FSS Program. Conducted from 2005 to 2009, the study showed that financial benefits are substantial for participants who remain in and complete the program. An earlier study found that individuals who participated in the FSS program fared better financially than those who did not enroll in the program. HUD is currently conducting a longitudinal study on the program, with the first set of results expected in 2018.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDGov, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.

11.  Health Literacy:  Resources

Taken from LINCS Health Literacy

CDC Health Literacy Site

There are two parts of the tour:

1.     CDC Health Literacy Page: 

2.     The CDC Clear Communication Index Widget: 

The Health Literacy Page 

Most of the new resources are in the section called Learn About Health Literacy.

There are many subcategories, but these are the ones we talked about that have new information:

o   Find Training has links to 5 new online courses created by CDC, a Good Questions for Good Health Toolkit, and then 4 categories of trainings from organizations other than CDC.

o   Plan and Act leads you to tools and resources for making your organization a health literate one.

o   Culture and Health Literacy is a new section. 

o   Develop Materials is the place to go for guidance on creating new materials. They are experimenting with a section here called Audiences, which helps in creating materials for specific groups. The first one they added is Older Adults.

The CDC Clear Communication Index Widget 

The Clear Communication Index is the tool that CDC developed to assess health education and communication materials. You can use a printed Index Score Sheet to rate your materials, OR download a pdf in Adobe that you can fill in electronically and then print out. OR you can use the widget, which walks you through each question and lets you input the answers, along with notes. At the end you get a printout with the score and your notes. (It's more fun!)

You can download the widget onto your organization's website if you like!

Fun Fact: You can assess printed or web-based materials, Facebook sites, written scripts for audio communications, Infographics or even short Tweet-sized messages!

 Julie McKinney

 12. Math:  Teaching Channel Common Core Math Playlist - Engaging Students with “Productive Struggle”

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy 

Teaching Channel has just put out a Common Core Math Playlist on Engaging Students with “Productive Struggle.”   I'm not a math teacher, but I am interested in how technology a can be used in all parts of education and I think that just as people can have a lot of fear and anxiety around math instruction, teachers and students can feel the same way about using technology.  

I'm sharing the Teacher Channel playlist to demonstrate the use of video as a tool for professional development, as actual math lesson ideas, and also to see what you all think about any crossovers between the concept of the "productive struggle" in math instruction and in technology integration.  

A colleague once told me about the tendency for math teachers to help a student struggling with a concept by taking the pencil out of the student's hand and demonstrating the correct way to solve the problem rather than letting the student struggle to the answer.  I know I have done something similar in a technology workshops--when someone is having a hard time using whatever technology tool we're studying, I may take the mouse from them and "demonstrate" the "right" way to get there, rather than allowing the person to work it out through perseverance.  When I've done this it was with the best of intentions--I didn't want the person to fall behind, that the person was nervous and anxious and I wanted to show them how easy the step was, but I know that by allowing the person to skip through doing the action themselves they probably didn't leave the workshop having learned enough to use the tool on their own (my first goal) and I may have inadvertently given them another example of why technology is terrible and scary rather than reassuring them that technology can be their friend (my second goal). 

Here's an article on productive struggle strategies more specific to technology How ‘productive struggle’ can lead to deeper learning which I'm going to try out. I'll report back.

Nell Eckersley

Comment about Video

Thank you for sharing Nell!  I looked over this article and then noticed a video.  Since I am more of a "visual" learner, I watched the video.  This video - is a great illustration of how math instructors can interact, engage, and assess learners in an easy way - WIPE BOARDS!!  I love using wipe boards in my class room.  Furthermore, the instructors are collaborating together to discuss what their learners are struggling with and then they (as a collective) discuss how to help their learners to be more successful and have a richer teaching experience!  

This video is work watching!!!  I haven't read your other article yet on "How productive struggle can lead to deeper learning" but will do that soon and let you know my thoughts.  My gut reaction is that the most meaningful lessons come through struggle.

Thanks, again - and Math and Numeracy Community - Please check out the video in "Common Core Math Playlist on Engaging Students with “Productive Struggle.”   It is worth 8 minutes out of your day!

Brooke Istas

13. Math:  Teaching Math to Nonreaders and Low Level Readers Resource

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy 

Click here  I have their book on teaching arithmetic... it's structured, multisensory and not "kiddish" tho' the videos tend to be of young students.  

14. Reading: Comprehension – Reading Apprenticeship Snippets

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing 

A new resource is available for supporting students to read complex texts:  The Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd at .

More Snippets about Reading Apprenticeship

Snippet #1

Establishing classroom norms:

Students are asked to reflect on their positive learning experiences and what made them learn well in a or those situations.  They consider the attributes of successful classrooms. These are recorded and discussed by the class and consensus is reached in how the class will proceed.  This list is a living document and is added to as the class decides. It is a great management tool and it shows the students that you as an instructor care very deeply about the learning environment.  Students list items such as: do not laugh at other's ideas or comments; listen to each other; participate is classroom discussions; arrive on time; bring course documents etc.  This fosters the social and personal dimensions of the Reading Apprenticeship framework.

Reader's Strategy List (RSL)

Students express their ways of approaching texts.  This is also a living classroom document and it gets at the heart of community and participation through surfacing different ways of reading different texts. It also ensures that the purpose of reading is provided either by the instructor or from the classroom discussion.  This also showcases to the students that reading is problem solving and that there are codes that students must learn to break to access particular types of text. I always have multiple RSL going on in my classroom because we read a wide variety of text.  For example: RSL for informational texts (the students indicate these strategies: pay attention to the types of numbers like % is different from money, read the legion, focus on the illustration, what are the uses of color, what is the source of the information, what years are covered, etc.)  For short story the list may include different strategies (who is the main character, what is the problem, figure out the setting, purpose, what kind of narrator is telling the story, can I get the plot line listed out, what is the climax, what type of language is used and why, what are literary devices, is the story believable, etc).  This helps bring the students to the table who may not be strong readers in multiple genres. In addition, students show each other how they are approaching text and what their processes are for making meaning.  These lists also give the faculty member insight into the ways that students are reading and approaching texts and confusions are uncovered and resolved by the discussion and use of the RSL.  Of particular value is that this helps establish and foster an inquiry culture in the classroom and it elicits student thinking. Thus, the learning is theirs.

Think Aloud

A Think Aloud is another key routine done in Reading Apprenticeship classrooms. The faculty begins by reading and thinking aloud. This works well in the adult education classroom when the text is placed under a document camera. Small or challenging chunks of texts are modeled for the students and this modeling shows them the thoughts that an expert reader has as the text is read, sentence by sentence. We showcase the mental activity that runs through our minds as we red. These glimpses are authentic problem solving responses or engagement of the text.  By modeling the kinds of reasoning needed  for a specific text, students can unpack the text and comprehend it.  Furthermore, it helps move the students from the stance of being an outsider to becoming an insider in a disciplinary reading. Instructors model think alouds, then students practice in pairs, and as they do they uncover confusions. Sometimes this leads me to model again and show the necessary thinking and then we debrief our confusions and new understandings of the text.  I use metacognitive book marks to help students verbalize about the text. One these bookmarks are some sentence starter prompts such as

A questions I have is....The big ideas is .... I think the point is.... I am not sure of....   I wonder about .... I can see... I predict.

This routine helps students engage in discussing their reading processes.

For me, the four dimensions of Reading Apprenticeship are the key to handing the students a means or framework for accessing text, any text.  Reading is social collaboration and problem solving. It is an active, ongoing, and engaging meaning making.  


Snippet #2

… I just finished reading one of the books (Reading for Understanding: A Guide to Improving Reading in Middle and High School Classrooms by Ruth Schoenbach, Cynthia Greenleaf, Christine Cziko and Lori Hurwitz published in 1999 --maybe the first book on RA) outlining the strategies used in RA-- many of which are familiar to adult ed teachers since they have been around for a long time, e.g., use of graphic organizers, visualization as a strategy, reciprocal teaching -- i.e., questioning, clarifying, summarizing, predicting.

I am recognizing that some of the RA strategies are being recycled or adapted in Common Core and CCRS resources focused on "close reading." For instance, I came across Court Allam's blog recently in which he outlines five strategies for close reading, including:

1. Number the paragraphs

2. Chunk the text

3. Underline and circle  ... with a purpose

4. Write notes in the left margin: What is the author saying?

5. Write notes in the right margin: Dig deeper into the text

These strategies seem quite useful to me. In fact, I have already started incorporating some of this in my teaching with advanced English learners this semester and seeing some positive outcomes.

What do members think of these strategies for supporting students' close reading of complex text? Have you used any of these in your teaching? What other strategies have you found to be effective?

Cheers, Susan Finnmiller, Moderator, Assessment CoP

15. Reading:  Reading Informational Texts

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

I read this blog from Edutopia that I wanted to share with the community.  It highlighted a lesson for middle schoolers, but I believe would be perfect for adult learners. 

In the lesson, students were given the opportunity to analyze the text from two or more authors.  The iPad was used as a reference tool for the class.  The blog was titled Common Core in Action: Examining 2 Texts in the Social Studies Classroom.

Meryl Becker-Prezocki, SME

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