Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Happy Holidays!

Stay tuned for more MTLINCS in 2015!

Montana Information

1.   HiSET Blast


HiSET® Program eUpdate | December 2014


Portal Enhancements

HiSET Host wants to share this WebEx recording with you.

Message from host: Please share this webinar with your test centers. The webinar includes information on portal enhancements taking effect on December 29th, 2014, all of which was shared at the conference.

ETS HiSET Portal Enhancements 2014-20141215 1612-1
Monday, December 15, 2014
11:28 am | Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)


The HiSET® program would like to extend warm holiday wishes to everyone during this special time of year. This has been our first full year of testing and we are excited about all we were able to accomplish — in providing a more affordable and accessible option to states. We owe our success to all of the states, territories and tribal nations that have chosen to adopt the HiSET exam. We definitely couldn't have done it without your feedback and support. We are eager to build upon the success of 2014, as we move into 2015. We look forward to working with our existing clients and with new states seeking alternatives to high school equivalency. Happy holidays and a prosperous new year!

Test Center Reminders

Holiday Hours:

It's the holiday season and many of us are taking vacations after a busy year! If you are unable to reach your normal Test Administrative Services representative, please remember to email so that another representative can assist you. ETS has coverage in place for anyone out on vacation and we will be able to serve you quickly in the event your representative is taking some time off for the holidays. You can also call Test Administrative Services (TAS) at 1-800-257-5123 and you will be directed to an available representative. ETS will be closed on December 24–26, 2014, for the holidays, as well as January 1–2, 2015, for the New Year's holiday.

System Maintenance:

ETS will be undergoing system maintenance on Sunday, January 4, 2015. Registration, scheduling and testing will be unavailable on this day. Centers will receive a separate communication regarding opening up on Monday, January 5, 2015, as some action will be required when you reboot your machines.

For PBT Centers:

If you have any questions about your 2015 materials orders, please feel free to reach out to TAS at 1-800-257-5123. If you find that you have received more materials than you expected, please return those materials using the 2014 materials return instructions. A quick reminder — any used and unused materials from 2014 should be returned at the end of your testing year.

HiSET® Practice Test Options:

There are three HiSET Practice Test options available for order and download. The 2014 Paid Practice Tests (PPT) and the 2014 Free Online Practice Tests (FPT) can still be used for preparation throughout 2015. We have added the Official Practice Test for state directors, educators and administrators to use as pretests.

Answer sheets for the PPTs and FPTs are available on the HiSET Download Library. They can be photocopied and reused as many times as necessary. By March 2015, we will add more practice tests that are comprised of released operational items.

The 2015 Official Practice Tests (OPTs) are:

  • New for 2015
  • Paper books
  • $10 each, plus a $5.50 flat shipping fee
  • Contain an answer sheet, answer key and score ranges
  • Order form is ORANGE
  • Restricted to state directors and HiSET test administrators ONLY
  • Can be purchased with purchase orders
  • Available in English and Spanish

* Note: Orders for OPTs will be delayed. The scoring scales are currently being reviewed to align with the HiSET exam.

The 2014 PPTs are:

  • PDFs
  • $7.50
  • Can be photocopied and reused
  • Contain answer key and score ranges
  • Available for public use
  • Order Form is YELLOW
  • Spanish forms are available on separate order form

The 2014 FPTs are:

  • Available for download directly from the website
  • PDFs
  • Spanish Practice Tests are located in the Spanish version of the website

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:



Montana HSE Information:  November

Marketing – New Item:  11/10/14

NEW:  Montana Tri-fold HiSET Information


Per your request, HiSET/EST has now included HiSET information in the trifold for you to post or print. You can use the designated text blocks for program/test center specific information.


Margaret Bowles


Click here  to access HiSET Trifold Templates for Montana.

·         HISET Trifold BW 2014 MT

·         HISET Trifold Clr v1 2014 MT

·         HISET Trifold Clr v2 2014 MT

·         HISET Trifold Clr v3 2014 MT

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 Instruction Ideas

Definitely check out the information about the book study in #7!

3.   Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here for MT_ABE_Regional_Mtgs_ Labor_Market_Information_Nov_2014.

Click here for Montana Job Projections 2012-2022.

Click here for Montana Job Projections Spreadsheet.

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

4.   WIOA Update:  WIOA Timeline

WIOA Montana Updates:

11/25:  WIOA Timeline and Action Plan for States

Update 11/3 – Chunk #5:  Margaret Bowles

Last week I participated in the Region IV WIOA Town Hall meeting. The Montana delegation participated via WebEX, and it was a wonderful opportunity to join eleven other states in voicing our questions and concerns regarding the implementation of WIOA. The six hour meeting opened with comments from national leaders representing US Department of Labor, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and Health and Human Services. Each spokesperson discussed why this new law is a game changer. For the remainder of the day, the participants were divided into work groups to address a series of questions. The responses to these questions will be used ensure the January guidance is clear, concise, and meets the needs of state WIOA partners. Below are the Town Hall questions and Power Point presentation.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss the questions or PowerPoint.

Margaret Bowles
Adult Literacy and Basic Education Director

·         Town Hall Questions

·         PowerPoint Presentation 

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

National Information

5. Disabilities Discussion:  Disabilities & Correctional Ed – A Special Discussion, Jan. 12-16

Taken from LINCS

Secure, correctional facilities house and offer educational programming to diverse populations, which may include individuals with assorted learning disabilities from mild to severe. From January 12 – 15, the LINCS Community will host the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Five Keys Charter School, which provides education services to San Francisco and Los Angeles’ County Jail, for a special discussion on Adult Learning Disability Populations within Secure, Correctional Facilities.

With the goal of examining how to best provide adult education services to students with learning disabilities, this conversation will be of particular interest to adult education personnel including those in correctional facilities as well as support personnel, program planners, career and technical educators, curriculum developers, assessment personnel, and professional developers.

The LINCS Community Team

6. Math:  How well does Khan Academy align to Common Core State Standards?

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy

Below is a tantalizing introduction by high school math teacher and Stanford University graduate student Dan Meyer to his blog article report on his close examination of what students are asked to do in the 8th grade Khan Academy math curriculum:

"Khan Academy claims alignment with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) but an analysis of their eighth-grade year indicates that alignment is loose. 40% of Khan Academy exercises assessed the acts of calculating and solving whereas the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s assessment of the CCSS emphasized those acts in only 25% of their released items. 74% of Khan Academy’s exercises resulted in the production of either a number or a multiple-choice response, whereas those outputs accounted for only 25% of the SBAC assessment."

For the full blog article, see 

David J. Rosen

7. Reading:  Book Study on Reading for Understanding - How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms

Taken from LINCS Assessment

The LINCS Community is pleased to announce its first book group, Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms.

A direct result of strong user interest and lively discussion, this book study will offer an online space for exploring the principles of Reading Apprenticeship while providing a reading schedule and discussion facilitated by Meryl Becker-Prezocki and Susan Finn-Miller.

Interested participants should start reading Ruth Schoenbach, Cynthia Greenleaf, and Lynn Murphy’s Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms,” and join the discussion in the January.

With the goal of enhancing professional growth and instruction to increase student achievement in reading, this event will be relevant to ABE teachers, professional developers, and interested stakeholders in the Reading and Writing, College and Career Standards, Assessment, and Evidence-based Professional Development groups.

Mark your calendars for this special discussion starting on Monday, January 5 in the Reading Apprenticeship Book Study microgroup. Please join the microgroup in order to participate.

Happy reading, and we look forward to speaking with you in the New Year!

The LINCS Community Team­

8. Reading:  Teaching Adults to Read – Study Circle for Alphabetics

Taken from LINCS

Implementing TEACHING ADULTS TO READ - Practitioner study circles for applying reading research to instructional practice!


A professional development opportunity brought to you by LINCS RPDC 4. The next session in this series of research-based, facilitated online Study Circles for Teaching Adults to Read begins in the new year!  Please see below for more information ...

Purpose: This study circle will focus in-depth on moving from knowledge about reading component research for adults to active skill building in using those approaches in personal instructional practice, using a Participatory Action Research approach. The program aligns with the objective in WIOA Legislation for implementation of researched-based “essential components of reading instruction.”

Participants:  ABE and ELL instructors will form a cohort community to explore reading research and evidence-based best practices, discuss implementation strategies and lesson plans, and share experiences in using their lessons with different student groups. Both teachers who are new to the reading components and those who have taken TAR online or face-to-face courses are welcome to participate. This is a great professional growth opportunity for full- and part-time teachers and tutors.

Process overview: The interactive study circle integrates National Academy of Sciences research with a review of the TAR Study Circle series content. The program consists of 1 Introduction Session and 4 sessions that make up each Component Series, with implementation tasks to be completed between sessions. For the Alphabetics Series, sessions will be on Wednesdays: January 21 (Introduction Session), and January 28, February 4, 11, 18 (Alphabetics Sessions). All sessions will take place in the same time slot. That is (by time zone) 2:15-4:15 PM Eastern, 1:15-3:15 PM Central, 12:15-2:15 PM Mountain, and 11:15 AM-1:15 PM Pacific. Registration deadline: by 5 pm on Monday, January 19!

The Introduction Session provides an overview of research on reading components broadly, and outlines the goals, study circle framework, activities, resources and expectations for the Series. It is comprised of 2 hours of online contact time plus 2 hours of pre-work and follow-up total. This single Introduction Session is a pre-requisite for subsequent Component Series – i.e. participants may enroll in any Component Series (Fluency, Alphabetics, Vocabulary, and Comprehension) after they have at least once participated in an Introduction Session. Each Component Series provides component-specific research and best practices content and is comprised of 8 hours of online contact time plus approximately 7 hours of homework. As the sessions build on each other, commitment to completion of all sessions in a series is essential. NOTE: Dates for the Vocabulary and Comprehension Sessions are TBD.

The program emphasizes a comprehensive and ultimately integrated approach to teaching reading – completion of all 4 Component Series is strongly encouraged. Certificates of Completion are available to participants have completed all 4 sessions in a Component Series plus the Introduction Session, and their professional portfolios. For on-going implementation support instructors are encouraged to join LINCS Community of Practice. This is great preparation for individuals who will become reading resource people for their colleagues!

The study circle will be led by educational consultant and Subject Matter Expert Shash Woods, who has 17 years of experience teaching Adult Education, as well as 15 years leading teacher training in content standards and andragogical practices. The facilitator will be Kristin Ockert, LINCS staff, with 12 years of experience in teaching Adult Education, as well as 15 years in creating and supporting professional development programs for ABE instructors and staff.

E-Platform: Blackboard Collaborate with up-to-date Java software.  Compatible Browsers: Safari 6.0 and above, Firefox 23 and above; Internet Explorer 9 and above; Chrome. Collaborate webinar site for computer set-up:

For registration or questions, please contact: Paul Heavenridge, Executive Director of LINCS Region 4 Regional Professional Development Center. EMAIL:

9. Reading:  Vocabulary Workouts for AWL

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

I have developed what I call "Vocabulary Workouts" for the first 60 words on the Academic Word List, and I would be pleased to share these with you. There is also a brief teacher's guide suggesting ways to use the workouts. I have been teaching one word per class, drawn from the materials we are reading, with students this fall and have found the workouts to be quite useful. With the emphasis on college and career readiness, it's clear that we need to be teaching and assessing academic vocabulary explicitly and structuring opportunities for students to use these words in speaking and writing in meaningful ways.

I'm copying an example of one workout below. If you would like to receive a copy of these Vocabulary Workouts, please send me a private message at, and I will be glad to send them to you.

You can consider this a holiday gift from me!

Susan Finnmiller

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