Greetings from Montana LINCS

Having trouble with this email?  Click here for MTLINCS Email for 10/19/15.

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Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at

Information overload?

One of the purposes of MTLINCS is to provide you with not only state information but also snippets from national discussions.  Do not be overwhelmed:  just quickly scroll through the list of items to see what may be pertinent or of interest to you.

Montana Information

National Information

HiSET Information

Montana Information

1. Montana ABE Resources:  October

Contextualized Templates

·        ABE:  Skills for ABE

·        Fire Rescue

·        LPN/RN

·        Welding

HiSET Information by Jonna McDonough, Director, ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®)

HiSET 2016

2. Montana and ESL

ESL:  BEST Plus 2.0 News

Following careful consideration and consultation with programs, CAL has decided to launch BEST Plus 2.0 on July 1, 2016, to coincide with the start of the new program year. We believe this timing will work best for our customers.

You should continue to use the current BEST Plus for pre- and post-testing until June 30, 2016. Starting on July 1, 2016, you should only use BEST Plus 2.0.

We will be rescheduling the October webinars to early 2016. We will also share details about when you will be able to purchase BEST Plus 2.0 to have the tests available for your use on July 1, 2016.

Thank you for your continued support of CAL and our assessments and for the work you do to support adult English language learners. We encourage you to contact us by phone or email if you have any questions. Please also bookmark the BEST Plus 2.0 webpage for updates.

Daniel Lieberson, Director, Product and Service Operations, Center for Applied Linguistics

3. Montana and Math

ANN Newsletter (with comments from Margaret Bowles)

·        A summary of WIOA and its implications for numeracy teachers (EXCELLENT)

·       Contextualizing math using infographics  (GREAT for CNA STUDENTS)

4. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.  Logic Model resources now posted.

5. Montana and National News Information

Click here  to access a site that will take you to the most current information without your having to search.  More resources posted on 9/13/15.

6. WIOA Update

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Follow-up

Presentations posted on DLI website: under Data and Publications.

8/24/15:  WIOA Vision Document from US Department of Education

·       OCTAE Program Memorandum (OCTAE/DAEL 15-4) : Vision for the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act in the Workforce System and Initial Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; and

·       OSERS Technical Assistance Circular (RSA-TAC-15-02):  Vision for the State Rehabilitation Services Program as a Partner in the Workforce Development System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.Back to Top.

8/13/15:  WIOA Vision for One Stop Delivery System

WIOA Montana Updates:

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

National Information

7. Adult Basic Skills Webinar:  What’s Happening in Adult Basic Skills Programs - The Long-term Impact of ABS on Economic Outcomes, Postsecondary Engagement, and GED Attainment

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Title: What’s Happening in Adult Basic Skills Programs: The Long-term Impact of ABS on Economic Outcomes, Postsecondary Engagement, and GED Attainment

Event Type: Webinar Event and Online Discussion in the LINCS Community

Event Location: The Career Pathways, Financial Literacy, Postsecondary Completion , and Program Management groups

Date(s):        Webinar – October 19, 2015 (1:00PM – 2:00 PM ET); Register now!

Discussion – October 19-23, 2015         

Greetings Community Members,

Keep an eye on the LINCS Career Pathways, Financial Literacy, Postsecondary Completion, and Program Management groups. There’s only one week left until our joint discussion exploring Dr. Stephen Reder’s Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning (LSAL)!

Dr. Reder will kick off the discussion with an overview of the study during next Monday’s webinar. Be sure to register [hyperlink to registration page] for your chance to participate in this extended professional development opportunity for individuals interested in the long-term impact of adult basic skills (ABS) among literacy program participants and nonparticipants.

Following the webinar, we will continue the discussion throughout the week, ending on Friday, October 23, 2015, in the LINCS Career Pathways, Financial Literacy, Postsecondary Completion, and Program Management groups.

8. Career Pathways:  Career Pathways Turns One

Taken from LINCS Notice

The LINCS Community extends congratulations to the Moving Pathways Forward project’s Career Pathways Exchange as it hits its first-year milestone.

In honor of its anniversary, the Exchange has released a brand new podcast series aimed at advancing systems thinking about career pathways. In its first episode, the series examines developments in career pathways that have roots in secondary career-technical education.  Tune in to the LINCS YouTube channel for thought-provoking ideas and conversations anywhere and anytime. Then, take a deeper dive by joining the online discussion happening now in the LINCS Career Pathways group.

Last fall, OCTAE’s Moving Pathways Forward initiative launched the Career Pathways Exchange (the Exchange), and in just one year, this free, email-based career pathways information service has grown to more than 1,500 subscribers and 23 prestigious partner organizations. The Exchange offers subscribers the opportunity to receive high-quality information, resources, and events on career pathways from a single source. Additionally, it boasts a growing partner list that includes U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Center for Law and Social Policy, Jobs for the Future, the National Skills Coalition, New America, the Association for Career and Technical Education, and many more.

9. Career Pathways:  Making Skills Everyone’s Business – Webinar Posted

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The webinar recording is now available here

10. Career Pathways:  Workforce One’s ApprenticeshipUSA Online Toolkit – A New Tool to Advance Apprenticeship under WIOA

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

Looking for a new resource to jumpstart your training and business engagement strategies under WIOA?   Apprenticeship is a proven “earn and learn” model with benefits for employers and job seekers.  The Department of Labor’s new ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit is designed to help workforce development professionals implement apprenticeship strategies, expand apprenticeship partnerships, and take advantage of this effective work-based training model.  

Join Workforce One and by registering here for this event.  Registration for this webinar is limited and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit features resources to help you:

·        Learn about apprenticeship

·        Build apprenticeship partnerships and strategies

·        Integrate apprenticeship into business engagement

·        Fund apprenticeship programs under WIOA

·        Count apprenticeship in performance outcomes

·        And much more!

Join us to learn more on how apprenticeship can be a valuable strategy for the workforce system and how this exciting new tool can assist you in integrating apprenticeship into your suite of tools to assist U.S. workers in preparing for good careers.  For all workforce development professionals, from workforce board directors to case managers to business services staff and others, this webinar will show you how the ApprenticeshipUSA Online Toolkit can be used on-the-job.  Please join us to learn how you can use apprenticeship to build a pipeline of highly-skilled and motivated workers.

Presenter: John Ladd, Administrator, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Moderator: Chad Aleshire, Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Location:  Online webinar

Date:  Monday, October 26, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

11. College and Career Standards:  Promoting Higher Order Thinking (Part II:  Rubrics)

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

Part I:  The College and Career standards are designed to support students to enhance their critical thinking skills as indicated in Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK). This Edutopia article by Gerald Aungst, which focuses on Webb's DOK, highlights some practical techniques for increasing the rigor of instruction.

Susan Finnmiller

Snippet from article

Recently, educators have begun applying Webb’s DoK to help them design better instruction. Try this exercise to better understand the cognitive depth of the tasks you are using in your classroom and improve the rigor of your instruction:

1.   Keep a list or collection of every task you ask students to do in a day (or in one subject for a week), including classwork, homework, and projects.

2.   Sort the tasks into categories according to the four DoK Levels. Some resources which may help:

·        This DoK “wheel” (PDF, 34KB)

·        These examples of DoK levels for four content areas (PDF, 39KB)

·        These examples of using DoK in the fine arts (PDF, 102KB).

3.   Work with a team of colleagues to review the groupings. Many tasks are easily categorized, but some will require deeper discussion to clarify your understanding of the levels. Strive toward consensus. A few pointers:

·        The verb does not define the level. Instead, consider the cognitive effort that a student will use to complete the task. The verb "describe," for example, could be any level, depending on the kind of description.

·        It is common to find tasks that seem to fall in between levels. When in doubt, assign the higher level.

·        "Extended time" alone does not make a task Level 4. Lower-level tasks that are merely repeated over a period of time are still lower level.

4.   Analyze your groupings. What patterns do you see? Is there a reasonable distribution of tasks across the four levels? Do you notice anything unexpected?

5.   Rewrite a Level 1 or Level 2 task to be at least Level 3. These question stems are helpful in creating good tasks (PDF, 28KB).

Part II:  Rubrics to Analyze Depth of Knowledge

Rubric #1:  Rubric to Evaluate the Level of Higher Order Thinking Skills Required in a Lesson (Aligned to Webb’s DOK) by Susan Finnmiller


6 – Students create new learning at the Extended Thinking level

5 - Students arrange learning at the Extended Thinking level

4 – Students justify learning at the Strategic Thinking level

3 – Students apply learning at the Skill/Concept level

2 – Students explain learning at the Recall level

1 – Students taking notes only; no questions asked


Rubric #2:  Rubric by Edward Latham

This rubric offers a student-centric focus that really centers on what does the standard mean and what can I do to demonstrate it. As we all know, time pressures are frequent in the field and learners often lack persistence. A nice simple rubric, in easy to understand language can be helpful for learners to feel short term goals are attainable and that everyone can find success with a standard.

1 - Student has begun engagement with the standard
2 - Student has been able to demonstrate much of the standard but still has some refining to do
3 - Student has demonstrated the standard and has evidence

12. Common Core High School Equivalency Series:  Adult Education Leaders’ 2015 Webinar Series – Finding the Right Mix of Print and Digital in Your Adult Ed Classroom

Taken from McGraw-Hill Education Notice

Finding the Right Mix of Print and Digital in Your
Adult Ed Classroom

Event Location: Webinar

Date: October 21 4 to 5 P.M. EST

Blending print and digital instruction into your daily instruction is easier said than done. An increasing number of technology tools are available assist with helping adult learners prepare for their High School Equivalency Exam. Knowing how to use the right resource at the right time, without overwhelming your students (and yourself!), takes both planning and an understanding of the features and benefits of your programs.


During this 60-minute webinar, we will look at various approaches to effectively implementing digital programs into classroom instruction, focusing on:
   • Understanding the various models for mixed digital and print instruction
     (including “flipped” models, distance learning, etc.). 
   • Leveraging digital programs to assist and augment the role of the teacher
     within the adult ed classroom. 
   • Outlining key features of McGraw-Hill Education’s High School Equivalency
     series that allow for effective implementation of best practices in hybrid
     instruction for adult learners.

13. LINCS Events for October

Taken from LINCS Notice

October 19-22, 2015: Steve Reder will host a webinar on October 19 from 1-2:00 p.m. ET. The webinar will be followed by a week-long discussion in the Financial Literacy, Postsecondary Completion, Career Pathways , and Program Management groups. Register now for What’s Happening in Adult Basic Skills Programs: The Long-term Impact of ABS on Economic Outcomes, Postsecondary Engagement, and GED Attainment!

October 19- November 5, 2015: Reentry Education Model Implementation Study: Findings and Lessons Learned, hosted by RTI International, will include a two-week discussion and a webinar on October 22 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Register now for Reentry Education Model Implementation Study: Findings and Lessons Learned!!

14. Reading and Writing:  September Reading and Writing LINCS CoP October Newsletter

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

Click here to check out this resource for some great ideas!  Here are just a few:

·        Featured Resource:  Reading for Life Lessons

·        Featured Link:  Atlas (ABE Teaching and Learning Advancement System)

·        Tips for Teaching Reading and Writing

·        Social Media Tips

15. Technology:  New Online Resources on LINCS

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Tips for Teachers is highlighting LINCS online resources that might be new to you. Learn about new Digital Literacy Initiatives and if you  have not seen the LINCS Learner Centertake a look. 

Steve Quann

HiSET Information

HiSET® September 2015 Newsletter

New Resources

Practice Tests

The HiSET® Program is thrilled to announce the release of new practice tests! The Free Practice Tests, eBooks and Official Practice Tests in Language Arts – Writing, Language Arts – Reading and Mathematics have been updated to prepare test takers for the 2016 HiSET exam. The new releases include evidence-based writing prompts, a set of paired passages and new mathematics items. For a breakdown of the updates and how to purchase new tests, please see the Quick Reference Guide.

Program Manual

The 2016 HiSET® Program Manual is now available. This updated edition contains updates to the directions for administration, annual test book returns and other program updates.

Preparation Documents

The 2015 Test at a Glance is updated now to include more details and the College and Career Readiness Standards for the Mathematics section. This new PDF is available on the side bar of the HiSET Download Library.

The 2016 Test at a Glance (TAAG) is currently available on the download library. This new TAAG contains College and Career Readiness Standards for Reading, Writing and Mathematics. All subtest areas have been updated to include approximate percentages and new content areas.

Writing Section

The Scored Sample Writing Response Guide and Writing Response Scoring Guide (Rubrics) have been updated to include a new evidence-based writing prompt, a new writing sample and new rubric.

We added a new feature to the HiSET website. The HiSET program partnered with CareerBuilder to provide resources and options for after you've earned your state-issued credential. Visit our website to learn about these topics and more:

  • planning your career
  • understanding employment trends
  • writing an effective resume
  • preparing for an interview

You'll find useful strategies and tips that can help you find a job and build a career. Learn how to best position yourself for success by using the resources we have compiled to assist you.

Adult Ed Modules

If your state uses the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) assessments, you can utilize the new curriculum modules with your low-level literacy learners, including those with intellectual disabilities, in programs for Adult Basic Education, Special Education and Rehabilitation, and Workforce Learning! Learn more.

ETS HiSET Conference — Invitations to register have been emailed

When:  November 30-December 2, 2015

Where:  Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Registration is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. After registration has filled, you will be placed on a waiting list. If you have not received an invitation, please email

HiSET Success – Washington, Iowa

Two years after dropping out of high school in the 11th grade, Areli Espinosa thought she had everything with a loving husband and baby on the way. After her husband's sudden death, Espinosa's world was turned upside down. With the encouragement of family, Espinosa set out to fulfill her dream of getting her high school equivalency in order to become a nurse. Enrolled at Kirkwood Community College, she is on her way to achieving her goal. Read more about Espinosa's story.

Does your state or jurisdiction 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 and include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:


Montana HSE Update: September 2015­­­

Update:  10/19/15

·        HiSET 2016 Montana Presentation by Jonna McDonough, Director, ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®)

Update:  10/5/15

·       2016 Writing Response Scoring Guide:  NEW

·       2016 Scored Sample Writing Responses:  NEW

·       2016 Sample Questions:  NEW

·       2016 Test at a Glance:  NEW

·       2016 HiSET Program Manual:  NEW

Update:  8/31/15

HiSET 2015 Information Brief - Math

As many Math teachers requested, we have enhanced the Math information with a great deal of detail.  Teachers may expect a similar level of detail in our 2016 Informational Brief for all subtests.  This particular update was developed in response to feedback received from Math teachers across all HiSET states and territories.

Click here for the brief.

Estimate how well prepared you are for the HiSET exam:

Are You Ready to Take the HiSET Exam?

HiSET Preparation Materials 2015

Montana HiSET Resources

Check out the shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

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


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 email !  Thanks!

Norene Peterson, Adult Education Center