Greetings from Montana LINCS

Having trouble with this email?  Click here for MTLINCS Email for 12/7/15.

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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 interesting to you.

Montana Information

National Information:  *WIOA Items

HiSET Information

Montana Information

1. Montana ABE Resources:  November

NEW Contextualized Template (Wyoming is sharing templates based upon Montana templates.)

·       Criminal Justice:  Wyoming

2. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.  Logic Model and Contextualized Templates now posted.

3. 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 11/7/15.

4. WIOA Update

9/7/15:  WIOA Kickoff Follow-up

Presentations posted on DLI website: under Data and Publications.

WIOA Montana Updates:

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

National Information

*5. Career Pathways:  Integrating Employability Skills – A Framework for All Educators

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

In September, the College and Career Readiness and Success Center, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, and RTI International hosted a webinar showcasing a new, interactive learning module, Integrating Employability Skills: A Framework for All Educators. Building off of the Employability Skills Framework, the module prepares all educators to integrate employability skills into their everyday instruction.

During this webinar, presenters discussed the value and uses of the employability skills framework.  You can access a recording of the webinar here.

You can also access free downloads of the facilitator's guide, handouts, workbook, and presentation slides from the College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center). The modules are designed for facilitators to adopt them as written, or modify the them to reflect state and local context and priorities. If modifications are made, the CCRS Center requests that the following disclaimer be included in the revised materials: These materials were modified in whole or in part with permission from the College and Career Readiness and Success Center.

Mike Cruse

*6. Career Pathways:  The Literacy List – Work Readiness and Work-Contextualized Curriculum Websites

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

I have developed a new page of resources for the Literacy List whose focus is Work Readiness and Work-contextualized Curriculum Websites. I invite you to take a look, and perhaps find a (mostly free, mostly online) curriculum that meets your program's needs.  Note that there are several free online curricula for an ESL/ESOL population that contextualizes work in health care, construction and the building trades, and retail sales, many but not all of which are described in the LINCS resources collection.)

David J. Rosen

*7. College and Career Readiness and Success Center:  The Literacy List – Work Readiness and Work-Contextualized Curriculum Websites

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center is based at the American Institutes for Research External Links icon and funded through a grant by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Note from Tammie Hickey, Great Falls:  I had found this info previously but then when I was in New Orleans two weeks ago, I was able to go to a conference session they conducted.  This is amazing information that has common language and an excellent framework for employability skill, pathways, etc.  It is funded by OCTAE and is FREE.  I will be sharing this complete site with my staff and conducting professional development with them using the resources that are available on this site.

8. ESL:  Conversation Activities

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

Hot Seat activity:  Student-Generated Interactive Questions and Conversation Activities


The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies


… a blog by Jennifer Gonzalez with A Big List of Classroom Discussion Activities. These activities are not all designed for language learners, but most of them can easily be adapted for English learners at different levels. You may find some activities that are familiar, and I'm sure you'll find some new ones to try as well. Most of the activities require minimal prep.

Concentric Circles:

One from Jennifer's list that has been a favorite of mine is called Concentric Circles -- what I've usually called Inside Outside Circles. I have found this activity to be excellent for learners at the intermediate level, but it can be adapted for beginners and advanced learners, too. Students form two concentric circles and face a partner. The teacher gives a conversation prompt, which can be anything at all. For example, talk about what you did on the weekend or talk about the work you did in your country or talk about how you celebrate weddings in your country, etc. Making the topic fit the theme you are working on is ideal…

Susan Finnmiller

9. ESL:  Formative Assessment for ELL Classrooms Webinar on December 10

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Register for the upcoming webinar hosted by LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center and find out how Chris Bourret incorporates formative assessment  in his classes, using Socrative

Improving Teaching Using Technology for Formative Assessment

Systematic formative assessment makes a difference in how well students learn.  Find out how you can improve teaching and learning by hearing what formative assessment is and the research upon which it is based.  Learn how technology tools can improve learning outcomes by providing learning progress information to teachers and to students. A panel of adult educators will share how to implement online and mobile assessment tools into the classroom.  See how these tools can be adapted and added to your teaching toolbox.

Date:  Thursday, December 10, 2015, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm

Presenters:  Christopher Bourret,  Ed Latham, Dr. Susan Finn Miller,  Dr. David Rosen

Hosts: Ben Bruno and Steve Quann, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, a project of World Education

Pre-webinar assignment:   TEAL Center Fact Sheet: Formative Assessment

Register now! 

10. Instruction:  Financial Literacy

Taken from LINCS Financial Literacy

Check out this online curriculum for students (in English and Spanish)! Making Every Dollar Count  and this award winning curriculum with professional development and teacher support from the University of Arizona Take Charge Today.

Michelle Carson

11. Math:  Tool to Guide Math Practices

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

Are you familiar with SERP's "The 5 x 8 Card" to guide the CCR math practices? This card could be valuable for teachers to keep handy while lesson planning to ensure that math lessons include regular opportunities for students to engage in the math practices. I appreciate that the focus of the card is on observing students for the specific actions that demonstrate the CCR math practices.

For instance, to create opportunities for students to demonstrate Math Practice 3: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others and Math Practice 6: Attend to precision, "The 5 x 8 Card" emphasizes the fact that "academic language promotes precise thinking." Teachers observe and listen to see that "students look for more precise ways of expressing their thinking, encouraging each other to look for and use academic language."

Susan Finnmiller

 *12. Reading:  Teaching Adults to Read Study Circles for Winter and Spring

Taken from LINCS Math and Numeracy

A FREE Professional Development Opportunity brought to you by LINCS.

Facilitated online study circles for adult educators who want to learn – and practice - more about assessing and teaching the components of reading.

Winter series: Teaching Comprehension. Spring series: Teaching Vocabulary 


This study circle series focuses in-depth on implementation of the reading components into personal instruction practice. Meeting in interactive webinars once a week for a month, teachers form a cohort community and together explore research-based strategies for teaching and learning reading with struggling ABE and ELL readers. Participants develop a Participatory Action Research (PAR) plan as part of the study circle, in which they design research-based reading activities, implement them, and reflect on their meaning for student learning and their own professional growth in instructional practice. Participants are supported to develop a portfolio to document what they have learned.

The facilitator, Kristin Ockert, and presenters (Christie Knighton and Shash Woods) are Adult Education instructors and Professional Development specialists with decades of experience.


Each series starts with Teaching Adults to Read: Introduction to Effective Reading Instruction Research. This is a single session offered quarterly the week prior to the start of a component series, which participants must take at least once before participation in a component series. Component series are comprised of 4 sessions, one week apart.

State-tailored Sessions: Sessions tailored to specific states can be negotiated for a timeframe and schedule that suits the needs of their participants. Each session is 2 hours long.

Open Sessions:  Sessions that are open to participants nationwide take place on the same day and time slot each week, typically Fridays, by time zone -  12:15-2:15 PM Eastern, 11:15-1:15 PM Central, 10:15AM-12:15 PM Mountain, 9:15 AM-11:15 PM Pacific, 7:15 – 9:15 AM Hawaii.

Teaching Adults to Read: Comprehension               Introduction session January 29, 2016; Component sessions February 5, 12, 19, and 26.

Teaching Adults to Read: Vocabulary                      Introduction session April 8, 2016; Component sessions April 15, 22, 29, and May 6.

Teaching Adults to Read: Fluency and Alphabetics schedules TBD.


Each component series may be taken as a separate set of modules, or all of them may be taken to qualify the participants to receive a Teaching Adults To Read Series Certificate of Completion from OCTAE, US Dept of Education.

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

13. Technology:  Improving Teaching Using Technology for Formative Assessment Webinar – December 10

Taken from LINCS Notice

Event Title: Improving Teaching Using Technology for Formative Assessment

Event Type: Webinar & LINCS Community Discussion

Webinar Registration: Click here to register.

Webinar Date and Time: December 10, 3:00–4:30 PM EST

On December 10th from 3:00 – 4:30 PM EST, join Ben Bruno and Steve Quann of the LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center as they host a webinar showing the benefits of using technology tools to track student progress. The presenters are Christopher Bourret, Ed Latham, Dr. Susan Finn Miller, and Dr. David Rosen.

The webinar will first delve into the evidence-based design of formative assessment. A panel of adult educators will then share their experiences in implementing online and mobile assessment tools into the classroom.

In January, we will hold a microgroup extending this topic. Stay tuned for details!

14. Writing:  New Online Google Apps for Education Tools to Help Writing Teachers

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing

This EdSurge article may be of interest. It's about a new project, one of the 13 highest-rated applications in an annual federal grant competition, A New Vision to Personalize Writing Instruction. "The project will test whether Google Apps for Education and supported extension tools can help teachers create, distribute and provide feedback on writing assignments more efficiently—and whether these workflow improvements have any measurable impact on students’ writing abilities."

In 2012 Andrew Stillman, Director of Systems Development, and his team at New Visions, released the free app, Doctopus, "a Google Drive extension that helps teachers manage class rosters in a Google Sheet and assign different files to different groups of students. Teachers can keep track of students’ work progress and manage editing privileges."

"A year later, Stillman released another [free] extension, Goobric, that allows teachers to create rubrics, grade assignments and leave text and audio feedback; the grades automatically get recorded in a Google Sheet." The rubrics and audio feedback to students might be especially appealing to adult education teachers who are looking for more efficient ways to assess and give feedback on writing.

For those who already use (free) Google Apps for Education to help students with writing practice, this project -- and these already available apps -- may be of interest. For others who teach writing and whose students have access to the Internet, getting professional development in how to use google education apps, and perhaps the free Google Classroom suite, would be helpful. One free online source of professional development in using technology for you, and your students is GCF Learn Free In this context, their Using the Cloud self-paced instructional modules may be a place to begin.

David Rosen

 HiSET Information

HiSET® November 2015 Newsletter


Ordering Test Materials for 2016

The 2016 paper-delivered HiSET® tests are on their way to test centers nationwide. The quantities sent to your site are calculated by the HiSET Test Administration Services (TAS) and are based on past and projected usage. Our new method of test distribution alleviates the burden of calculating battery bundle quantities for chief examiners. To ensure that there is no confusion about process, the "Ordering Materials" tab on your portal has been removed. If you have any questions, please contact your TAS representative.

Returning Test Materials for 2015

All 2015 HiSET test books must be returned to the ETS warehouse at the conclusion of the 2015 testing year by chief examiners. Because of policy and procedures, you may not keep the test books for any reason whatsoever after the 2015 testing year concludes.

Please return all test books to:
Inbound Processing Center
200 Ludlow Drive
Ewing, NJ 08638

The test books should be returned, sorted and counted by subtest and form, (e.g., count by Math Form A, Math Form B). Please label each box in your shipment with the center's name or HSTP number, and keep a record of the tracking numbers.

Unused answer sheets can be used in 2016 and do not need to be included in your returns. See our 2015 Test Materials Return (PDF) and 2015 Test Materials Return Notice (PDF) for detailed instructions.

Quick Reference Guide

The HiSET Quick Reference Guide (PDF) is a detailed list of all HiSET practice tests that are currently available. Please use this resource when choosing which practice tests to purchase or download.

HiSET Reminders


Please make sure to include your test center number when you submit the schedules for your test center.

HiSET Success Stories

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: October 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