Greetings from Montana LINCS

 Having trouble with this email?  Click here

for MTLINCS Email for 8/31/15.

Looking for past emails?

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

Information overload?  Just scroll through the list of items to see what may be pertinent for you.

Montana Information

WIOA Kickoff Followup Coming Soon!

1. HiSET Blast

HiSET® Program eUpdate | August 2015

Practice Tests

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

Program Manual

The 2016 HiSET Program Manual (PDF) will be available on our Download Library on September 1, 2015. This new edition contains updates to the directions for test administration, annual test book returns and other program updates.

Preparation Documents

The 2015 Test at a Glance (TAAG) (PDF) has been updated to include more details and a new section on the College and Career Readiness Standards for the Mathematics section. This updated PDF is available on our Download Library.

The 2016 Test at a Glance (TAAG) (PDF) will be released and available on our Download Library on September 1, 2015. The new 2016 TAAG (PDF) will have 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 and Writing Response Scoring Guide (Rubrics) have been updated to include a new evidence-based writing prompt, a new writing sample and a new rubric and will be available on our Download Library on September 1, 2015. You can access both the Scored Sample Writing Response and Writing Response Scoring Guide (Rubrics) on our Download Library.

Sample Items

New sample items for all subtests with Depth of Knowledge levels will also be available on September 1, 2015. You can access these new sample items on our Download Library.

Expired Vouchers Policy

Organizations or individuals that have purchased vouchers have up to six months from the date of expiration to notify us that they would like to be issued new voucher numbers for those vouchers that have not been redeemed. After six months from the expiration date, the voucher will be removed and unavailable for further use. Please contact us at so we can assist you with this process.

Registering Test Takers — Important Reminder

When registering test takers, please click the submit button only ONCE. Double-clicking creates duplicate batteries and appointments in our systems.

Save the Date — ETS HiSET Conference


November 30–December 2, 2015


Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
500 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Registration is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration information will be available soon.

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 Bill Kopco 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: August 2015­­­

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.


HiSET Test at a Glance Update

Greetings HiSET States & Territories-

Just a quick update on revisions to our Test At A Glance (TAAG) document.

We will be making modifications to the HiSET TAAG, specifically to provide additional information in Math. This update will be released the week of August 10th.

Also, as a reminder the 2016 TAAG will be released on September 1st. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Jason A. Carter, National Director, High School Equivalency Testing (HiSET®)|Educational Testing Service


Save the Date! 

2015 HiSET Conference

November 30 to December 2

New Orleans

Registration and Exhibit information available soon!


As you know, we are continuing our efforts to improve processes and ensure test integrity through the practice of regular, random test center audits. These audits are meant to ensure consistency in the processes followed to deliver the HiSET nationally, and are in no way an attempt to impede testing or to get centers “in trouble”. Our efforts are related directly to best practices, and we hope that this process continues to create an environment where centers can grow and learn and improve processes, as well as offering an opportunity to find centers that exemplify what we consider stellar center management. We are sending out the reminder to test centers below this week, as we’ve had a handful of centers surprised by their audits, and want to remind everyone that these audits are standard, customary practice and in no way should impact their day to day operations of delivering tests.

As part of our ongoing commitment to quality and consistency in the delivery of the HiSET exam, a test center observer may visit your center the day of the test or the week preceding it. You should check the observer’s identification and letter of authorization from ETS Office of Testing Integrity. If you are still in doubt about the identity of the auditor, you should call the number on the letter to verify the visit. Test center observations are scheduled to ensure that procedures and facilities meet test center standards. The observer will want to monitor as many aspects of the administration as possible, particularly test security arrangements and procedures, testing environment conditions and any evidence of recent changes in program policies, procedures, or requirements. It is requested you provide full cooperation to the observer, however, an observer should not in any way impede you or your staff in the execution of the test administration. These audits will be unannounced and are random and ongoing throughout the testing year in all of our HiSET jurisdictions. You can always contact Test Administration Services at 1-800-257-5123 for additional questions or information regarding test center audits.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Amy E. Briggs

Director of Product Management

ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)



HiSET Accommodations Overview for 2014


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.

2. Montana Instruction

Check out #7 - #14.

3. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

4. 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 8/24/15.

5. Montana Program and Student Highlights

Congratulations to our new citizens in Great Falls!  Click here.

6. TABE:  Participate in the TABE 11 & 12 Field Test Review

Data Recognition Corporation | CTB will be field testing new test items for the development of new TABE® forms. To achieve this goal, we need your help. We invite your program to join in this national field test review. You will have the opportunity to view and respond to test items that may appear on the new TABE 11&12.

Programs electing to participate will benefit in several different ways. First, they will contribute to improving the quality and development of the adult assessments they already use to effectively assess the skills and knowledge of adult learners. Second, they will gain familiarity in experiencing the new TABE forms. And finally, as a thank you for participating, both your program and students will receive monetary compensation.

Learn More 
For additional information on participating in the TABE 11&12 national field test, please fill out this brief survey. After you fill out the survey we will keep your information on file and will contact you when we are ready to begin the field test.

To access the survey, click
here »

For questions about prequalification for the field test study please contact:

Mike Johnson
National Adult Education Manager
Data Recognition Corporation | CTB

7. WIOA Update

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

8/10/15:  Montana WIOA Kickoff Follow-up Coming Soon

WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here  to access the following:

Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

National Information

8. College and Career Standards:  Next Generation Assessments for Adult Education

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

Last fall, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education held a meeting of assessment experts to discuss the next generation of assessments for adult education accountability. The paper <Developing Next Generation Assessments for Adult Education> presents a summary of that discussion on two topics: 1. Approaches to assessments for accountability in adult education and 2. Characteristics and approaches for next generation assessments. The paper is also posted on the National Reporting System website at:

Ronna Spacone, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education

9. Reading:  Adjusting Reading that Is Too High Strategies

Taken from LINCS Postsecondary Education

I am interested in using an article by Laura Tropp, A World Without Time and Moneywith students who will be working in a blended learning environment.  Many are English speakers of other languages but in this context are part of a group of adult learners (both ESOL and native speakers) transitioning to health career programs at their local community college.  This article is approximately at the 9+ GLE.  Most of the students are reading at the 6-8 GLE.  The students will write a short summary of the article and add a reflection that considers if our digital world discourages skills that we need.  What do you suggest?

Strategy #1

… There is some vocabulary that, although important, might be unknown to many students (broaching, obsolete, perspective, transaction). Maybe you can highlight these words in the text and give the meaning or a synonym. There are also some complex sentences and maybe you could have an alternate version of the text that is edited for those students reading at a lower level. Breaking compound or complex sentences into shorter sentences could bring it down a grade-level or two.  If it will be used in a class situation there are some interesting idioms to discuss (stealing a glance, change-making skills, no uncertain terms) that are probably new for ESOL students and maybe for native speakers as well.

There is a great tool on the website Achieve the Core called Academic Word Finder that allows you to enter a text and it will highlight Tier 2 words (academic words) at a specific grade level that might help to identify which words might be most problematic for your students.

Strategy #2

One is to use the site Rewordify to simplify the language. You can copy and paste the article and Rewordify changes some of the words to lower the reading level.

The other is to use the article as is and provide the kind of scaffolding that students would need to learn to read complex texts: preteach some vocabulary, chunk the text into shorter sections and tackle them one at a time. Discuss the article so confusions can be cleared up. Tim Shanahan's blog  has lots of good ideas. 

You might also find some helpful ideas in the Reading Apprenticeship discussion that was held a while back, or in the book if you have a copy or can get hold of one. 

Strategy #3

Another suggestion is to have more advanced students simplify/rewrite the content as an exercise for them and a wonderful benefit to others. We learn what we teach!

As for vocabulary building, my very, very favorite tool is Students look up or discuss terms with others, after which they go to quizzlet and create flashcards. The beauty of the site is that once the cards are created and, often, illustrated, students can click on different options to review the terms, play games with the terms, and test themselves. Cards are easy to create and then become available for everyone to see. Some of the teachers here are introducing medical terms that way, sometimes creating the cards for students and then having them practice them in quizzlet.

Below are links to a couple of quizlets that one of "my" developers has created lab modules for a STEM project we are implementing. When they open, look at the top menu for all of the options to practice the terms!

10. Reading:  Resource for Addressing ELA Standards with Paired Texts

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

Check out .  At this site, you can search for reading materials based on Lexile (or grade) Level as well as by topic. We are using more informational texts these days, but you can also find poetry and narrative texts on ReadWorks. After registering on the site for free, you can download PDFs of the articles and print them. Each article is aligned to specific standards and includes question sets for each. 

A feature you can choose to search for "paired texts," i.e., texts on similar themes to support students to extend their knowledge and understanding of a topic and to address ELA Anchor 9: "Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take."

For instance, an article about "Earth Science: Hurricanes" at Lexile Level 830 is paired with an article about "Spinning Thunderstorms," i.e., tornadoes.

Susan Finn Miller

11. Technology:  Instructional Design Objectives and Online Tools to Help Accomplish Them

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning

This is a new feature of the Technology and Learning CoP, a permanent ("sticky post") thread where members of the Technology and Learning CoP, and other CoPs, can post an instructional or program design objective and ask for help in identifying online or other digital tools that have potential for addressing that objective.  Click here to access:

Here are some examples of instructional and program objectives for which there may be good technology solutions, online tools to:

·        Save and organize promising online tools

·        Add or improve a program or class online learning presence (a website, online storage site, shell program etc.)

·        Automate reminders to students

·        Use online formative assessment tools as a teacher to learn, and help students learn, what they know before and after a lesson

·        Experiment with or improve a flipped learning model by finding and/or creating video presentations that students watch before class and using class time for one-on-one or small group assistance or for project-based learning or other engaging activities

·        Share computer screens in real time with distance learning or blended learning students

Post your instructional or program design objective or goal here and ask for help in identifying online tools. There are plenty of experts here that can help.

David J. Rosen

Suggestion #1

"I have been using Seesaw, The Learning Journal.  It's a great way for students to capture learning as it happens.. "

David J. Rosen

Suggestion #2

Zaption:  … We love video as pre-work, but other than being able to see that they opened the video, we couldn't really confirm they gleaned the content. I discovered a tool that lets you add questions to segments throughout. It's called Zaption, and it is the COOLEST thing since Web 2.0!

You can find it at:

12. Technology:  Open Educational Resources Discussion

Taken from LINCS Notice

What are OER?

“Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits sharing, accessing, repurposing—including for commercial purposes—and collaborating with others.”

What’s the difference between an open resource and a free resource?

Free is great.  Open is great.  The difference between the two is the legal permissions attached to OER that allow for modification, unlimited sharing, unlimited access, and modification. (Yes! I mention modification twice. J It’s that important.)

Free resources are valuable, and we are not suggesting that you do not use them.  We are encouraging you to learn about, use, and even create OER in addition to the other resources you already use.  Determining if a resource is an OER or not can be tricky if you don’t have much experience doing so.  Understanding the legal terminology can be time consuming and confusing; however, once you know what to look for, it becomes much faster.  The greatest value in resources that are open is that open resources allow users to remix and revise the content legally and then share that revision with the rest of the open community.  This provides the opportunity for users to take a great resource and modify it to match their students’ needs and instructional objectives, as well as add to the supply of instructional materials – for us, it’s adding to the less robust pool of adult focused materials.   

Snippet #1

I just went of OER Commons and found this link

The activities are for k-12, but can easily be modified for adult ESL students.  For instance, I downloaded a graphic organizer for a simple letter/email, something that I do with my students each cycle.  There are also sample letters, with and without mistakes.

Linda Neas

Snippet #2

We created an OER Commons group for saving adult education specific OER.  It's called "Adult Education Open Community of Resources" and as of this morning, there are 189 resources saved to that group.  Within the group we created subfolders:  Adult ESL, Math, Science, Workforce Prep, Digital Literacy and Teacher Professional Development are some examples of these folders.  Because it is a public group anyone can join and create different folders.

Snippet #3

1.  Paragraph writing

2.  Using Sensory Adjectives to Write Descriptive Paragraphs

To find any resource you can go to OER Commons and use the search feature, too.  As part of the LINCS ESL Pro teacher user group process, teachers were asked to 'tag' all evaluated resources with "Adult ESL".  If you put this phrase in the search feature, you will find Stephanie's resources and all of the others.  This would give you multiple options to choose from for use in your class. Marcela also made a great point when she mentioned that even if a resource isn't tagged Adult ESL, because the resources are open, you have the option of modifying them so they are appropriate for your learners and then you can share your modification and tag it, contributing to this growing body of adult specific teaching and learning materials …

Amanda Duffy

…using transition words:

Stephanie Sommers

13. WIOA:  Request for Comments on WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements

Taken from LINCS Notice

The Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development are soliciting comments concerning a collection of data that will be used for unified and combined state plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  The WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements is a consolidated information collection that would implement sections 102 and 103 of WIOA (P.L. 113-128). WIOA requires that, no later than March 3, 2016, each State, at a minimum, submit a Unified State Plan as a condition of receiving funds for core programs subject to the Unified State Plan requirements. In the alternative, States may submit a Combined State Plan as a condition of receiving funds under certain named programs subject to the Combined State Plan provisions. See 29 U.S.C. §§ 3112 and 3113The Unified or Combined State Plan requirements are designed to improve service integration and ensure that the publicly-funded workforce system provides a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.  To that end, the Unified or Combined State Plan would describe how the State will develop and implement a unified, integrated service delivery system rather than discuss the State’s approach to operating each program individually.

A copy of the proposed Information Collection Request with applicable supporting documentation may be accessed at by selecting Docket ID number ETA-2015-0006 or directly at!documentDetail;D=ETA-2015-0006-0002The comment period is open for 60 days and closes on October 5, 2015.  Any comments not received through the processes outlined in the Federal Register will not be considered by the departments.  Technical assistance materials will be available at

14. Writing:  Formative Assessment Tools - Blog Article

Taken from LINCS Assessment

This EdSurge blog article that I read today is important for all adult education writing teachers who are interested in efficient and effective ways to assess student writing. The author, Chris Aviles, a New Jersey high school writing teacher, advocates not buying assessment software but, using Google Forms, Sheets and Folders, building a writing assessment system yourself, one that involves students not only as (blog essay, not traditional essay) writers, but also as assessors. As is usually the case, he finds that students are a little tougher in their grading than he is.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 !

David Rosen

Norene Peterson

Adult Education Center

415 N. 30th Billings, MT 59101