Montana RIB Update



Have you checked out the Discussions lately at on MT LINCS RIB?  The Great Falls staff has shared some of their ideas.  Thanks!  Click here to find out what Great Falls is doing!
Have you also checked out the Resources lately at on MT LINCS RIB?  A great link to a web video has been posted that gives you a glimpse into what it feels like to have dyslexia or AD/HD, as well as the civil rights case that opened the door for people with learning disabilities.   If you have not seen it, this is a must!  Click here to check it out!
When we talk about reading connections and best practices, we in ABLE know that frequently we provide adaptations in our students' learning environment by our matching materials and strategies to our students' needs.  Based on research, we have been on the right track.

It is important to understand the distinction between adaptations and accommodations.  When the term "accommodation" is used to describe the responsibilities of adult literacy programs, it refers to changes that are legally required to allow the adult to access and profit from the basic or essential services provided by a program.  The term "adaptation" refers to the routine changes that a teacher makes during instruction to increase learning.  Adaptations are usually not legally required and may be thought of as good teaching practices responsive to the heterogeneity within any group of learners.  Any curriculum that you select will need adaptations for some adults.

Bridges to Practice:  A Research-based Guide for Literacy Practitioners Serving Adults with Learning Disabilities.  Guidebook 3, The Planning Process.  NIFL, 1999, p. 41-42 


Idea 20

To improve ABE learners' general reading comprehension achievement (those ABE learners reading about Grade Equivalent 3), teach them to use a repertoire of several strategies that they can use consciously and flexibly as needed while reading and that enable them to become actively engaged in understanding a text.  Combinations of the following strategies are suggested by the research:  comprehension monitoring, cooperative learning, graphic organizers, story structure, question answering, question generation, and summarization.

Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (Krudenier, 2002, p.97)

So just what is story structure?  Story grammar?  What kind of adaptation does it provide?


The idea of teaching story structure is based on the fact that all stories have similar features and all have plots that are organized into episodes.  By analyzing a story's structure, the reader becomes aware of the important story elements, and this awareness facilitates comprehension and memory. 

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults:  First Steps for Teachers (McShane, 2005, p.88) 

(For more specific information about Story Structure, download at and go to pages 88.)


Although much of the research provided this year has been taken from Kruidenier and McShane as a follow-up to the Reading is the Bridge conference, we ABLE professionals also know that the adaptations we provide cross over into all curriculum areas.  Analyzing a story's structure can be compared to analyzing a math word problem.  Isn't that right? 


Remember!  This is National Environmental Education Week.  Even plants and animals make adaptations to help themselves survive in different areas.  So what are some of the adaptations you have made for your students to help them survive in the learning environment?  Share them with MT LINCS! 


P.S.  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