Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS!



1.  MT LINCS RIB Update

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2.  Implementation of State Adult Education Content Standards Discussion

Beginning on Monday, June 9th, and continuing through Friday, June 20th, on the National Institute for Literacy Special Topics list, we will discuss the implementation of state adult education content standards. Experts from several states have been invited to talk about the opportunities and challenges they have experienced as they work with teachers, administrators and others who are developing curriculum, and designing and teaching lessons that reflect their state's content standards. Our guests include: Miriam Kroeger, from Arizona; Raye Nell Spillman, from Louisiana; Karen Lisch Gianninoto, from Maryland; Judy Franks, from Ohio; Pam Blundel, from Oklahoma; Philip Anderson, from Florida; and Federico Salas, from Texas.
I hope you will join us for this discussion. You will find background information on several of our guest experts below.
To subscribe to the discussion, go to: 
You can unsubscribe later by going to the same web page or, if you prefer, you can stay subscribed for the next discussion.
Background on Discussion Guests
Pam Blundell has been involved in Oklahoma's development and implementation of content standards since 2002-2003 when the state held its first discussions around the possibility of introducing the Equipped for the Future (EFF) teaching and learning system to the field. Pam was given the task of overseeing the state's first EFF pilot project in 2003-2004. During the EFF pilot year, the state decided to expand the EFF training and officially adopt EFF content standards statewide. At that time, Pam was asked to coordinate this long-term process. Pam has continued to be directly involved in the implementation and oversight of the integration of content standards into the adult education classroom. This process has involved the development of new tools and training processes and most recently, leading the state's Standards-In-Action (SIA) team. Prior to coming to the state, Pam worked as an adult education teacher integrating EFF standards into instruction.
Judy Franks is currently on staff at the Ohio Literacy Resource Center as a Literacy Projects Coordinator. She was involved originally with the Equipped for the Future (EFF) Standards-based System Reform Initiative, coordinating the Ohio Research Field Sites and training as a Certified State Facilitator. Judy has had experience developing and working with the standards at the program, state, and national levels. As a veteran instructor of training and development courses, Judy's background in adult basic education since 1992 includes family literacy, GED classroom instruction and the development of a workforce training program.
Karen Lisch Gianninoto's involvement with the Maryland Content Standards for Adults ESL/ESOL began when she was working part-time as an ESL instructor. She "was one of the teachers complaining from the field that we needed standards". As a full time high school teacher, she knew how helpful standards were in guiding instruction. Not long after, she was appointed to the ESL Workgroup that developed the content standards document.
Four years ago, she became the ESL Specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education. When she took the position, she was "grateful the content standards were finished. Little did I know that my work was just beginning. Over the past four years, the content standards have been revised three times, the ESL content standards have been implemented in all of Maryland's programs, state trainers have completed a training process, and a training manual was completed. Yet, there is more to learn about standards. Maryland has been most fortunate to participate in the CAELA and SIA Projects funded through OVAE. These projects have helped Maryland refine our training and provided instructors with the tools to understand content standards."
Miriam Kroeger has been involved in Adult Education as a volunteer, teacher, coordinator, administrator and specialist since 1972 and in Arizona since 1978. She has taught adult English learners and adults studying for their secondary school credential at a variety of locations including elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, jails, and prisons; she works with K-12 and adult educators, and has visited teachers throughout the state of Arizona. Miriam has served on state, regional and national committees; on the boards of the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning, the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association and Arizona Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. She has been on national working groups involved with adult education standards and teacher development and was an original team member in the development and implementation of Arizona's Standards for Adult Learners. She was also a member of the Standards Specialist/Resource Teachers team that assisted programs and instructors in the implementation of the standards. As an Education Program Specialist in the Arizona Department of Education, Adult Education Services unit during the past six years, one of her responsibilities was to spearhead the revisions to the Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies and ELAA (ESOL) Arizona Adult Education Standards. These revisions were published in December 2007, and the training process in understanding and utilizing the standards continues.

Raye Nell D. Spillman has worked in the Louisiana State Department of Education, Office of School and Community Support, Adult and Family Literacy Services for four years. Ms. Spillman holds an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in the field of education. She has taught in the K-12 public education system and served on numerous committees to advance the education of children and adults. After the approval and adoption of The Louisiana Adult Education Content Standards in October 2006, Ms. Spillman was instrumental in introducing the standards to adult education instructors across the state in collaboration with the Louisiana Association for Public, Community and Adult Education. The following summer, Louisiana applied for and was one of six states accepted to participate in OVAE's Standards-in-Action (SIA) project. Ms. Spillman headed the Louisiana team who accepted their charge to pilot test training materials for implementing adult education standards use in the classroom. Again this year, Ms. Spillman and the Louisiana team are looking forward to participating in Part 2 of the Standards-in-Action project. 

David J. Rosen
National Institute for Literacy
Special Topics Discussion Moderator

3.  Focus on Basics - Numeracy Issue

Don't forget the final National Mathematics Advisory Panel final report is available at I would encourage every ABLE program to visit the site to order a copy of the report. As with the National Reading Panel Report,  recommendations in this report will undoubtedly impact instruction in adult education. 

Margaret Bowles, Adult Literacy and Basic Education Specialist at OPI

The new issue of "Focus on Basics" (Volume 9, Issue A) is now available at .  Published by World Education, the theme is Numeracy.

Articles include:

  • using part-whole thinking in math
  • the importance of numeracy in adult basic education
  • designing instruction that addresses all of the components of numeracy
  • techniques for introducing new types of activities into the math classroom
  • the cultural aspects of mathematics
  • teaching algebraic thinking in lower level mathematics classes
  • TIAN: a professional learning model for ABE math teachers

Kaye Beall, Project Director, World Education

4.  MPAEA Conference 2009

Life-Long Learning Ė Itís More Than Luck!!!

Call for Presenters Due September 15, 2009


The Mountain Plains Adult Education Association Conference will be held March 1-4, 2009 in Las Vegas, NV.  Please submit your sectional ideas as soon as possible to assist the planning committee and plan to visit Las Vegas next spring!!! 


Just complete the following online form and submit it to Kathy Biagi, Program Chair, by September 15!!! 


Start saving your pennies and letís have a great conference in Las Vegas next spring!!!  I canít wait to see you all there!!


Suzette Fox

MAACE Board Chair


Click here for access to Call for Presenters form for MPAEA 2009.


5.  Montana ABLE Makes News

Montana ABLE programs have been in the news lately.  If there are any more articles about other programs, please forward that info on to MT LINCS.  Thanks!


GED Online

Click here for Billings Gazette article, "Program Expands Availability of GED". 

Adult Education Graduation

Click here for Billings Gazette article, "At Any Age They Are Graduates".

Click here for video of Billings Adult Education Graduation Faculty Award Winner, Leslie Baldwin.

6.  ESL Website for Using News in the Classroom

If you and your students have Internet access, here's a website that has very short current news items:

Click a category in the left column.  Click the play button to hear the story while you read.

Some vocabulary words are defined.  There is also a marquee-type scrolling of the latest

news items.

Donna Price
VESL/Tech Resource Instructor
San Diego Community College Continuing Education Program


7.  ESL Information from OVAE on 5/22/08

Immigrants Assimilate Quickly, But English Skills May Lag Behind

Immigrants who arrived in the United States after 1995 are culturally assimilating more rapidly than their predecessors, according to a new study at, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute, but their English language acquisition may lag behind. 

EL/C Professional Development for Teachers Online Now

New English Literacy/Civics (EL/C) professional development courses at to assist teachers in creating interesting and effective lessons that integrate U.S. history and U.S. government into adult ESL classes are free online now.  The Adult Learning Resource Center at developed this training with guidance from the Center for Applied Linguistics under an agreement with OVAE and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Citizenship. 

Hispanics Comprise 44 Percent Of Adult Ed Students

Data for the most recent program year show that Hispanics account for 44 percent of learners in adult education programs.  Hispanics increased as a percentage of total adult education students over the last five years, with the top three Hispanic enrollments last year at 395,032 students in California, in 133,760 students in Florida, and students 78,332 in Texas.

8.  Neurobiology and Dyslexia:  What We Know about the Brain and Learning

Here is a link to the National Center for Learning Disabilities talk with Dr. Guinevere Eden, Georgetown University researcher, about the brain, learning disabilities and dyslexia.  She addresses several questions regarding adults with dyslexia.

Anne Murr, M.S., Coordinator,Drake University Adult Literacy Center, School of Education
Des Moines, IA

9.  Free Reproducible Language and Early Literacy Materials

We have just posted a new set of free parent-child early literacy materials, titled "On the Go".  These materials include 14 activities designed to be used outside the home:  in the car, while walking, during bus rides, etc.  The activities encourage early language and literacy development from birth through preschool.  They are appropriate for children with disabilities as well as children who are developing typically.  The development of these materials was supported by Grant H324M020084 from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.


Free reproducible language and early literacy activities

Developed by Angela Notari-Syverson, Ph.D. and colleagues


To download materials go to and click on the purple button that says "Free Parent Education Handouts" on the home page.  Look for the "On the Go" file to download the materials in PDF format.


The new materials are designed to encourage parents to interact with their children while they are "On the Go" to facilitate language, early literacy, and positive parent-child interactions.  The materials include 14 activities as well as accompanying hints for each of the activities about how to modify the activities to meet the specific developmental needs of the child. 


For questions please contact:

Mary Maddox  

Washington Learning Systems

2212 Queen Anne Ave. N.   Ste. 726

Seattle, WA 98109

(206) 310-7401   FAX (206) 283-9243


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