August 2017 Reading and Writing Community Newsletter

LINCS Reading and Writing
Community of Practice (CoP)
August 2017


Does it count as differentiated instruction if I print their worksheets in different colors?


Without trust we don't truly collaborate; we merely coordinate or, at best, cooperate.
It is trust that transforms a group of people into a team."
Stephen M.Covey, Wisdom for Today

How can we reinforce trust in our Reading and Writing Community of Practice (CoP)? Are we a team? Do you trust other members in this community, including your moderator, to listen to you and to do so in supportive and respectful ways? Do you trust that together we can find ways to approach even the toughest problems facing us and our students or programs? Do you feel safe posting your ideas and asking for help? Do you consider others in this community to jointly have the experience and knowledge you seek in meeting your goals among adult learners?

One way that we can reinforce the trust that we have in each other is to openly dialogue. That means stepping into discussions with a simple question or idea or simply responding to a colleague who was brave enough to post a prompt asking us to respond.

We are all super busy professionals with little time to "chat," but we need each other. There is no greater professional reward in my view than to dialogue with others of like mind and experience in the process of discovering new ways to look at things or to approach issues related to our adult learners. We don’t have to be face-to-face at a conference. We have a virtual community that connects us just as strongly as we experience at meetings.

Some of you “veteran” members have mentioned that it takes too much time to regularly participate in discussions. You say that you would rather just read what others are sharing and benefit from that. I invite you to reconsider. The LINCS system has really been improved in the past few years. Here’s what you can do.

  1. Sign up to receive 24-hour digests using the options listed on the Community page under “My Email Subscription to This Group.”
  2. Every 24 hours, you’ll receive an email from “LINCS Community - Your 24 Hour Digest for the LINCS Communities of Practice”, which will list all comments posted in all of the CoPs for which you opted to receive a daily digest.
  3. Click on any discussion that interests you (“More” link on Macs), and you will be immediately taken to that discussion and that comment. You will then be able to read what was posted. If you choose to respond, and I hope you do (!) simply click on the “Log In / Register” link at the top right of the LINCS page, log in, and you are immediately able to respond to the comment or enter a new topic from the Discussion tab. (I use 1Password, so all I have to do to log in is to click on the 1Password icon on my browser and I’m in!)

What ideas do you have to help us reinforce trust in each other? “Trust” me; you will benefit immensely from both sharing your expertise or concerns and from learning from others who share your work among similar learners. Working in Adult Ed is a challenge! We need one another! I have so much that I want to learn from all of those who share our Reading and Writing space! Let’s talk, laugh, and reflect together.

“See” you in the forums or right here if you choose to add a comment at the bottom of this post!

Thumbs up Welcome New Members!

We have had three new members join us in July: Ashley Winkle (featured in our last edition), Katherine Westrick, and L. Melissa Perry. Welcome! If you want to introduce yourselves right here, simply add a comment to this post and let’s get to know each other better. On the other hand, if you haven’t done so, you might prefer to introduce yourself in the “Getting to Know You” or in the “Introduce Yourself” forum, listed toward the top of your Discussions page.

Thumbs up Profile Setters!

We have had no new profiles listed this month. It is easy to complete your profile. Simply go to and follow the instructions. If you haven’t completed your profile, please do so right away so that we can get to know you better. If you want to know more about someone who posts a comment in a discussion, just click on that name, and the profile opens up. We are a community. Let’s get to know one another!

Take a few minutes to enter your information and picture. We want to see you! Then drop me an email that simple needs to say, “Profile Completed” so that I know it’s there. That’s it! I’ll feature you in our next newsletter! What a deal!

Thumbs up Hot Topics: LINCS Reading and Writing CoP

We covered the following topics in July. Those remain open, along with others in past months. If any of them tickle your fancy, click on the discussion under the “Discussions” tab and add your thoughts! There is also a “Search” link that allows you to find discussions posted using a key word.

1.    A list of Smart Phone or Computer Apps Useful for Adult Basic Skills Learners
2.    Adult Education Drop-In Centers (Using Drop-In Centers equipped with technology to help those with limited access to technology)
3.    COABE Journal Available Online
4.    Differentiate and Communicate (Discussion tied to the LINCS course with that name, providing excellent feedback and examples relating to differentiation)
5.     Digital Literacy and Literacy (Since we know that the practice of digital literacy significantly improves reading and writing skills, why don’t more instructors use digital tools?)
6.    From Hate to Love (What happens to have learners go from hating reading to loving it?)
7.    HyperDocs for adult basic skills education -- have you made one? Would you like to make one? (Great examples of what teachers or doing with HyperDocs)
8.     Infographic on Punctuation
9.    Integrate It! (An invitation to collaborate on integrating or contextualizing instruction among adults)
10. Learning to Read Changes Adults' Brains
11. Let's Share OER!  (An invitation to explore Open Educational Resources and share a few that you have found useful)
12. Online Course: Differentiated Instruction and Lesson Planning [This is an ongoing discussion matched to a course by that title.]
13. Phonics in ESL? (Thoughts about selecting materials based on phonics elements)
14. R&W July Newsletter!
15. Social Media Strategies Webinar
16. Writing in Math?  (Using animation tools to discuss the usefulness of helping students write better while practicing math)

Thumbs up LINCS Corner


Emerging Technologies in Adult Literacy and Language Education,” by Mark Warschauer and Meii-Ling Liaw, University of California, Irvine National Tiachung University, Taiwan, 2010

Although much has emerged in this field since this publication, the discussion includes rich suggestions on how to use still emerging technologies among adult learners.

What the Experts Say: This paper analyzes this new technological landscape and its significance for adult literacy and language education with a desire ”to spark ideas among policy leaders about the possible role of emerging technologies (i.e., those either arising or undergoing fundamental transformation in the past decade) in adult literacy and education.”

The article lists a number of emerging technologies (those arising or undergoing fundamental transformation in the last decade), ranging from audio and video production to games, wikis and blogs, to mobile devices, cell phones and open-source software. (Think of the tools at our disposal to reinforce language skills!) Relevant research is reviewed, and the costs, difficulties and advantages of deploying various technological approaches in adult education are discussed.

Not only does the paper address access issues for the adult education population, but it also cites examples of how technology tools are and/or can be used in the classroom. It provides a comprehensive overview of the existing research in the adult literacy field and taps educational research on other populations. Areas for further investigation and research are also noted. Practitioners will find the paper rich in ideas for supporting instruction with emerging technology.

Upcoming Events

Be sure to drop in weekly to review the exciting announcements on our LINCS Home page, and on our Community page, .


Circle It on Your Calendar for September 11-October 8th 2017

Our Reading and Writing Community cordially invites you to join its new micro grou: PIAAC Literacy Circle. The name may sound serious, but we plan to have great fun.

If you are interested and committed to becoming informed about the current state of adult literacy in the United States, and if you want to contribute to accelerating the rate at which our adults become empowered in their communities, this event is designed for you!

The LINCS PIAAC Literacy Circle…

  • is a teacher-to-teacher study, problem-solving, and product-development group co-led moderated by Leecy Wise, LINCS Reading and Writing CoP Moderator, and Diana Baycich, Literacy Projects Coordinator for the Ohio Literacy Resource Center at Kent State University.
  • will feature Amy Trawick the nationally-acclaimed Director of the Center for Adult Learning Leadership and Advancement, and author of the PIAAC Research-based Literacy Guide, Using the PIAAC Literacy Framework to Guide Instruction: An Introduction for Adult Educators Discussions. This resource will guide our discussions throughout our time together.
  • will meet for four weeks. Participants can expect to spend approximately 1-4 hours a week reading and contributing ideas in the Circle, depending on their level of involvement and time commitment, creating segments and discussing them with colleagues of like mind.
  • will create valuable resources (activities, plans, tips) to be distributed among Adult Ed ABE, HSE Prep, and Family Literacy instructors and their students everywhere.

Go to our Reading and Writing CoP home. You'll find the PIAAC Literacy Circle micro group listed on the right. Click on that link and "Join!"

 Thumbs up Featured Resources/Articles


One of our discussions last month (“Let’s Share OER”) discussed the benefits of using Open Educational Resources (OER) in instruction. Susan Gear posted a link to a text which she licensed as OER for all to use and modify. Thanks, Susan! (Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology) - Creating an open education ecosystem involves making learning materials, data, and educational opportunities available without restrictions imposed by copyright laws, access barriers, or exclusive proprietary systems that lack interoperability and limit the free exchange of information.

The U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign encourages states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning.

A good move: On October 29, 2015 the Department announced proposed regulations that would require copyrightable intellectual property created with Department competitive grant funds to have an open license. The Department has announced final regulations that require, with certain exceptions, that grantees receiving Department funds under a competitive grant program openly license copyrightable grant deliverables created with those funds.

Podcasts for Learning

15 Must-Listen Education Podcasts for Summer Vacation – “Podcast consumption is at an all-time high and growing every month. You’re a teacher on the go and your professional and personal lives can be crazy at times but your learning and growth shouldn’t have to take a backseat.” (June 6, 2017, by Christopher J. Nesi)

48 Hours of Joseph Campbell Lectures Free Online: The Power of Myth & Storytelling (2016) - "From the Star Wars trilogy to the Grateful Dead," says the Joseph Campbell Foundation, "Joseph Campbell has had a profound impact on our culture, our beliefs, and the way we view ourselves and the world." This collection, The Lectures of Joseph Campbell, which comes from early in his career, offers "a glimpse into one of the great minds of our time, drawing together his most wide-ranging and insightful talks" in the role of both "a scholar and a master storyteller." So not only can Campbell enrich our understanding of all the stories we love, he can spin his lifetime of mythological research into teachings that, in the telling, weave into a pretty gripping yarn in and of themselves.

Can you suggest ways of using this wonderful series among your students?

How to Create a Podcast For Dummies - Do you have students create podcasts? If not, why not? Being published is a great incentive for students to write and create wonderful projects. This 6-minute intro to podcasting invites learners to jump into podcasting in a few simple steps.

Thumbs up Tips/Resources for Encouraging Reading and Writing Practice: HSE Prep

Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age  -  Created by the News Literacy in partnership with the News Literacy Project. This site gives you access to a lesson series to address the essential Question: What is the role of journalism in a democratic society, and how can we become responsible consumers and producers of news and information in the digital age? Resource Objectives include the following:

  1. Investigate the choices and challenges facing journalists as they report on a story, including the importance of verification, sourcing, and other journalistic practices and standards.
  2. Understand the role that confirmation bias, stereotyping, and other cognitive biases plays in how we interpret events, news, and information.
  3. Explore the impact of social media on the traditional news cycle, and understand the role it can play in influencing public opinion and the press.
  4. Develop critical thinking and news literacy skills to help students find reliable information to make decisions, take action, and responsibly share news through social media.
  5. Consider their role as citizens in a democracy and their responsibilities as civic participants and citizen watchdogs.

Thumbs up Social Media Tips

Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas (Originally Published: February 26, 2013 | Updated: February 18, 2015) It can be a challenge to incorporate social media into lessons. There are many gray areas for teachers to navigate, like setting guidelines, accessibility at school, and student safety. To help teachers navigate this ever-changing landscape of social media tools, posted are some of the best guides on the web for four popular networks, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thumbs up Member Contribution

This section is awaiting your contribution. Share a practice, a resource, a tip, anything that you would like featured in this section! Email me, and you’ll be in our next newsletter!

Thumbs up Brain Games and Fun Things

What phrases do the images represent? Share them with your students!  If you solve the “word puzzles,” post your answer in this forum. I will no longer post the answers in the newsletter.

1.  rys         2.lov

Di Baycich solved one of last week’s puzzle. Did you solve the second one? Examine July’s image and you’ll find the solution: Mandarin orange!

Puzzle activities provide engaging ways to encourage vocabulary development, contextual meanings, and many other language-related skills. Try this site, and if you like it, send your students there:

Did you know that Jeopardy is one of the many, many popular games that you can create very easily in PowerPoint? Jeopardy provides enjoyable ways to review content, test vocabulary, provide a warm-up activity, and much more. Remember that as fun as they are, games need to be limited to very short times. Five minutes works very nicely. Following are a few sites to get you started.

Thumbs up Comments

To respond to any of the items in this newsletter, simply add a comment to this post, as with all discussion threads.

Let’s talk some more!

Leecy Wise, Moderatro
Reading and Writing CoP



As always, you are spot on with the information shared. I encourage our members to share this link with colleagues. This is the time of year we have new professionals entering adult education. It can be overwhelming to being and the LINCS platform can provide a much needed connection to peers with vetted, research-based information relevant to all aspects of adult literacy education.