Volume 6, Issue 6
Hot Sites from Instructors
Another EDU 132 with CCCOnline has ended
with hankie sniffs and best wishes. This semester's instructors have
recommended the following sites as resources for teaching GED/ASE,
ESL, ABE or Family Literacy students. These resources cover topics that
encourage you to drop "sage on the sage" practices and adopt new
strategies for reaching adult learners. Thanks to
Cheryll Bean, Kay Buffington, Jane Breaux, Nathan Fields, Pamela Lawson,
Patricia Eger-Herz, Patricia Thomas, and Sherry Romero for the banquet
In the next issue, you will access their actual creative plans!
No more sage on the stage!
ADULT METHODOLOGY AND ISSUES SITES
Project and Problem- based Learning
(Patricia Thomas and Patricia Eger-Herz)
learning focuses on a problem that is to be “solved” or a task that is
to be accomplished. Typically it is complex, real world, and current.
For example, students might address the problem of how a city might
better meet the food and shelter needs of homeless people living in the
city. It is typically multi-goaled learning, goes on over a period of
time, results in a product, presentation, or performance. One student, a
team of students, a whole class, or even a whole school may work on a
project. Project-based learning is learner centered. Students help in
selecting the content areas and nature of the projects they do. It
focuses on students understanding what and why they are doing a project
and how they will be assessed. There is always an artifact or end
product. All too often as adult educators we tend to “teach to the test”.
With PBL we offer our students a chance to learn in real world
situations, thus better preparing them for the job market and further
schooling. (Patricia Thomas)
"Project-based learning (PBL) is a model for classroom activity that
shifts away from the classroom practices of short, isolated,
teacher-centered lessons and instead emphasizes learning activities that
are long-term, interdisciplinary, student-centered, and integrated with
real world issues and practices." This part was so succinct. I just
copied and pasted. There is always an end product in PBL; this is
what differentiates it from the traditional inquiry method. This
is a type of lesson planning that should be of great interest to adult
educators because it uses current, real world problems. It
encourages metacognition, rational thinking, hypothesis thinking,
problem solving, and conceptional thinking.
This article stated everything the two articles above mentioned, but in
addition it gave
the “Six A’s” of Project Based Learning: Authenticity-Does it have
meaning to the student? Can it actually be tackled by an adult at work
or in the community? Does it provide opportunities to create or produce
something that has personal or social value? Academic Rigor-.
Does the it lead to acquisition and application of knowledge related to
one or more content areas? Does it challenge students to use methods of
inquiry? Do students develop higher-order thinking skills? Applied
Learning-Is the problem grounded in the real world? . Does the work
require students to develop organizational and self-management skills?
Does the project lead students to acquire and use competencies expected
in high-performance work organizations (for example, teamwork,
problem-solving, appropriate use of technology, communications)?
Active Exploration- Do students spend significant amounts of time
doing field-based work on the project? Does it require students to
engage in real investigation using a variety of methods, media, and
sources? Do students present what they are learning? Adult
Relationships -Do students meet and observe adults with relevant
expertise and experience? Do students work closely with at least one
adult? Do students work on the design and assessment of the project?
Assessment - Are there opportunities for regular assessment of work
through more than one method (for example, exhibitions, portfolios)? Do
students reflect on their learning, using clear project criteria that
they helped to set? Are adults from outside the classroom involved in
Sarah Nixon-Ponder. (2005). Teacher
to Teacher: Using Problem-Posing Dialogue in Adult Literacy
Education. Retrieved 6/12/06 from
http://literacy.kent.edu/Oasis/Pubs/0300-8.htm In this paper,
Ms. Nixon-Ponder describes problem-posing, not with a definition but
with a description of women sitting around a table. The
table is covered with spreadsheets, notebooks and diagrams. Several women are discussing options while others do research.
This is not a meeting of business women or executives. It is an
adult literacy class, arriving at a solution to a problem they have in
common...childcare situations. She goes on to list the
five steps of problem-posing (Describe content, define the problem,
personalize the problem, discuss the problem, and discuss alternatives
to the problem.). She provides two examples of
problem-posing in action. One takes place in an ABE literacy
class, and the other in a GED writing and social studies class.
Paulo Friere. (1993) Paulo
Freire, Pedagogy of the oppressed. Retrieved June 11, 2006.
ww.marxists.org/subject/education/freire/pedagogy/ch02.htm This is
actually chapter 2 of Friere's groundbreaking work "Pedagogy of the
Oppressed." In this chapter Freire addresses the failure of
pedagogy, with the teacher imparting knowledge to passive students who,
in order to be good students, write down every word. In this mode the
teacher assumes the students are completely ignorant, and that it is his
role to impart his knowledge into these empty vessels. He
describes the students as alienated, as if they were slaves who never
discover that they are educating the teacher.
He proposes a reconciliation, one that brings students and teacher into
sharing their roles. He describes rote learning as "the banking
approach" in which knowledge is taken in by the students - accumulating
it like robots. There is no sharing of roles here.
He states that problem-posing, in order to succeed, must resolve the
teacher - student conflict through dialogue that brings a new
configuration: "teacher-student with students-teachers, allowing
the teacher to be taught and the students to teach. I cannot
say it better than Freire, so I must quote: "In problem-posing
education, people develop their power to perceive critically the
way they exist in the world with which and in which they find
themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality but as a
reality in process, in transformation."
A. Motter. (undated). George Polya (1887-1985)
Retrieved 6/11/06, from
http://www.math.wichita.edu/history/men/polya.html - This is a brief
history of George Polya, a Hungarian immigrant to the U.S. in 1940.
He had a long history in academia in the U.S., teaching at Brown and
then for the rest of his life at Stanford University. His
major contribution to education (especially mathematics) was his theory
of problem solving. This reference lists the three principles
(Understand the problem, devise a plan, and carry out the plan.
Each principle contains a list of questions to be asked at each stage.
Mathematicians still use his method today.
Blooming with Bloom - The Taxonomies
Huitt, W. (2004) Bloom et al.’s taxonomy
of the cognitive domain. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta,
GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved 6/15/06 from
Valdosta State University in Georgia
presents an easy-to-use chart of Bloom’s taxonomies including the level,
definition, sample verbs, and sample behaviors. The sample behaviors are
student expectations explaining Bloom’s taxonomies at each of the six
categories of knowledge.
“Major Categories in the Taxonomy of
Educational Objectives.” (Bloom, 1956).
http://faculty.washington.edu/krumme/guides/bloom.html This is the
website of the University of Washington. The website lists Bloom’s six
categories in the cognitive domain and defines each one. Also included
are what the website terms as “outcome-illustrating verbs.” The verbs
are useful in crafting questions that will help to generate the desired
level of learning.
The United States Military Academy at West Point includes this article
about Benjamin Bloom’s theories on its website. “Taxonomies” is a brief
history of the classification of levels of intellectual behavior
including the cognitive, the psychomotor, and the affective domain.
Definitions and keywords are given for each domain.
I found this website from the Colorado Department of Education to be
both informative and helpful. It contains a notebook called
Intergenerational Literacy Activities. The notebook has 17
sections, 282 pages, and each section is accessible in pdf. The
notebook contains an introduction, assessments, and references. It
also has several pages of activities listed in varying subjects for use
in both the community and at home.
This website is an archived commissioned paper on Intergenerational
Transfer of Literacy. If you want to understand the concept of
family literacy, the familial influence, and recommendations for
literacy programs, this is an excellent read.
The National Center for Family Literacy provides information about
what’s happening in family literacy programs around the nation. They
provide interesting announcements and news updates in the field. You can
access many products and resources with free
downloads. “The NCFL is recognized worldwide as the leader in
family literacy development.”
The Association for Childhood Education International recommends the
book Celebrating Family Literacy Through Intergenerational Programming.
This looks like a very good resource for anyone interested in family
literacy. It is recommended for use by educators as well as
parents. As an adult education teacher, I thought it might
useful in helping me to inspire my students to become more active in
their child’s education.
Prince George's County Public Schools
Prince George's County Public Schools has written a 'Guide to
Cooperative Learning'. It defines cooperative learning, explains
the teacher's role, and the benefits to the students. It explains
team formation: size, formation, duration. It gives management
tips: noise, deadlining and task structure, instructions, questions,
circulate, and roles. It suggests the following techniques:
Think-Pair-Share, Three-Step Interview, Roundtable, Numbered Heads
Together, Pairs Check, Send a Problem and Jigsaw
University of Kansas resources -
- This site offers a variety of links to other resources and answers
several questions about cooperative learning:
cooperative learning? How can cooperative learning help your students?
How can you implement cooperative learning in order to effectively meet
the diverse learning needs of students? What are the different types of
cooperative learning? Where can you find more information about
THIS IS AN AMAZING SITE!!! It includes a 'book shelf', a file
cabinet, a reference book, literary lessons, and a cooperative learning
network. The file cabinet is filled with activity sheets and
blackline masters that are free for the taking. Drawers of math,
health, science, language, cooperative learning, etc. The
reference book is filled with teaching ideas and explanations. If
you want to network with other teachers and share practical ideas ...you
This website addresses constructivism in science and mathematics
education. The author Michael R. Matthews feels constructivism is
a theory about enduring achievements, mainly science. Science knowledge
is constructed from practice and practice. He also brings into life the
problems most teachers have with theoretical constructivism. In
science students must have basic instructional activities, where the
teachers make them memorize in order to understand the basis of
constructivism. He uses examples of rusted nails to explain this.
This website explains a teaching approach to student learning and the
effectiveness of the Constructivism theory. Author Maureen Epstein
does an excellent job in explaining the nine general principles of
learning: ( 1) active process, (2) learn to learn, (3) physical actions
and hands on experience, (4) language, (5) social activity, (6)
contextual, (7) need knowledge to learn, (8) takes time to learn, (9)
motivation. Students should not be made to feel stupid but let them
explore knowledge for themselves. (If a window opens, click OK to access
Authors George W. Gagnon, Jr. and Michelle Collay have set up this
website to show teachers how to apply Constructive teaching styles in
the classroom. The outline describes how to place students in
groups, bridging between what students already know and what new ideas
they are to learn, questions to keep interests going, exhibits to show
what they learned, and then as always reflections on what the student
were thinking during the whole process. This outline will be very
helpful in my classes to set up new projects this summer. I plan
on using it in a budget segment of my” to the work force”.
article make a case for many students who have been labeled with
learning disabilities are actually gifted in one of the multiple
intelligences not taught to in typical public school. Thomas
Armstrong goes as far to say that most ADD kids are actually gifted, or
have unique learning styles not addressed by a heavily linguistic or
logical-mathematical styles of teaching. (Click cancel or OK to
access page from the permission window.)
http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htmThis article goes over the
teaching methods used to meet the various integrated intelligences.
Gardner states that each person’s primary intelligence, or learning
style, is complemented by the other, less dominate styles. By
incorporating a variety of learning styles and activities into lesson
plans, teachers teach to all the intelligences.
http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr054.shtml This article
speaks of the problem of teachers focusing on their own intelligences to
create lesson plans. Or even go so far as to match the
intelligences behind a scripted plan set by school districts or
individual schools. This goes against the theory. Teachers must
design lessons around their students MI. As a result of this
incorrect usage of MI, the theory often fails, and teachers fall back to
only teaching in Linguistic intelligence and Logical-mathematical
The Basic Skills Connection
This website is from the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary
Skills. There are a number of reports from their findings which can be
downloaded as “Identifying and Describing the Skills Required for Work”
and “Teaching the SCANS Competencies”. These both are specific to work
preparation but since our students are involved or preparing for work,
they give excellent goals and rationale for teaching basic skills,
thinking and decision making skills and emphasizing each person’s
personal qualities of self-responsibility and integrity. This
information gives us the end-goal for all of our teaching and helps us
style lessons to help move our students toward that goal. It also
emphasizes the need for relating their experiences to the world of work
with emphasis on critical thinking and learning how to work well with
other people. The exhibits in the documents give lists of skills they
have found to be necessary to be successful in the modern work place.
This website is for Integrated Curriculum for Achieving Necessary
Skills. It gives instructional strategies, rationale, assessment tools,
lesson guides, ways to teach people how to learn, thinking skills, ways
to develop group effectiveness and personal qualities. It is a huge site
which appears to be able to be the complete course for teachers to use
to know how to effectively teach necessary skills for life. Unless we
were in a specialized course to specifically teach this subject, we
won’t be using all of it. However, the principles and awareness which it
supplies can influence our thinking and lesson planning.
This is the website for the National Center for the Study of Adult
Learning and Literacy. This has a site search window where you can type
in Basic Skills. Then there appears a large list of many research papers
on the topic of how basic skills are being integrated into workplace
teaching, ESL, ABE and all the way into the GED classes. The research
papers explain how the project was done and the results. The full body
of the text are online.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002159.pdf -This is a report on
Competency-based Education sponsored by the National Center for
Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education.
It is for post-secondary education. It includes the results of
eight case studies of the use of Competency Based Education in
post-secondary education. This was done to give information to
other post-secondary institutions to use for setting up their own
competency based education programs. Colorado Community Colleges’
Incumbent Worker Project was one of the eight case studies used.
http://www.sabes.org/resources/adventures/vol10/10lucey.htm This is
an interesting article describing the BEST testing used in many Adult
Education programs. It describes the history of BEST (Basic English
Skills Test) as written by Moria Lucey of The International Institute in
Boston, MA. I actually found this while looking for information
about the MELT Project, which I’ll get to next. Because much of
the ESL curriculum focuses on Competency Based Education, it’s
interesting to read about how this testing evolved from Competency-based
education. There is another article on this site by Dulaney
Alexander of Operation Bootstrap in Lynn, MA. He contends that
BEST is not an effective tool to use in adult education. He says
that people’s backgrounds are too diverse to use the BEST to evaluate
The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition website has
information about the MELT project, which stems from Competency Based
Education. The MELT project was developed to help an influx of
refugees from Southeast Asia in the early 1980’s. The idea was to follow
Competency-based curricula that would teach skills to help these
refugees function in society. There is an interesting section that
describes the six different literacy levels that they believe would come
into an ESL classroom. That would be Preliterate, Non-literate,
Semiliterate, Non-alphabet literate, Non-Roman alphabet literate and
Roman-alphabet literate. This really hits home when I think about
the differences between my Spanish speaking students with and without
literacy within their own language and also the differences between my
Asian students and those who grew up in a Roman-alphabet world.
In our next issue, I'll give you links to the lesson plans (terrific!)
and retention plans that these same insightful instructors develop for
From Pamela Lawson -
http://www.vocabulary.co.il/: This Website has a variety of
vocabulary games including crossword puzzles, word searches, quizzes and
even a vocabulary test for SAT. It is very colorful and easy to navigate
around in. For students who are not real used to a computer it is set up
quite easily. For example, on the crossword puzzles, the cursor
automatically moves to the next square for the next letter. They can
choose different levels and topics so it could appeal to most everyone
while they are using the computer. It is written for all levels from K
to 12 so the student chooses what level they want. Looks like fun to me.
From Sherry Romero-
http://www.aolatschool.com/: I found a website that provides k-12
classroom resources. It has printable worksheets and interactive sites
students can do online. There are numerous levels and subjects.
I hope that is helpful to some.
From Jane Breaux - This is the website of
the freshman comp textbook that I use. There are grammar exercises,
spelling, reading comp questions, a learning style quiz, etc. I know
that most of your students are not college level, but I don't see much
of a difference between high school and college grammar. After all, the
rules are, well, the rules!
From Patricia Thomas - Here are a few of the sites I use on a continual basis. I keep these in the Favorites pull-down on the classroom computers.
http://www.aaamath.com/B/game.htm: This one has all grade levels and is great for worksheets or anything you need. http://www.justriddlesandmore.com/math.html: This is one I use to get riddles for my classes. I also post a challenge riddle or problem each day often from this site.
http://perplexus.info/:I love this one; it reaches for the higher level thinkers all the way to basic math facts.
From Cheryll Bean http://www.bozeman.k12.mt.us/adlted/Retention_Workshop/Best_Practices_Handout.html: I found the format of this website very helpful. It is a checklist and can be used with just about any group of students, including ESL.
From Nathan Fields: http://www.aceofflorida.org/ged/tips.html:GED resources for Adult Educators. This is my new security blanket website. This fall, I move from the pre-GED room to the GED room....
|Ideas for Retaining Students as Lifelong Learners|
The same teachers who are sharing the sites above also developed retention plans for their students. Their goal was to think out of the box and use strategies gained from quality adult ed research on barriers that students face in learning. Help yourself to the strategies to be implemented this fall!
Wanting New Ideas - Where Does It Itch?|
Some of you have taken advantage of
the free computer training offered onsite to your programs
through the 4CVRC mobile lab. Those sessions were very
productive and useful, but the requests ceased.
Next, we offered you free hybrid
classes using phone and computer connections. The last one was
offered on Friday August 4th, with no takers. As a matter of
fact, we only had takers for one session for the whole year!
So I'm wondering, do you have
any technology itches that the 4CVRC can help you scratch? We
can offer a great variety of training in very short or longer
sessions over a variety of media or combination of media,
including two-way video). All it takes is a minute to drop me an
email saying, "Need resources on..." or "Need training in or
for..." or "Will hire the cruise ship if you will offer the
following practice sessions on the way to... "
How about it? -> firstname.lastname@example.org