December 19, 2017
New Writing Mentor from Google
A new add-on app for Google Docs can help you to work with your students to improve their writing skills. Writing Mentor can be easily installed in Google Docs and offers feedback on an existing piece of writing in four categories to make your writing more "convincing," "well-developed," "coherent," and "well-edited." These are four areas that translate into success o n the GED® or HiSET® ext ended response tasks.

By clicking on the "convincing" button, you can get feedback on the claims that you have made, broken down into different types, and your use of sources.

See if your ideas are "well-developed" by clicking on that button. Writing Mentor measures the extent of your discussion of certain topics by counting keywords associated with each topic to help you to analyze the depth of discussion of your main idea.

Click on the "coherent" button and learn about the flow of ideas in your writing, as well as text structure and consistency of ideas. Are the main ideas that you mention in your introduction also discussed throughout your writing? This section also can help with transitions, consistent pronoun use, and sentence length.

Grammar and writing mechanics are addressed under the "well-edited" button. Word choice suggestions can help to make your writing clear and academic.

Writing Mentor also allows users to look up synonyms of unfamiliar words from source texts and save those words to a vocabulary library.

Empower your students by teaching them how to use Writing Mentor directly in Google Docs in class or at home. Or use this app to jump start your feedback when looking over students' work. There are lots of ways that this can be used to benefit our students as they work to develop the writing skills they need to succeed.

To learn more, watch a video, and download the app, visit
Teaching Tips and Resources
Use ReadWorks' new "whiteboard/projector" view
When you share a ReadWorks article in class using a projector in the front of class, it helps to eliminate all of the extra text and distractions that appear on a website. There is a new setting in the ReadWorks website that allows you to eliminate the distractions and share only a clean, clear view of the article with your students. Watch the online video to see how.
Assign more writing without grading more
Writing is like most other skills: you simply have to do a lot of it to become good. Some studies suggest that 30 to 60 minutes of writing each day is required to really become a good writer, however, an adult educator does not have time to correct and give feedback on that much writing. A recent Edutopia article made the interesting suggestion of assigning students to write but not providing feedback. The thought is that students need the freedom and time to experiment and work on their skills independent of the scrutiny of their teacher. This is very much like a young basketball player who practices dribbling and shooting out in the driveway on her own. Give your students the time to write some assignments and have them grade it themselves. Then, when you do choose to evaluate an assignment, the skills will have been practiced.
Helpful resources for new teachers
In the holiday season, lift the spirits of a new teacher struggling with the challenges, questions, and fears of their first season of teaching. Edutopia compiled a list of resources that first-time teachers can find helpful. Grouped by topic into sections such as "Tips, Advice, and Strategies" and "Gaining and Keeping Student Attention," these articles and resources are aimed at K12 classroom teachers, but those in adult education can also learn from. There is even a section of "Words of Encouragement from Experienced Teachers." Share this with a new teacher and help them to bring a little joy and peace to their adult education classroom.
ReadWorks offers audio
When you assign readings to students through ReadWorks, your students can now access audio for all questions and vocabulary. See the online video to learn how to make this available to your students.
Professional Development Opportunities
COABE pre-conference session
A special pre-conference session will be held before the annual conference for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) conference, Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Phoenix, AZ. This special session will discuss and explain how you can set up a team of trainers at your agency to be ambassadors for adult education. The four components of ambassador training will be discussed: awareness, stories, public speaking, and meeting with officials. Learn more information and how to attend online .
WIOA Updates
Arranging mentor relationships for youth
On Tu esday, January 9th, 2018, 2:00-3:30 PM, Workforce GPS and the Division of Youth Services of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration will present a webinar titled "The Power of Relationships-Workplace Mentoring with Youth." Learn how businesses across the United States connect struggling youth with strong mentors in their communities and how you can succeed at the local level. As an aspect of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth program, arranging successful mentorships can be challenging. Join this webinar to find out how to make it work for your students and your community.
State and National Adult Education News
Career Pathways for international nurses
Many ESOL students have wonderful skills and qualifications that they cannot use in America because they lack the right degree or certificate. World Education Services (WES) has developed an e-guide called " Career Pathways in Nursing: Using Your Foreign Education in the United States. " This free download outlines various career pathways open to students with overseas nursing degrees; how they can obtain similar certificates in the US as well as available nursing-related careers that do not require a license.
1199C featured in WHYY radio broadcast
WHYY, a public radio station in Philadelphia, recently featured the work that 1199C does with adult learners. Titled The Bottom Rung of American Education: Stories from an Adult Literacy Class , the written article and audio feature focuses extensive attention on the role that adult education plays in our students' lives, as well as its place in our larger society. It is full of insightful statistics and personal stories of students and educators. If you want to hear what another agency is doing or draw inspiration from the small successes of adult education, this article is worth a look.
Job postings in this newsletter and PA Adult Ed Resources website
The job postings that we have included in this newsletter have quickly become some of the most clicked-on links each month. These postings are drawn from the recently added "Jobs" page of the PA Adult Ed Resources website. We are happy to share job openings from adult basic education programs that are funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and, at least in part, by WIOA Title II funds. If you have an opening that you would like to advertise please email . Details of this month's job postings are below.
Grants and Scholarships
Finding technology funding
Technology in the classroom is near the top of the list for providing the skills that our adult students need in the workplace or further education. But the funding for classroom technology often falls down to the bottom of the list for our budgets. recently shared six resources that you might use to procure funding for classroom technology.
Job Postings
The job postings below are for adult basic education programs that are funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and, at least in part, by WIOA Title II funds. They can also be found on the website. 
No jobs are currently posted.
PA Adult Education Resources
Upcoming State and National Conferences
State and National Newsletters
These are state or national organizations' newsletters that may be of interest to you. To receive the most recent editions by email, please subscribe directly to the newsletter. 
Families Learning News of the Week,  National Center for Families Learning
Features information and resources for family literacy, early childhood education, and parent education  

HiSET® Newsletter, Educational Testing Service®
Features news and information related to the HiSET® test

COABE Journal, Coalition On Adult Basic Education
Features national information, resources, and initiatives for adult basic education

World Education /U.S.
Features resources and information from World Education projects including The Change Agent, College for Adults, E-Learning, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, National College Transitional network, and many others

Workforce GPS, Workforce3 One  
Features career pathways and workforce development information