July 20, 2017

Use These Thirteen Books To Support Family Literacy

No matter how much parents may value family literacy, it is hard to read to our children without good books.

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book has shared its list of "A Baker's Dozen," the thirteen best children's books from the past year that support family literacy. The list, found on the "A Baker's Dozen" website, is created by a panel of family literacy experts after reviewing hundreds of recent children's books. With an eye toward parents, caregivers, and anyone reading to preschool-age children, the list provides a summary of each book, along with sections on "Tips for Using with Children" and "Tips for Using with Families." These tips generate a lot of good ideas for those of us who work in family literacy. Faraway Fox can be used to discuss habitats. Reading Walter's Wonderful Web can lead to a discussion of shape names. The poetry in Owl Meets Owl is an opportunity to explore rhythm, tone, or rhyme. 

Here are some other ideas for how you can use this list to support your family literacy efforts. 

  • Provide a book or a bundle of the books as a gift to families who accomplish a goal or milestone in your program.
  • Work with your local library to offer and feature these children's books and to share the tips with patrons.
  • Make a tip sheet for parents that lists the books and the tips that go along with each that they can use to buy the books or get them from the library.
  • Challenge families to read some or all of the list.
  • Hold a "Family Book Review Night," asking families to read one of these books as a family and present a short review of it to other families.
  • With permission, make an online video of children in your program reviewing one of the books.

Teaching Tips and Resources
Kathy Schrock resource on "Critical Evaluation"
It has always been important to be able to judge the online content we consume and that is no less important for our students in 2017. Educational technologist, Kathy Schrock, has created a list of useful resources that can help you to assess and address your students' abilities to critically evaluate information they find on the web. From a list of dozens of resources to lesson plans to example bogus websites, this collection of resources will provide what you and your students need. 
Google Quizzes
We often tell our students that they need to be tech literate to be competitive in today's workforce, but how much do we expose them to the latest educational technology? Google now has a Quizzes feature that goes along with the existing Google Forms. See this Tech Tips for Teachers post for some instructions and a short video tutorial to learn how you can use Google Quizzes in your classroom. 
Inspiring students to write
Edutopia recently shared an article titled "New Teachers: Inspire Your Students to Write, Write, Write." In it, Rebecca Alber introduces the idea of "fire writing." This is the opposite of the type of writing that makes students freeze up; writing free of the pressure to write their thoughts perfectly on the rough draft. Often, adult students have a fear of writing, especially the type of essay writing that we try to teach them for the GED® or HiSET®  exams. This article offers an idea for getting students to write comfortably and confidently as a preliminary step in that preparation. 
High School Equivalency (HSE) Updates and Resources
HiSET® and GED® records requests made easy
The PA Department of Education has streamlined the way in which test takers can request transcripts or diplomas. In Pennsylvania, it is done through Diplomasender.com, where students can order their diploma or transcripts online or by phone. 
Professional Development Opportunities
Webinar: Rethinking Fractions
Learn new ways to help your students piece together their knowledge of fractions with Burlington English's webinar Rethinking Fractions on Monday, July 24, at 2:00PM. The discussion will look at some of the cracks that adult students may have in their foundational number sense and then explore strategies and activities that can help them to improve that number sense and work with fractions. Learn more and register online
WIOA Updates
Webinar to address WIOA requirements
On Tuesday, July 25, at 3:00-4:30PM, Workforce GPS will hold a webinar on supplemental wage requirements. This webinar provides an overview of the guidance developed jointly by the Departments of Labor and Education ( ETA TEGL 26-16 RSA Technical Assistance Circular 17-4,  and  OCTAE Program Memorandum 17-6 ) published in June 2017.The guidance provides details on the requirements established under section 116 of Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) and its implementing regulations on the use of supplemental wage information, when appropriate, to assist in carrying out the performance accountability requirements. Registration is limited, so  register online  soon. 
State and National Adult Education News
Educate & Elevate campaign launch
Last month, the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) and the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE) teamed up to launch Educate & Elevate  eNews, a new campaign to share the importance and value of adult education with policy makers. See their online Campaign Outreach Toolkit for resources that include a fact sheet and templates for emails, news releases, or letters. 
Grants and Scholarships
Refugee Career Pathways Program Funding Opportunity
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) invites eligible entities to submit competitive grant applications for the Refugee Career Pathways (RCP) Program. Through the RCP Program ORR will provide funding to implement projects that assist refugees to qualify for licenses and certifications necessary to attain employment and improve self-sufficiency. Applications are due July 31.
Adult Education research grant opportunity
The US Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences is offering a grant opportunity aimed at supporting research that leads to improved outcomes in either college or adult education. Specifically, research is encouraged that increases "student access to, persistence in, progress through, and completion of postsecondary and adult education programs as well as improving specific academic outcomes for students in developmental education, adult education, gateway science and math courses, and introductory composition courses." Learn more online
Using summer to prepare for next year's grant writing
The summer can be a good time to gear up for the coming school year. If you are a grant-funded agency, one task should be to re-evaluate and prepare for your grant-writing goals. GetEdFunding.com offers a new blog post that can help you to use the summer to your advantage and step back from your funding situation, reevaluate where you are, and plan an appropriate path forward. 
PA Adult Education Resources
Visit  www.paadultedresources.org  for the latest PA adult education news and resources. Recent additions to the site include:
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  
June 23           June 30           July 14

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

Career Pathways Exchange Newsletter,  Career Pathway Exchange

Features resources, events, and information from federal and state agencies and partner organizations focused on developing and implementing career pathways for adult learners

July 6          July 18

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

OCTAE Connection,  US Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, & Adult Education
Features news and resources for adult basic, career, and technical education

Rural Perspectives, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Features data and research findings related to a variety of topics relevant to rural PA