Web-Based Resources


For those of us Googlers: This is pretty darn cool! Creating Hyperdocs with Google Slides: from Techy Coach

As he says:
If you’ve heard of hyperdocs, you’ve probably tried your hand at making one with Google Docs.  But have you tried using Google Slides?  Slides offers a few advantages that you can’t find in Docs, such as the ability to create a static background, and linkable images that you can access in one click.  Try out this vending machine option using Google Slides and Google Drawings.


Differentiated Instruction:
Using Playlists ( and Google Classroom) to differentiate instruction- from Cult of Pedagogy.
Rhode Island teacher Tracy Enos shares her system for customizing instruction to meet the needs of every student. She calls it a playlist, an individualized digital assignment chart that students work through at their own pace.
“What’s the difference between apps, extensions and add-ons?” 
That was a question that came up at a RAEN Google Fundamentals training.  Here’s a great website

(and answer).  Thanks to Lynn Trudeau from HFM BOCES for her Google Search skills!



Instructional Technology
Explicit Instruction Mini Lessons- 
 ELL- Friday, February 23, 2018, 12:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time. 

Mobile and other technologies make possible anytime, anywhere learning to extend education to previously underserved adults and to expand learning beyond classroom walls. Technology can also accelerate outcomes through personalized instruction and practice. In this webinar, our EdTech Center experts Heide Wrigley and Alison Ascher Webber will highlight emerging best practices and innovative program models that organizations across the country are using for distance and blended ESL instruction for immigrants and refugees at all skill levels. They will share the range of critical supports the organizations provide to meet the needs of specific demographics as they recruit, train, and coach immigrants for educational success, career mobility, and increased civic engagement. Though the examples in this webinar will primarily be from ESL programs, the best practices discussed apply to digital learning in any topics and with all demographics. 

Register at this link- it’s free

If you love things Pinterest, check out our Pinterest Boards.



Because the CUNY Curriculum contains a great lesson series using timelines and because we don’t always have a classroom space to exhibit timelines, I thought these sites might be useful for lesson plan adaptations. Source: From Steve Wick via EdTech Team Global Community:

Below are a few of our favorite digital resources for creating timelines.  How could you use timelines in your classroom?

Create Interactive timelines using the site’s timeline widgets.Google Autodraw
A drawing tool that pairs the magic of machine learning with drawings from talented artists to help everyone create anything visual.
Add some color to your documents, presentations, and websites with easy to create charts and diagrams.
Slides are a great way to sequence events and the new Grid View can be used to sequence slides connected to a concept or sequence of events.
This presentation software is a perfect tool for creating a sequence of events. There are even timeline templates to help anyone get started.
Sutori is a free digital learning tool for the classroom. It enables teachers and students to create interactive stories through a simple and intuitive interface.
Create, collaborate, and publish zooming and panning interactive timelines. It’s like Google Maps, but for time.
An open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines.
Create beautiful interactive timelines that you can share on the internet.
Infographic timeline templates with a variety of themes.
Additional Resources


The original post is from LINCS.  Follow the link to a great and very current writing prompt idea.

Hello colleagues, I live near Philadelphia, and today the city is celebrating the Eagles big Super Bowl win. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, the MVP and hero of the game, is quickly becoming a folk hero. You may have seen the video of Foles recorded after the game in which he speaks about the value of failure in one’s success. It’s almost as if we can’t have one without the other!

Foles’ comments gave high school teacher Larry Ferlazzo a great idea for a writing activity. He showed students the video of Foles’ interview and then had them write a response using the following prompt:

    • What does Nick Foles say about failure? What does he say about comparing yourself to others? To what extent do you agree with what he or she is saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP (on LINC Community of Practice)



Function Activities with the TI-30XS –

Students do not need to know how to enter functions into the TASC  TI-30XS, but for teachers want to incorporate more calculator explorations into their classes, here are two features of the calculator worth knowing about. The pdf link above is a set of step-by-step instructions. The doc link is the same, but included in case teachers want to tailor the instructions specifically for their students.

Using the calculator to play the Function Game

This is a good activity for teachers who are using (or reviewing) Unit 1 of the CUNY HSE Math Curriculum Framework and want to give students some practice with the TI-30XS calculator.

In Unit 1 of the CUNY HSE Math Curriculum Framework there is an activity called “My Teacher is a Computer” and another called “The Function Game”.

    • “My Teacher is a Computer” comes in the beginning of the lesson, where the teacher has a function rule in their head. Students take turns giving numbers to input into the teachers function and the teacher tells students what number comes out with each input. Students keep track of the inputs and outputs and use the growing table to try and guess the function rule.
    • “The Function Game” comes at the end of the lesson (there are two other activities between “My Teacher is a…” and “The Function Game”). In this activity students come up with a function and then use that function to fill out some input/outputs a table. Then they give the table to another student, who then has to figure out the function rule.

The TASC calculator – the TI-30XS has a feature that allows students to enter a function into the calculator. They they can set the calculator to take inputs from another student and give the output. The other student can keep putting in numbers  until they are able to guess the function. It is a kind of a combination of the two activities above.

Using the calculator to create a function (In/Out) table

You can also enter a function into the calculator and get a completed input/output table. It is a very similar set-up as using the calculator to play the function game, except for one step, which is described in the step-by-step instructions. Basically, when you get to the menu of three options, instead of choosing “Ask-x” you choose “Auto”.


This is that rarest of things—a high-quality, free, online resource made specifically for adult educators. Although the “Just Write!” Guide is mainly about writing instruction, there is a lot of material here regarding pedagogy in the adult ed classroom in general. What’s satisfying is that it is research-based (the fancy term is “meta-analysis) and that most of us who have worked in adult ed for any length of time will find our own understanding of how to teach adults validated in these pages.


TASC Science Sample items:

Approximately 25% of the Science questions on the TASC exam is in Physical Sciences.

The following pages describe the Physical Sciences standards assessed on the TASC and provide sample items for each standard. The goal of this document is to describe the ideas that students need to understand so that teachers understand what they need to teach. The sample items (practice questions) in this document can be used with students since have already been released to the public. Also noted is whether each standard is a high, medium or low emphasis topic on the TASC.

The standards, content descriptions and sample items are based on the DRC/CTB TASC Item Specifications and the TASC Test Science Practice Items. In addition, we used the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and A Framework for K-12 Science Education for reference, since the TASC standards are based on NGSS standards with the same title.

TASC Science Lessons: These are all from the CollectEdNY website. I wish I’d viewed this first one before the start of the holiday Petri dish season.

In this video, scientists grow handprints of bacteria agar plates in a warm incubator to show how bacteria grows on our skin and to show the difference in bacteria on hands washed with water and washed with soap. Great ick factor for students. This video would be a good follow-up to the Bacteria Population Growth lesson.

From SERP Science Generation, this unit focuses on single-celled organisms and associated vocabulary. This unit examines the curious case of a ubiquitous single-celled organism: yeast. It introduces students to life at its most basic level: the cell. Students repeatedly encounter different approaches to understanding cells’ four essential functions.


From SERP Science Generation, this science lesson focuses on the science vocabulary of cells. A group of friends look at cells close-up. Explore the form and function of different kinds of cells through interactive activities and a quick lesson in drawing, which they use to record what they see under a microscope. Finally, they make a written model in a cell analogy project.

The focus words for this unit are: specimen, structure, function, organic, membrane, fuel, osmosis, cycle, producer, and consumer


Essay Prompts and Readings for the TASC Argumentative Essay – This set of TASC Essay prompts for the Argumentative Essay, created by Susan Giuliano and Lisa Wright, makes it easy to prepare students for the TASC essay.  Topics and readings are current and engaging, and the prompts are modeled closely on TASC Prompts.
Vocabulary Learning = Higher TASC Scores – The book Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Beck, Kucan and McKeown, is one of the most influential books on teaching vocabulary ever written.  These Guidelines condense the book and provide examples of practice in use, providing a routine that teachers can use repeatedly to help students build their store of academic words.
5 Apps that integrate well with Google Classroom
TASC Science – Detailed Description and Sample Items for Life Science – Approximately 50% of the Science questions on the TASC exam is in Life Sciences. The following pages describe the Life Sciences standards assessed on the TASC and provide sample items for each standard. The goal of this document is to describe the ideas that students need to understand so that teachers understand what they need …


Just sloshed down from Norwood where I did a TABE training yesterday afternoon and evening.  Here’s a giant shout out to all our teachers and support staff, and especially to the ones who work all day and then attend a 5-hour TABE training.  You are AWESOME ( and you all stayed awake!). PLEASE send me your favorite links, online resources, and apps.  I will share!
  • From Kelly Mastropietro; Teacher Leader, Capital Region BOCES

I wanted to offer a possible addition to your Tuesday Tidbits…Mometrix Academy is an online video library addressing hundreds of topics.  The website has an excellent search feature, or you can browse through the videos by subject area and topic.  It includes materials that can help our students in CCR as well as TASC Prep.    https://www.mometrix.com/academy/



Question: How do you tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
Some tidbits:
Answer:  You will see one later and one in a while. 


For our ELL teachers and volunteers: This is a section of a conversation thread from LINCS. I think this conversation and the embedded link (I recommend the link) have a broad range of interest for our ESL and ABE students. Many of our ABE students exhibit aspects of these stresses as well.
Supporting Refugees and Others Dealing with Stress

Hello colleagues, I wanted to revisit this thread because it’s an ongoing concern.  A few recent conversations with learners and practitioners has reminded me–again– that chronic stress and depression is all too common among many of the learners we work with. For example, in a meeting with coordinators of volunteer-based ESL programs, the coordinators indicated that their main area of concern was mental health issues. For another example, just last week I spoke with a volunteer who supports internationally trained medical professionals, and he reported that deep depression is pervasive among this group. In addition, in a one-on-one conversation I had with a man from Nepal, he acknowledged that he had experienced depression so serious that all he thought about for months was returning home to Nepal.

Thanks, Kathy, for linking us to some valuable resources. I came across another site with helpful information that focuses on applying a strengths-based approach in our practice to support individuals living with trauma and chronic stress. This Zacarian consulting blog higlights the work of English language learner experts Debbie Zacarian, Lourdes Álvarez-Ortiz, and Judie Haynes. While these experts work in a K12 environment, they recognize that these mental health concerns affect the entire immigrant family. The information they share is relevant to our work with adults.

ABE- Reading
This links to a fabulous ESL (yes, ESL – stay with me) teacher who talks reading skills for study and tests.  See what you think. I’ll tell you in advance that I think he’s fabulous!
Exactly WHAT is on each section of the TASC? Here are the official brochures. Scroll to the second page.





More TASC resources:


Enjoy: Halloween and the end of October…..the geese are flying, drafting each other. Let’s “draft” each other as well.

During migration, Canada geese fly in a V formation, with each bird in line flying a little bit higher than the goose in front of it. One theory as to why they fly in this formation is that it allows the lead goose to break the headwind, allowing the birds behind to “draft”. Canada geese communicate during their flights by honking, and will shift positions during their flight in order to take turns breaking the wind and reducing fatigue.


For many of us, September is a fresh start. And not only for us as educators, but also for many of our students.
Here’s a fresh look at working with grammatical errors:
One of the points made in that article is that lots and lots of reading and writing meaningful text allows for teaching grammar in context. There are also a couple nifty student directed instructional ideas.
Here’s a daily fresh source of curated, high interest, lower reading level articles that can tie easily into CUNY ABE/HSE curriculum.


Update on Khan Academy: thanks to Kelly Mastropietro, Capital Region BOCES

Your students can personalize Khan Academy to help them in all of their subjects. There are now individualized study plans that can be tailored to each student’s needs. The subjects cover math, of course, but also US and world history, physics, biology, chemistry, economics, computer science. The courses are broken down by content area and also by grade level. And, it’s free!

Click link HERE:


I thought this was an interesting study, one that could have implications in adult ed outcomes in all content areas. It might be interesting to try this.
Here’s an except as a tease:

Researchers followed 221 undergraduate psychology students taking a challenging statistics course. At the beginning of the course, students were asked to reflect on what they value in life (such as relationships with family/friends, spiritual/religious values, or science/pursuit of knowledge) and to rank those values by personal importance. Students were then randomly split into two groups: One group wrote for 15 minutes about why their top values had personal meaning; the second group spent that time writing about how their least important values could be meaningful to others. They repeated the writing activity just before the first midterm.

When researchers compared the two groups at the end of the course, they saw surprising differences. Students who wrote about their least important values gained little to no benefit from the activity. Students who wrote about their most important values, however, earned higher grades in the course on average and also experienced small gains in numeracy (the ability to apply math concepts) and mathematical reasoning ability.

Interestingly, these students also scored higher on a financial literacy test and engaged in fewer risky behaviors related to health (such as smoking) throughout the course. And a follow-up study two years later found that these students had taken more math courses than their peers.

Here’s the actual study:


Tidbits of interest:
Reading: Well, if it would just warm up, I could start feeling some summer. Every June, I develop the vision:  PLANS to READ, always while sipping a cool beverage in a reclining chair. Here’s a fun list: 50 books set in 50 states. I should probably keep my ambitions in check and only commit to 2 or 3.
The accompanying infographic is pinned on our Pinterest site.
Math: our CUNY master teacher trainers, Eric Appleton and Mark Trushkowsky, are presenting a webinar via COABE on July 12th at 2:00PM.


The New York City-based Community of Adult Math Instructors (CAMI) will share their process of starting a citywide math teachers’ circle to collaborate with other teachers and expand their knowledge of mathematics. We believe in the power of teachers doing math together to make connections between learning and teaching. Participants will engage in an inquiry-based process of algebraic thinking through use of visual patterns and multiple strategies for problem solving, including drawing, different ways of seeing, making charts/tables, and making predictions using rules. Teachers and learners with all levels of mathematics knowledge are encouraged to attend.



  • It’s only a couple more weeks until the end of the year! Great work, everyone!
  • Trainings scheduled for this SUMMER on our calendar. Almost all of them are 6 hours PD so consider attending one or two before things really pick up in September.
  • As an FYI, FALL training priorities will include Career and College Readiness CUNY Curriculum Framework, Digital Literacy (including our own), Case Managers training, a Corrections focus group. We are also scheduling TABE, Best Plus refresher, TASC Calculator/Math, and ESOL.
  • Also: attached are three inspirational quotes from our Pinterest site- a bit of inspiration is always good this time of year
Mandela….. I never can see this one too much…