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A Sampler of I-CANS-Related Materials


Adult Basic Skills Assessment

Oregon Competency-based Adult Education Task Force, 94 p.

This packet contains an overview on the purposes and types of assessment methods available and those used in different types of assessment tools used in adult basic skills programs. It includes an article called "Standardized Tests: Their Use and Misuse", samples of the CASAS, TABE, GED test and alternative assessment methods.

Adult Literacy Education: Program Evaluation and Learner Assessment

Susan Lytle, 80 p.

Evaluation and assessment reflect fundamental beliefs about adult learners, concepts of literacy, and educational settings. In this paper four major approaches to learner assessment are considered: (1) standardized testing; (2) Materials-based assessment; (3) competency-based; and (4) participatory assessment. It presents criteria for programs to conduct assessment that provides reliable information about program quality and the improvement of practices.

Adventures in Assessment: Learner-centered Approaches to Assessment and Evaluation in Adult Literacy

Loren McGrail & Laura Purdom, Editors, 7 volumes

The primary purpose of Adventures in Assessment is to explore learner-centered approaches to assessment and evaluation. Written by and for practitioners to select and adapt tools for their own contexts, this resource includes seven volumes of field-tested tools and reflections on assessment by teachers in the field.

Teachers said: "Nice variety of tools, examples and suggestions." "Great resource."

Assessment and Evaluation in Whole Language Programs

Bill Harp, Editor, 214 p.

This sourcebook addresses many of the critical questions being asked about the whole language movement. It examines the growing research base that supports whole language and offers practical and realistic suggestions for tackling the many issues involved in the assessment and evaluation of students. The contributors to this book are K-12 educators working in the whole language arena who offer experience and classroom strategies for assessment and evaluation relevant to instructors in any whole language program.

Teachers said: "Excellent resource."

It Belongs to Me: A Guide to Portfolio Assessment in Adult Education Programs

Hanna Arlene Fingeret, 69 p.

This guide is designed to introduce adult literacy educators to the concept of portfolio assessment, and to provide some guidance about how it can be incorporated into adult literacy education. It is based on a literature review and conversations with practitioners from a wide range of program contexts in various stages of developing portfolio assessment in their settings.

Portfolios & Beyond: Collaborative Assessment in Reading and Writing

Susan Mandel Glazer, Carol Smullen Brown, 17 p.

This is an encouraging how-to text written for teachers new to portfolio assessment techniques. The justification for alternative assessment measures and classroom environment are briefly discussed. The bulk of the book is devoted to guidelines, examples, and samples of materials for implementing portfolios. Although the specific examples are drawn from the K-12 system, the information and techniques are non grade-level specific.

Teachers said: "I would recommend this resource to others, but I would preface it with reminding teachers that the material was developed for teachers of kids and while the materials, handouts, etc. may be useful with adults, the interactions described may only be appropriate with kids."


50 Activities for Coaching/Mentoring

Donna Berry, Charles Cadwell, Jo Fehrmann, 288 p.

This volume of activities is a trainer’s guide to helping improve the performance of learners through active involvement with one another. There are a side variety of activities including icebreakers, activities for building trust, enhancing communication, setting goals, improving listening skills and increasing collaboration, to name a few. Each activity is presented in a uniform format with complete guidelines for the trainer.

Developing Human Resources: The 1972-1994 Annuals

J. William Pfeiffer, Editor, 22 volumes

Also known as the Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators, the contents of these annuals and handbooks include structured experiences, instruments, lecturettes, theory-to-practice and professional development papers, annotated bibliographies, and resources for professional trainers, consultants, and facilitators. The central purpose of the Annual is to keep readers aware of and involved in current development in training, career development, personnel, management, and organizational development. Users of the Annual are allowed to duplicate and modify materials for educational and training purposes. The contents of the 22 volumes are classified in the Reference Guide, which represents nearly 8,000 pages of materials. The Reference Guide enables pertinent tools, techniques, and ideas to be located for a variety of professional development activities.

How to Plan and Implement a Peer Coaching Program

Pam Robbins, 69 p.

Peer coaching offers programs a way to develop collaborative workplaces and improve teaching and learning. This book defines peer coaching and presents strategies for establishing peer coaching arrangements. There are also guidelines for designing and maintaining site-based peer coaching programs.

New Ways in Teacher Education

Donald Freeman, Steve Cornwell, Editors, 206 p.

Teacher trainers and language educators have contributed to this volume of strategies for improving teaching in the language classroom. Forty-six activities, fully described and outlined demonstrate specific ways in which teachers can come to learn more about their own teaching and develop their skills in a full range of areas. Suggestions for learning about discussions, teacher questions, self-monitoring and self-assessment techniques, using group learning, designing syllabi and finding professional resources. Designed to provide activities through which instructors can develop independent, reflective practice, this book can be used in a variety of teacher training settings, from graduate classes to workshops.

Still More Games Trainers Play: Experiential Learning Exercises

Edward E. Scannell, John W. Newstrom, 311 p.

Part of popular series of training guides, Still More Games Trainers Play contains many experiential activities for designing and conducting professional development workshops. The activities are grouped into several areas, such as communication and listening, brainteasers, and team building. Each activity clearly describes the objective, the procedure and all other details for using these field-tested, "guaranteed" exercises.


Classroom Research: Early Lessons from Success

Thomas A. Angelo, 134 p.

This volume is a collection of the ways classroom research can be used in a variety of classroom settings. Two preliminary chapters provide an introduction to classroom research, followed by teachers’ examples of how they apply it in their own classrooms.

Reclaiming the Classroom: Teacher Research as an Agency for Change

Dixie Goswami, Peter R. Stillman, Editors, 242 p.

Teacher research is explored in this compilation of teachers and researcher experiences in the classroom. The articles offer models and suggestions of how teachers can be the agents of change in their own classrooms, to become collaborators with their students to improve learning. They answer questions about teacher inquiry, the process and planning for teacher research, and finally teacher’s stories about what happened when they stopped making assumptions and started asking questions.

Teachers Are Researchers: Reflection and Action

Leslie Patterson, Carol Minnick Santa, Kathy G. Short, Karen Smith, Editors, 233 p.

This book offers a comprehensive look at teacher research, its foundations, orientation and applications. It is grounded in the belief that teachers as professionals are in the best position to question assumptions about teaching and learning and that reflective practice concerns the everyday needs of teachers in real classrooms. Examples of studies by elementary, middle school, high school and college teachers demonstrate the how-to and that their concerns and questions cross all levels.

Teachers said: "Powerful experiences of teachers who ‘woke up’ and realized that the best way to teach better was to stop teaching so hard and start to pay attention."


The Case for Constructivist Classrooms

Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, Martin G. Brooks, 136 p.

Based on the changes in understanding about teaching and learning, the authors of this book describe the five principles of constructivist classrooms: 1) problem posing, 2) concept building 3) student oriented 4) adaptive curricula and 5) holistic assessment of student learning. Along with examples, these principles depict the new teaching/learning paradigm.

Teachers said: "Excellent, readable resource. I would highly recommend it to anyone desiring more innovative and engaging teaching methods."

Collaborative Learning: Underlying Processes and Effective Techniques

Kris Bosworth, Sharon J. Hamilton, Editors, 106 p.

Balancing theory with practical suggestions, this volume describes the underlying processes of collaborative learning. Each chapter addresses a particular aspect of collaborative learning, including the role of the teacher, group dynamics and critical thinking. Case studies illustrate the potential and challenges of collaborative learning.

Competency-Based Curriculum for Adult Learners: Worker Characteristics

Alice Whitenack, Joan Benz, 90 p.

Worker Characteristics is part of a curriculum package focusing on workforce preparation. The three units cover employee skills and characteristics, finding a job and issues in the workplace in 11 lessons. Each lesson is activity-based and utilizes collaborative group activities. All of the worksheets necessary to complete activities are included.

Critical Thinking Skills

Marcia Heiman, Joshua Slomianko, 48 p.

Improving thinking and problem-solving skills are the goals of teaching critical thinking. This practical handbook introduces the concept of critical thinking and illustrates how these skills can be actively taught to students. It provides guidelines, general strategies and specific exercises to stimulate critical thinking that can be adapted to any classroom.

English Works! Ten Lessons for Workplace Literacy

10 15-min... video lessons These video lessons are designed for limited English speakers who need to develop skills for appropriate communication at work. Each lesson takes place in one of five workplace sites–hotels/ motels, hospitals, convenience stores, retirement homes, and maintenance sites–dealing with real communication situations. The ten 15-minute lessons are: 1. small talk, 2. responding to instructions, 3. asking for clarification, 4. asking for elaboration of a request, 5. reading job announcements, 6. reading forms, 7. dealing with mistakes, 8. asking to change your work schedule, 9. safety on the job, 10. interviewing for a better job.

Teachers said: "Good for reinforcing important aspects of work."

Helping Adults Learn: A Guide to Planning, Implementing, and Conducting Programs

Alan B. Knox, 262 p.

Helping Adults Learn is a comprehensive guide for teachers to plan and deliver effective instruction to adults. From assessing learner needs to program evaluation, the guidelines and suggestions in this book focus on the needs of adult learners. Written for teachers, clear descriptions, examples and checklists provide guidelines and strategies for choosing appropriate activities, selecting instructional materials, helping adults apply what they learn and improving teaching and learning overall.

Helping Adults Learn How to Learn

Robert M. Smith, Editor, 109 p.

The purpose of this collection of articles is to describe methods and resources for helping adults learn more effectively. It provides information for making instructional and administrative decisions that maximize adults’ learning potential. Topics such as learner self-direction, learning styles and experiential learning are discussed with a summary on the issues and implications of the learning-how-to-learn concept.

Making Learning Meaningful: The Student Role in Choosing Context

10-min. video tape

Developed as part of the IvCANS Curriculum project, this video demonstrates one step in the process of creating student-generated topics of study. It shows a teacher in a real classroom working through the decision-making process with narrative description of what is taking place.

National Issues Forums for Adult Basic Education

These books, videos, and audiocassette materials are used in local study circle discussion groups that are part of a nationwide network, the National Issues Forums. They are used by civic and educational organizations interested in addressing public issues. Each year, three national issues are chosen and issue books and materials are developed, including an abridged version at a lower reading level. Study circles are relevant to adult literacy educators because they engage learners in meaningful, challenging public policy options; they involve learners in making connections among political issues, themselves, and others in their community; they encourage learners to "speak up" and articulate what they know. The Resource Library has issue books, teacher support materials, and videos available for loan in topics ranging from health care to childcare, the environment to the national debt.

Workplace Dynamics

New Readers Press

The 16 role plays and simulations in Workplace Dynamics involve adults in one-on-one and group interactions to teach workplace skills, such as interpersonal skills, negotiation, leadership and problem solving as well as reading and writing . Designed to be used in any order, each of the self-contained lessons includes all the instructions and materials necessary to successfully complete the role play or simulation. There are follow-up activities and discussion questions to reinforce the learning activity and enhance skills development.


Help Yourself: How to Take Advantage of Your Learning Styles

Gail Murphy Sonbuchner, 158 p.

Help Yourself is a reference book for teachers and students to discover personal learning styles and learn a variety of strategies for taking advantage of them. An easy-to-understand learning inventory identifies a predominant learning preference followed by specific suggestions about the best learning environment for each type. Chapters deal with problem areas, like test taking, remembering, spelling that contain strategies for the six different learning styles identified.

Teachers said: "Great learning to learn text. A useful, easy-to-understand learning inventory and practical tips for teacher and student to accommodate to different needs."

Honoring Diversity: A Multidimensional Learning Model for Adults

Leslie Shelton, Joan Sheldon Conan, Holly Fulghum-Nutters, 59 p.

The purpose of this kit, including a book, set of activity cards, and audiocassette, is to present innovative ways to apply the finding of recent brain/mind research to the field of adult literacy. Developed by a group of literacy teachers in California, the focus of these materials is on the process of learning literacy skills; this easy-access book provides many different approaches for designing lessons based on the learner’s unique set of intelligences and learning styles.

Marching To Different Drummers

Pat Burke Guild, Stephen Garger, 109 p.

This book, an exploration of learning styles, is intended for all practicing educators: teachers, students, administrators, curriculum specialists, university faculty, and parents. The approach is comprehensive, but is not an attempt to cover the entire field. This book provides theory to enable informed use of the concepts and offers practical suggestions. Readers of this text are encouraged to ask themselves the question: "How can knowing this about style help me to open educational opportunities to students who need it most?"

People Types and Tiger Stripes

Gordon Lawrence, 224 p.

Differences in the ways individuals process experiences, called learning styles, are the focus of People Types and Tiger Stripes. This book offers a conceptual understanding of Meyers-Briggs psychological types, how to identify and how to use them to enhance teaching and learning. It describes practical ideas for working with learning styles in order to help people find and use their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses. Most of all, this book shows why an understanding of type is important to teachers and the learning process.

Teachers said: "Well-focused in the issue of learning styles and instruction for all levels. Tons of applications, lots of information."

Seven Ways of Knowing: Teaching for Multiple Intelligences

David Lazear, 221 p.

This book introduces the seven intelligences of multiple intelligences theory with examples, games, exercises, and diagrams to teach and engage the intelligence being described. Designed to expand teachers’ and students’ ways of knowing, this book provides the background and guidelines for incorporating multiple intelligences into lessons and activities.

Seven Ways of Teaching: The Artistry of Teaching with Multiple Intelligences

David Lazear, 163 p.

Seven Ways of Teaching is a handbook for teaching and learning within the framework of multiple intelligences theory. Taking each of the seven intelligences in turn, the author describes and demonstrates lesson models for "awakening, amplifying, teaching, and transferring" as they apply to the intelligence being emphasized. It also offers ideas for using student portfolios and reflection logs.

Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligences

Bruce Campbell, Linda Campbell, Dee Dickinson, 219 p.

Based on Howard Gardner’s theory of seven intelligences, this book offers classroom application of multiple intelligences theory. It is designed to assist teachers in designing instruction that is multimodal. The book begins with a description of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. The first five chapters of instructional strategies are organized around one intelligence (logical/mathematical and verbal/linguistic are not addressed because, the authors wanted to focus on the least engaging intelligences). The last two chapters are dedicated to curriculum and assessment issues.


An Affective Skills Curriculum

Patti McLaughlin, four 130 p. books

An Affective Skills Curriculum is an innovative and interactive curriculum which integrates interpersonal and basic skills. It can be adapted to any ABE or JTPA setting, but was specifically designed to address unmet needs of homeless, incarcerated and other at-risk learners. The curriculum is process-based. The four volumes contain more than 100 activities in the area on interpersonal skills. Each activity is approached through four directions: reflective, interactive, problem posing, and content-based, which allow the learner to work on a variety of basic skills while concentrating on a particular theme or topic. Working through these activities will strengthen the student’s skills in self-esteem, group effectiveness, communication, learning to learn, and personal management.

Teachers said: "An excellent resource."

Belonging: Self and Social Discovery for Children of All Ages

Jayne Devencenzi, Susan Pendergast, 265 p.

Group process and interpersonal skills are the subject of this guidebook. Appropriate for students of all ages, the directed activities, which are clearly outlined with visual aids, provide experiences in: exploring self, focusing on feelings, cooperating with others, asserting oneself, handling conflict and solving problems, sharing ideas and more. The experiences utilize a wide variety of structured activities, including journaling, art expression and role playing to engage learners in the self and social discovery process.

The Changer and the Changed: A Working Guide to Personal Change

Carol Bershad, Nancy DiMella, 142 p.

Ideas and activities to direct personal change are contained in this guidebook based on research and experience. Practical strategies are outlined and illustrated for evaluating thoughts and behaviors and changing them to reach one’s personal potential. Some of the topics covered include goal setting, support, reflection and observation. Many of the activities utilize journal writing to foster the change process.

Cooperative Learning: Warm-Ups, Grouping Strategies and Group Activities

Roger T. Johnson, David W. Johnson, 91 p.

This is a packet of specific activities for facilitating cooperative learning. They serve to increase teachers’ repertoires of warm-ups, grouping strategies and group activities to add variety and stimulate new ideas.

Teachers said: "Lots of original ideas to stimulate and develop teachers’ use of cooperative learning strategies."

Human Relations and Your Career: A Guide to Interpersonal Skills

David W. Johnson, 296 p.

Human Relations and Your Career teaches the interpersonal and group skills necessary to be part of a successful team. It describes current ideas and concepts of interpersonal and group skills needed to be a competent employee. Using an experiential approach, it provides a wide range of skill-building exercises and simulations in four general areas: cooperation, leadership, communication, and decision making.

Messages: Building Interpersonal Communication Skills

Joseph A. DeVito, 371 p.

Messages is an introduction to interpersonal communication focusing on the development of interpersonal communication skills. The text covers the essential topics using stories, examples, visuals emphasizing the practical applications of interpersonal skills. Each chapter includes skill-development exercises that are adult-oriented and promote active classroom participation. The reading level is

geared toward the college-level student, but the materials are highly applicable and adaptable to the adult basic education class.

Transition Training: Manual for Personal Growth, Development and Self-Employment

113 p.

Coping with change is the theme of this activities manual for adults. It is designed to prepare and assist individuals for changes in relationships, routines, roles, or assumptions within the settings of work, school, family, health, or finances. Through the concepts and skills learned in experiential activities, including planning problem solving and self-reflection, students learn to assess the impact of change and develop skills for coping with and managing change.


Software Buyer’s Guide, 1993 Edition

Barbara AW Wright, Editor, 75 p.

This annotated bibliography of teacher- and student-tested educational software for ABE, GED, ESL, and Developmental Education is the sixth in a series. This edition contains ratings for programs in language arts, math, reading, life skills, and teacher support materials; annotated descriptions of programs rated good to excellent; a resource section on some of the more advanced means of utilizing technology in education; and a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of software publishers.

Video User’s Guide

Barbara AW Wright, Editor, 30 p.

This video guide contains a list of videos available for use in adult basic education programs organized into eight curriculum areas. Many of the videos were reviewed by instructors and students and are featured with a rating, price, description and evaluation of strengths and weaknesses. Publisher addresses are provided in a separate listing.

ESL Technology User’s Guide

Barbara AW Wright, Catherine Cantrell, Editors,

48 p.

The ESL Technology User’s Guide is a listing of a variety of technologies (computer software, video, audio, on-line communication system, and others) available for use in English as a Second Language programs. The featured technologies were reviewed by adult basic education instructors and students and are rated on a four-point scale with a description and evaluation of strengths and weaknesses and the retail price. The Resource Guide provides information for contacting publishers and other resources for learning about appropriate technology for teaching basic skills.

Technology Assisted Teaching Techniques

Jani Duncan, 100 p.

This is a collection of techniques for using various technologies in language teaching. Each chapter focuses on a specific piece of equipment or technology, beginning with a brief description of the technology, its attributes and capabilities, and general suggestions. Three to five techniques designed to exploit the characteristics of the technology are given in a standardized form for ease of use.


Copies of the following I-CANS resources are also available from the Northwest Regional Resource Library. These materials were made by I-CANS instructors and/or I-CANS students during their Implementation Phase of I-CANS, 1994-1995.

Orientation Packet

This packet was designed for new instructors. Includes Student Intake Procedure, Student Exit Procedure, and Mission Statement as part of their packet. (Bellingham Technical College)

Student Assessment Grid

Practical guidelines for leveling students in relation to four different means of expression: practical demonstration; oral explanation; written expression; projects.(King County PIC)

Instructional Quality Indicators Matrix

These documents were designed to specify and assess quality in our instructional programs. Every program could use this matrix to self-assess and then use the information gathered to create an improvement plan.

(King County PIC)

Client Learning Matrix

This matrix was designed to be used with students/ clients in assessing the SCANS skills/ competencies. (King County PIC)

"Compendium of C.A.T.s."

This attractive booklet is a collection of classroom assessment techniques developed by faculty at Walla Walla Community College. These "CATs" were developed over a period of 3 years. Some of the faculty were involved in an Outcomes Project utilizing Classroom Assessment Techniques which were taken from "Classroom Research and Assessment, A Handbook for College Teachers" by Dr. Patricia Cross and Dr. Thomas Angelo. This booklet contains the CATs that the Walla Walla faculty developed while being involved in that project.

"An I-CANS Lift for the Reading CORE Competencies"

This packet is designed to serve as a resource for instructors who teach ABE levels 1, level 2 and ESL classes. The focus is on activities and exercises which address three of the Indicators of Program Quality; Educational Gains, Program Planning, and Curriculum and Instruction. These activities integrate the IvCANS methodologies with the state Core Reading competencies.

"Critical Thinking Packet"

This packet contains handouts from the Walla Walla Community College Critical Thinking Fair. Some titles are; Tips for Testing for Critical Thinking, Critical Thinking Exercises, a Syllabus for a course entitled "Cultural Diversity and the Media".

"Tips for Parents"

This booklet is the result of a group project, researched and written by students in Linda Draper’s spring 1995 ABE class at Lower Columbia College


An anthology of writings by ABE students at Lower Columbia College.

"Tips for Job Shadowing "

This one page information sheet includes 6 tips to prepare instructors for job shadowing. It also includes 11 questions and observations to help structure a job shadowing visitation.

(Community Colleges of Spokane)

"ABE Competency Checklist"

Instructors at South Seattle Community

College incorporated the I-CANS competencies into their General Studies Checklist.

"Student Orientation Packet"

This packet was designed by the instructors at Lake Washington Technical College to be used with students coming to the Learning Resource Center for assistance in reading, writing, math, vocabulary, spelling, GED preparation, ESL and accent reduction. These documents and process created will both guide and track these learners’ progress. They will also reflect entry and exit outcomes and be part of each student’s working file.

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