Lifelong Learning Center
School Representative: Renee Bentham – Department Chair, Academic Success Program
Date EdReady Montana Program Implemented: 8/13/2014 (the first Adult Ed Center in Montana to use the program)
Grade Levels of Students Utilizing EdREady MT: Adults with math skill levels between 3rd grade and College Prep
Missoula Lifelong Learning Center Background Info:
The Lifelong Learning Center (LLC), an Adult Basic Literacy Education Center located in the heart of Missoula, Montana, has been working with and utilizing the EdReady Montana program for the past 2 years and has led the way for Adult Education Centers using EdReady in Montana. Recently EdReady Montana’s Program Manager, Dr. Ryan Schrenk, spoke with Renee Bentham, the Academic Success Program Director, and Mike McCarthy, a Math Teacher at the Lifelong Learning Center, regarding their current use of the program. The LLC in Missoula is the first Adult Education Center featured by EdReady Montana to begin to show and tell the story of how students, educators and schools in the state of Montana benefit from the program. The LLC prepares students for high school equivalency, college attendance, helps with retention of struggling college students and prepares students for other standardized tests (ASVAB, ACT, College Placement, etc.).
Q: Please describe how the EdReady Montana program is being utilized at your school.
Considerations: Grade levels, Remediation, Acceleration, Intervention, Skill Building, Classroom Supplement
A:We use EdReady to provide individualized instruction to adults with varying skill levels and educational goals inside the same classroom. The program allows us to serve students when it works for them to come to class. Students utilize the program both at the Learning Center and from home.
Q: How are you integrating the EdReady Montana program into daily lesson plans?
Considerations: Homework vs. In-Class use, Graded vs. Non-Graded, Special Classroom Arrangements or Lab Scheduling, etc.
A:Students take an initial assessment of math skills and we use the result to assign them a goal in EdReady that meets both their skill level and gets them moving toward their stated goals. EdReady has evolved into our primary instructional tool for math. We supplement the program with some direct instruction, other classroom handouts, standardized test specific questions, basic information or extra drill and practice tools as needed. Students need to take practice tests and also learn and practice the standardized test strategies in order to be successful. This is necessary for them to experience the test question types and go over the best strategy to use on the tests. EdReady teaches the underlying math skills needed to take them but not the strategy or specific test questions used on these tests.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of the program?
A:The flexibility of the program allows our students to study in the way that matches their learning style. Some students prefer the presentations, others the worked examples, some others like to practice the problems or look through the text for answers. Students will take notes from the text as well as the presentations or worked examples.
Our ability to set up new goals to match the students’ goals whether they want to pass high school equivalency or pursue a college-level class. It has been especially helpful when serving prospective college students in that they see our use of the EdReady program as giving them a credible solution to prepare for College even though they are not at the college when they are with our program.
We appreciate how the goals are designed with some overlap of learning objectives and topics. This helps to reinforce the skills that students struggle with as they move from one level to the next.
The support we get from EdReady Montana staff at the Digital Academy is amazing. Help is available during the day when we need it and has made the program even more usable for us and our students.
Every topic, even basic addition, is presented in a rigorous and adult-friendly manner. As a result, our students are more engaged with the material and motivated to use the program.
Q: What, or who, has made implementation at your school successful?
A:We needed a program that meets the needs of our students and EdReady has filled that gap for us.
Mike, our primary math teacher, has done the work necessary to integrate EdReady into our services for students from the first day they are with us through the pursuit and completion of their goals.
Q: How have your students reacted to the program?
A:Students are very positive about EdReady resources and it is easier to engage students with this program than others we have used. Many students come to us with math phobias and bad past experiences with math and the program has given our team a way to help reach out and begin to make connections, sometimes for the very first time for them.
Students appreciate, seem more comfortable and are empowered by the ability to pursue their own individualized experience within the program. They get to choose what resources they spend more or less time on and they often have not had that sort of choice before.
Q: What are you most proud of in your implementation, or what has surprised you most about utilizing the program?
A:I’m proud of how quickly and seamlessly we were able to adopt it and begin using it right away. Other systems we have started to use seem to take much more time and effort or have gone through many growing pains. Our implementation of EdReady went very smoothly.
I’m proud of the success we’ve had with college-prep students who have dug into the program then placed into and successfully passed required math classes instead of developmental education classes. Those solutions are often difficult to “sell” but EdReady has started to change that conversation for us with our students.
Q: What advice does your school have for other schools, programs, administrators or teachers looking to implement the program?
A:It may take time to learn the specific components of the program but you should give the program a chance and start using it then learn those pieces as you go. Don’t be afraid to just start the program.
Every student that comes to you is usually using the program for the first time. It’s important to remember to sit down at first with your students to help them out as they learn to use the program. Once they get a feel for the program, they gain their own momentum. The program teaches the students to do math well and learn the content before they move on to other topics.
It’s important to watch for students who are just trying to reach their goal scores without learning the material. Students who are just taking tests over and over or just watching the content over and over again both need coaching or guidance to use the system appropriately.
School Contact Information
Address: 310 S Curtis, Missoula, MT 59801
Phone Number: 406-549-8765