AAMU/UAH Regional Inservice Center

December 2020 Happenings/ The Power of Reflection

A Note From The AAMU/UAH RIC Director

Greetings #ALRegion3 Educators,

Happy Holidays y’all! As we prepare to wrap up 2020, I want to thank everyone who participated in the November #30DaysofThankfulness challenge. It is thankfulness that transforms these times of Covid into thanksgiving. In the words of country singer-songwriter, Willie Nelson, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around”.

This month, I am challenging each of you to spend time reflecting on the 2020 year. As we transition into 2021, this is the perfect time for you to look back on the goals you set this past year. First start by reflecting on goals you achieved and celebrate, then reflect on the goals you didn’t quite achieve and make a plan to persevere. Remember, goals don’t have to be accomplished in a calendar year, some goals may take multiple years to achieve and that’s okay! In the words of the famous philosopher and educator John Dewey, “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience”, so commit to reflecting on your experience and make a plan to get 1% better in multiple areas of your personal and professional life each and every day! Check out my fav reflection-themed TedTalks entitled, Want to Get Great At Something? Get A Coach.

"I don't think it's how good you are now, I think it's how good you're gonna be" ~Atul Gwande, M.D., MPH

Happy Reflecting,

Dr. Kisha Tolbert Simmons, NBCT

Director, AAMU/UAH Regional Inservice Center

Personal Twitter: @KTSimmonsPhDMom

Hashtag: #AAMUUAHRICWorks

Check out Dr. Kisha & Friends’ Favorite Book Picks!

Fav Reflection Themed Books
  1. Developing the Leader in You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell
  2. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman
  3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown-- recommended by Alyson Carpenter, Alyson Carpenter Consulting
  4. Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar---recommended by Alyson Carpenter, Alyson Carpenter Consulting
  5. Focus on Teaching: Using Video for High-Impact Instruction by Jim Knight
  6. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change by Stephen Covey
  7. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. Maxwell
  8. Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant
  9. Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students and Parents Love by Joe Sanfelippo & Tony Sinanis
  10. Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You Had: Ideas and Strategies from Vibrant Classrooms by Tracy Johnston Zager ------ [This book has the power of helping] math teachers develop a greater understanding of how students learn mathematics, and how teacher actions in the classroom can influence how students feel about math and their perception of whether or not they are good at math [or not].” ~Gene Burchfield, Math Improvement Specialist, Marshall County Schools
  11. Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction by Jim Knight---- “Every state, regional, district and school leaders should read and re-read this once every year.” ~Alyson Carpenter, Alyson Carpenter Consulting

Fav Goal Setting Themed Books

  1. Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

About the AAMU/UAH RIC

The Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University/University of Alabama at Huntsville Inservice Center (AAMU/UAH RIC) is located on the beautiful campus of the historical Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University. The AAMU/UAH RIC partners with administrators, teachers, instructional/content specific coaches, counselors and media specialists in 12 school districts, across 4 counties in ALSDE’s region 3---- Albertville City Schools, Arab City Schools, Boaz City Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Fort Payne City Schools, Guntersville City Schools, Huntsville City Schools, Jackson County Schools, Madison City Schools, Madison County Schools, Marshall County Schools, and Scottsboro City Schools--- to offer high-quality professional learning experiences to support educator growth.

Alabama Science in Motion (ASIM)

Featured ASIM Lab of the Month-- Mrs. Robinson, Huntsville City Schools, Huntsville High School

ASIM Lab R1Bones - Bones of the Human Body

Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to name the bones of the human skeleton, classify bones, according to their shape and function, calculate ratios of structures in the skeleton, and use evidence to determine race, sex and age of bones. The skeleton is subdivided into two divisions: the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. The axial skeleton consists of the skull, spinal column, ribs, breastbone, and hyoid bone. The appendicular skeleton includes the upper extremities: pectoral girdle, arms, wrists, hands, and the lower extremities: pelvic girdle, legs, ankles, and feet. There are 206 bones in the adult skeleton. Bones can be classified into four groups based on morphology (size and shape). The four categories are: long, short, flat and irregular.

Essential Question:

How are human bones named and classified?


*The image is taken at Huntsville High School in Mrs. Robinson’s Anatomy classes.

ASTA 2021 Conference: "Teachers Are Heroes and Can Do Virtually Anything!" March 15-16, 2021

The 2021 Alabama Science Teachers Association Conference will feature four strands:

  • Tech Tools
  • Socially Distant Science (how to teach science with no shared materials or labs)
  • Virtual Instruction.

Learn More & Register here!

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Mr. Glen Fox, ASIM Biology Specialist

Email: gfoxasimbiology@gmail.com or glen.fox@aamu.edu

Work Cell: (256)924-8203

Follow me on Twitter: @ASIM_BIO_AAMU

Use the hashtags: #AAMUUAHBiologyWorks and #AAMUUAHRICWorks

Technology in Motion (TiM)

Aundria's Featured "Techy Teacher"-- Lisha Overdear, Scottsboro City Schools, Collins Road Intermediate

Gamification 4 week PD Course

In week 1 participants created an activity using Flippity. Lisha Overdear from Collins Intermediate, Scottsboro City created a digital word search using her student's vocabulary terms as clues.

Check out her wordsearch!


Aundria's Featured "Techy Teacher"-- Donna Abbott, Jackson Co. Schools, Bridgeport Elementary

Gamification 4 week PD Course

In week 2 participants complete a Google Earth assignment. They were to create a scavenger hunt for their students to use while exploring in Google Earth. Here is the presentation/scavenger hunt that was created by Donna Abbott from Bridgeport Elementary School located in Jackson County.

Checkout her Walking around Chattanooga Google Earth Presentation/Scavenger Hunt!


A Sneak Peek Into The New Year... "Productivity Tech Tools" You Don't Want To Miss!

Administrators, Teachers, Instructional/Content Coaches, Media Specialists, Counselors and others... Mark your calendar and prepare to begin your new year more productively! We want to help you maximize your time so you can achieve your goals with ease! The best life is a #productivelife!
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Mrs. Aundria Campbell, TiM Instructional Technology Specialist

Email: techyteacher3@gmail.com or aundria.campbell@aamu.edu

Work Cell: 256-929-9009 *call or text

Office: (256) 372-4426

Twitter: @mrscamptech

Hashtag to Follow: #AAMUUAHTiMWorks and #AAMUUAHRICWorks


Mark Your Calendar! #ALRegion3 Happenings

Stay Connected via...


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aamuinservice

Use Hashtag: #AAMUUAHRICWorks

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The math textbook expo originally scheduled for 1/11 and 1/12 have been postponed until after the Alabama State Board Meeting in January 2021. More info to come. Thanks!


Through the Scholastic Awards, teens in grades 7-12 (ages 13 and up) from public, private, or home schools can apply in 29 categories of art and writing for their chance to earn scholarships and have their works exhibited and published.

The submission portal is open September 1 - December 12, 2020

Here is a full list of category descriptions click the link below:

Guidelines here

Enter competition here

For more information on the Alabama Regional Awards, you may contact Dr. Robin Bynum at 334-670-5978.

Sibme Coach Replay

"Are you an instructional coach or leader looking for tips, strategies, and tools to enhance your coaching? Are you interested in using video to support and empower those you coach?

The Sibme Coach Replay Show is designed with you in mind! This weekly web-show hosted by Sibme’s Director of Professional Learning, Cory Camp, features expert coaches to break down classroom instruction, coaching moves, and strategies and discuss important topics in education, instruction, and leadership. Each episode is accompanied by downloadable Coach Also, don't forget the 'notes and takeaways' with episode highlights and additional resources. Find them at ➡️ https://learn.sibme.com/courses/sibme-coach-replay-notes-and-takeaways "

A few of Dr. Kisha's Sibme Coach Replay Favs!

#ALRegion3 NBCT (National Board Certified Teacher) Support

The AAMU/UAH Regional Inservice Center is proud to partner with and advocate for educators currently pursuing NBCT status or interested in pursuing NBCT status. For more information about NBCT mentoring support and opportunities offered through the AAMU/UAH Regional Inservice Center, please complete the Region 3 NBCT interest form and someone from our team will be reaching out to you soon!


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Did You Know?!?!? #NBCT Scoop of Madison County, Alabama

Did you know....

Creative Cities in partnership with The Schools Foundation (Madison Co, Madison City and Huntsville City) is on a mission to achieve the highest number of NBCTs in the nation!?!?


"Raise Your Hand is a visionary initiative to achieve the highest concentration of National Board Certified Teachers nationwide. NBCTs are proven to increase student achievement, improve schools, and generate ROI for the community. Our goal is to have 27% concentration of National Board Certified Teachers in Huntsville City, Madison City, and Madison County school systems. To accomplish this, Creative Cities is partnering with The Schools Foundation to fund 500 new NBCTs over the next five years. We are seeking 20 organizations to invest $10,000 per year for five years..."

Who is Creative Cities Funds, again?

"The Creative Cities Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Huntsville Committee of 100. It exists to help our community make the leap to become a visionary city that attracts thought leaders, creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses alike. We look for smart, tangible opportunities to spur economic development and improve education in our community. The Creative Cities Fund is about innovation – backed by a solid business plan. Click here to learn about our community investments over the last five years. "

Why invest in NBCTs?

National Board Certification develops, retains, and recognizes accomplished teachers and generates ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. This certification is administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Why should you Raise Your Hand?

  • Students taught by NBCTs demonstrate an increase in learning of 1-2 months per year. Gains increase even more among disadvantaged students.
  • Kindergarteners taught by an NBCT are 37% more likely to be reading at the end of the school year, and over 30% more likely to reach grade level standards.
  • Research shows that for every $1 invested in NBCTs, there is $31 worth of community-wide ROI.
RYH Giving Tuesday 2020

ARI (Alabama Reading Initiative) -- #ALRegion3

"Phonics instruction has always been about making meaning. Success means embracing the belief that systematic, explicit phonics instruction is always purposefully included in children’s reading and writing."

Join Weily Blevins on Tuesday 12/8 at 8:00am or 12:00pm for the PD Webinar entitled,

"Meaningful Phonics and the Science of Reading"

"In this 1-hour PD webinar, well-known phonics expert Wiley Blevins will introduce the foundation of strong, core phonics instruction and how it is informed by the Science of Reading within the literacy classroom. Participants will explore the latest neuro-scientific research and what it proves about “the reading brain,” and discover how systematic phonics instruction can be engaging, active, and thought-provoking. Wiley will share research-proven tips to support empowering your teachers for impactful teaching."

ARI's 2020-2021 #ALRegion3 Lunch & Learn Session Information & Dates

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ARI's December Lunch & Learn Session

Thursday, Dec. 10th, 11am-12pm

This is an online event.

This professional learning series is designed for District and Elementary School Leaders. Learning will be centered around the Alabama Literacy Act (ALA) and the Journey to Success.

Register here in PowerSchool

Section: 388432

Led by

Lora Snell, Regional Literacy Leadership Specialist, Region 3

*Please contact Lora Snell for more information at

EL Support & Resources

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EL - Understanding English Language Proficiency

Tuesday, Dec. 8th, 3:30-5pm

This is an online event.

Participants will gain an understanding of how to understand English language proficiency by exploring the following topics: – Exploring how to interpret English Language Proficiency (ELP) test results. – Using ELP scores to drive instruction – Creating rich classroom interactions for ELs to move toward independent success

Register here in PowerSchool

Course #258415

Led by ALSDE EL Specialist, Robin Stutts

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EL - Content Instruction for English Learners

Thursday, Dec. 10th, 3:30-5pm

This is an online event.

To ensure that English learner students have equal access to high-quality instruction, educators must develop content and language objectives. This session will focus on building teachers’ capacity as they work to increase ELs’ academic knowledge in the content areas. Educators will explore how to make content comprehensible by building opportunities through purposeful scaffolded tasks and embracing the background knowledge and experiences ELs bring to the classroom.

Register here in PowerSchool


Led by ALSDE EL Specialist, Robin Stutts

#ALRegion3 AMSTI-UAH (Alabama Math, Science & Technology Initiative at the University of Alabama at Huntsville) Team

Check out AMSTI-UAH's newly release #MathFocusMaps !

K-5 Math Focus Maps

6-8 Math Focus Maps -- coming soon

9-12 Math Focus Maps

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"Caught Being Awesome"! #ALRegion3 Nov. Highlights

Meet the #ALRegion3 Dream Team!

AAMU/UAH Governing Board Members

Mr. Jason Hass, Principal, Scottsboro City Schools-- Governing Board President

Ms. Betty McIntire, Teacher, Jackson Co. Schools--- Governing Board Secretary

Dr. Kisha Tolbert Simmons, Director, AAMU/UAH RIC-- Governing Board Executive Secretary

Mr. Travis Cummings, School Board Member, Madison City Schools

Ms. Catina Hamilton, Instructional Coach, Boaz City Schools

Dr. Johanna Massey, Professor, AAMU

Ms. Tameka McGill, Teacher, Huntsville City Schools

Ms. Jennifer Taylor, District Administrator, Madison Co. Schools

Ms. Kimberly Tucker, Teacher, Arab City Schools

Ms. Porshe Chapman, Teacher, Huntsville City Schools

Ms. Shundra Morris, AMSTI-UAH STEM Specialist

Ms. Rachel Gibbs, Teacher, Madison City Schools

Ms. Jodi Jacobs, District Administrator, DeKalb County Schools

Dr. Elisabeth Davis, Assistant State Superintendent of Student Learning, ALSDE

Mr. Sean Stevens, Instructional Services Program Coordinator, ALSDE


Start Here. Go Anywhere! #AAMU

Alabama A&M University (AAMU) is a collegiate university that balances the personal attention of a small traditional land-grant college with the academic vitality and broad opportunities of a research university. AAMU has a diverse faculty and student body, state-of-the-art facilities, and top-notch resources, programs, and services.

Earn Your Graduate Degree at AAMU!

Check out the AAMU's graduate degree programs here