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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Learning Forward Alabama Conference Gems and Gold Nuggets

Learning Forward Alabama

               Congratulations to Dr. Boyd, Rogan, Director of Regional In-Service Center, for receiving the "Professional Developer of the Year" award!  We are so proud of you!

ARI Region 5 had the privilege of attending Learning Forward Alabama, the 25th Annual Meeting and Fall Conference, on November 18th- 20th. 

Learning Forward Alabama Website

We spent two days with Eleanor Drago-Severson, author of Leading Adult Learning - Supporting Adult Development in Our Schools. Dr. Drago-Severson introduced us to her "Ways of Knowing," adapted from Kegan's constructive-developmental theory. She states, "In the context of education, our way of knowing shapes the way we understand our role and responsibilities as a teacher, principal, superintendent, or learner and the way we think about what makes a good teacher or a good superintendent. Drago-Severson discusses this in depth in Chapter 2 of her book:

Click here:
Leading Adult Learning

Learning Forward Alabama was able to visit the beautiful Hayes K-8 School. Pictured below is Mr. Cedric Tatum, Principal of Hayes K-8 School, sharing information about their amazing farm lab.

Hayes K-8 School Motto: I can! I will! Watch me!

The third day of Learning Forward Alabama was spent with Ron Berger, author of Leaders of their Own Learning: Transforming Schools Through Student-Engaged Assessment. Berger shared EL Education's "Dimensions of Student Achievement," which includes Mastery of Knowledge and Skills, Character, and High-Quality Student Work. 

EL Education has a lot of free videos and resources for educators on their website:
EL Education Website

Ron Berger's book can be purchased here:
Leaders of their Own Learning

                 Ron Berger signing our books. 

One concurrent session that we attended at the conference was "Maximize Learning with Mobile Devices," presented by Lauren Woodley, Angie Clark, Lee Hall, and Leslie Cash. Shelby County School District is using some great technology tools for professional development and in their school classrooms. They share lots of great resources on their Tech Treats Blog:

Shelby County Tech Treats Blog

Here are some of our favorites:


Presentation tool that allows teachers to create interactive lessons to be shared with their students (limited version available for Free).

Answer Garden
A brainstorming or formative assessment tool. Students add words or phrases to the ‘garden’ and the results ‘grow’ the more frequently they are answered.

Video lessons you can use that have been made by others or you can make your own. You can find videos to use, insert questions in them, crop, add your own voice to add audio notes, and track your students understanding. It keeps a record of each student’s response to the questions embedded in the video.

Kahoot! provides a fun and simple way to give formative assessments in real time and get feedback on student learning.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dyslexia is now in the Alabama Administrative Code

According to the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide, "Dyslexia impacts between 10% and 20% of children in Alabama schools." 

Excerpt from the Introduction in the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide:

"The purpose of the Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide is to provide guidance, useful information, and continually updated links to valuable resources to assist educators, administrators, and parents or guardians as they provide dyslexia-specific services and support for students in Alabama’s public schools. The Alabama State Board of Education Dyslexia Resolution was unanimously adopted on April 8, 2015, and is included in the Resources portion of this guide. The Dyslexia Resolution defined dyslexia, recognized the significant educational implications that may result for students with dyslexia, called for the creation of a Dyslexia Advisory Council, and called for revision of the Alabama Administrative Code to acknowledge and address dyslexia and subsequent services needed to ensure the success of students with dyslexia. The Dyslexia Amendments to the Alabama Administrative Code were adopted by the State Board of Education and are included in the Resources portion of this guide. Implementation of these amendments within a tiered, instructional framework should result in improved educational outcomes for all students."

You may find the Dyslexia Resource Guide in the Alabama Reading Initiative's section of the Alabama State Department of Education's web site (click on the tab at the top of this blog). You may click on the link below to download the document:

Alabama Dyslexia Resource Guide

Friday, October 2, 2015

ARI Region 5 News and Resources Update

ARI Region 5 is proud to be a partner of the Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama. We are one of 211 participating organizations in this initiative, whose mission is to "Engage community partners to align Central Alabama's resources to prepare every student for college, career, and life."

Learn more about the Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama at their website here:

Dr. Tommy Bice met with members of the Bold Goals Education Steering Committee along with 17 local superintendents to discern more about the needs and to encourage their school systems to access the resources available through Bold Goals Education. He also took the time to visit with our ARI Region 5 Support Staff, who was working diligently on Bessemer City support requests. 

Photo Credit: Melissa Shields

Click here to read more about Dr. Bice's visit with the Bold Goals Education Steering Committee:

Dr. Bice and Bold Goals News Article

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New School Year in Region 5

Welcome back to school Region 5 schools! 

Your Region 5 Support Staff has been working diligently to assist our school districts with their professional development needs and coaching support requests. We have also been sharpening our own saws by gaining a deeper knowledge of today's most pressing educational issues and ways to support student needs. 

As a reminder, we have a new procedure for support requests. Please click below to complete a services request form. We look forward to joining you in your efforts to ensure that all of our students are College and/or Career Ready! 

Please visit our blog monthly to read about work in our region, to download resources, find suggested professional learning books, and to view pictures of our work in your districts. You may follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by clicking on the links at the bottom of the blog. Also, be sure to search under our logo in the Labels area to find specific items of interest. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Resources from Fairfield High Preparatory School Professional Development:
Day 1 Student Engagment and Day 2 Depth of Knowledge

Click here for:
Strategies Cards from Fairfield High Preparatory School Training

Click here for:
Rick Wormeli Books 

Click here for:
Rick Wormeli Videos

Click here for:
Eric Jensen Books

Click here for:
Cris Tovani Books

Click here for:
A Guide for Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge with Common Core State Standards By Karin Hess, Ed.D.

Click here for:
Depth of Knowledge Video

"Bloom's Taxonomy is what students are asked to DO with the content. Webb's DOK is the depth in which the students need to engage with content to complete a task."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Training Resources: Foundations for Beginning Reading and Strategic Teaching: Literacy Across All Contents

Requested resources from ARI Region 5 Summer Training at The Lincoln Professional Development Center June 9 - 11, 2015:

Foundations for Beginning Reading

Click here for routine card for using Phonics Folders:

Click here for the template to create Phonics Folders

Click here for:

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For the vertically-aligned, one-pager style, ALCCRS for ELA:

Click here for the Teaching Channel Video:

Strategic Teaching: Literacy Across All Contents

Components of a Strategic Lesson Poster:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015 Summer Learning Challenge

 "For Alabama's students, summer is a time of fun, but those months away from school can result in a loss of knowledge and reading ability. The Summer Learning Challenge raises awareness of the summer loss epidemic, shares compelling research on the importance of personalized reading activities and provides access to a variety of free resources to support targeted reading and math summer learning." - via
Click here for links to a variety of FREE reading and math activities and resources:
This includes FREE access to Stride Academy, an online game-based adaptive learning platform for math, reading and science, accessible on tablets, PCs and Macs anytime, 24/7. Stride Academy delivers awesome video games as a reward for completing academic tasks, so students are motivated to practice skills throughout the summer and better prepare themselves for a new school year in the fall!

To print the press release about this challenge:
2015 Summer Learning Challenge Press Release