Sunday, December 18, 2016

December 19th


Elective brochures should be turned into Alexandria/Ashley's mailbox once received.

Case 21 for grades 2-5: January 17, 18, 24 & 25.  Tanya and Daphne are working on the schedule and will let you know what days/times your children will be testing!


Mark your calendars!  The 5th grade Visual Arts Residency Project will be showcased at CAM on January 6th.  Student pieces, as well as the class collaborative Coral Reef Projects will be on display.  Our event will be from 5-6pm with the display opening to the public at 6pm.  The displays will be up at CAM until January 8th with free admission for Underwood staff/families until then.  We hope to see you there!

Thank you to Rachel, Melissa, Kellie, JR and Jill for an outstanding Holiday Performance!  The children outdid themselves! :)

Critical Thinking

* Apply Now for 2017-18 Kenan Fellows Program
  As a reminder, the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is accepting online applications for the 2017-18 fellowship year through Jan. 16. - Info for Keenan Fellows


Last Thursday, Kim Hughes worked closely with 5 teachers to continue their implementation of Conscious Discipline in their classroom!

Ashley, Daphne and Kindergartners celebrating completing the five steps in Feeling Buddies!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dec 12


Staff Holiday Celebration! - Friday, December 16 at The Point from 4:30-6:30.  Free appetizers and drawing for gift cards!  Mark your calendars. :) 

Book Fair -- We sold $14,000 in books and will receive $3,500 in profit. Additionally, we received $500 in books for the Media Center. We appreciate the many volunteers who were generous with their time and donations. And extra big THANK YOU to Megan DeLong, Susan Reid, and Joanna Rose for your hard work on this school event.

PTA Stipends-Fall Semester teacher stipends are due by December 15th.  Attach receipts to the completed form in the PTA Treasurer's mailbox for you $100 reimbursement.

Interims go home on December 13th.

YLearning - Last day before holidays is Thursday, Dec. 15.  It will resume on Monday, January 9.
Chick-Fil-A Spirit Dinner - December 13th 5-7pm Cameron Village location. 


We hope you can come watch our students perform at the Holiday Performance!
Handbells (2nd period, 8th period), Treblemakers(7th period), Tap Team and Dance Ensemble will be performing on Thursday, December 15th at 7:00pm.

Band and Orchestra Holiday Performance - Monday, December 19 @ 7pm in gym

Pieces of Gold - We had a great time auditioning for Wake County’s Pieces of Gold on Tuesday, December 6th. We are excited to announce that we were selected to participate in the Pieces of Gold
Students in Theatre Production have been working hard to perfect the scene, song and dance to “So Long Ago.”

The long awaited new playground structure (similar to the net structure at Pullen Park) will be installed on December 29th and 30th! 

Discovery Education Support - Underwood is one of 27 schools that will be working with a DE coach for 3 days to increase our focus on our two SIP key processes and support our Learner Agency in our classrooms. Daphne will be leading this team. More info to come. 


Student Council Meeting -- Thursday 15th at 2:40 (location to TBD). If students have a device please have them bring it with them. We will be meeting for most of 8th period. We will be using Google Classroom for virtual meetings, but have not had full attendance at our meetings. 

Active Learning Space Grant -- We have five staff members that have expressed interest in being apart of the Grant process. Our application is due February 3rd. 

Shout outs Via Twitter --- Check out these awesome happenings in our classrooms

Critical Thinking 

Pulse Check - Please complete the following survey by Friday the 16th-- click on to complete. This is a survey that I will be using the results at January's principals meeting. Currently we have 14 anonymous responses. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 5th


Interims will be going home on December 13th.

YLearning - Last day before holidays is Thursday, Dec. 15.  It will resume on Monday, January 9.

Staff Holiday Celebration! - Friday, December 16 at The Point from 4:30-6:30.  Free appetizers and drawing for gift cards!  Mark your calendars. :)

Behavior Support Presentation - Presentation
  • Minor incident (handled in your setting) → you start/close incident report (with no other student names) →  you communicate with parent (phone, email, send home form) →  you communicate with homeroom teacher (major-same day, minor-within 2 days)
  • Major incident (call office for immediate need/bring to office)  →  you start incident report/click report button (include other student names for investigation then they will be deleted) →  admin closes out incident report and contacts parents
Staff brainstorming strategies to use to support students socially/emotionally

Critical Thinking

Instructional technology Facilitator - Our Learning Lab is a flexible, collaborative, shared  school environment that teachers utilize to enhance their classroom curriculum experiences.  Don't forget to go on your google calendar to reserve your time slot to bring your class to learn in the lab. This is no longer a computer lab but a space to learn math, writing, social studies, science, reading, elements of the arts. It is packed with flexible seating, creative learning materials, a projector, a chromecast equipped TV.  Come borrow the makey makeys, OSMOS, maker space materials, google cardboard, invite Tanya, (your ITF)  and/or Andrea Trowell to teach with you...let's keep the lab full of learning every day!


Strategies for anxious, aggressive, active child from 12/1 Business Meeting:

Mrs. Gary and Ms. Keith collaborating using the Art of Informational text with second graders! They were loving it!

Team Teaching -- Andrea and Tanya teaching roles are to collaboration with teacher to facilitate learning of  math, writing, social studies, science, reading, elements of the arts. They are supporting the shifts in learning and teaching that were discussed during our "What is Mtss". 


Coding - What is Coding -When your kid starts talking about loops, go-to commands, and branches, it probably means she's learning to code, and that's a very good thing. This week is Computer Science Week (Dec 5-8). Hour of Code is being hosted all over the world.  Coding is cross curricular and does not discriminate among ages.  It also should NOT be featured during this week only as it's benefits are far reaching and sustainable.  Tanya would love to host some coding lessons with classes this week and/or in the near future with a commitment of a few hour long coding lessons with classes.  Please email Tanya if you are willing to learn how coding with your class can enhance your lessons and support the learning with the 4Cs.  Together you can work out a schedule that works for you. Tanya's presentation - First and and Computer Science Week

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28th


4Cs Grant - District Grant application. This is a great way to look at ways to receive resources to support learning in the classrooms.

Server Upgrade - Reminders via Andrea's email - No computers or internet access Dec 5th

PBIS Reminders -- Last week's memo - Part of our Business meeting this will provide clarity and collaboration on ways to support students.


Team teaching in electives -- Introduction to Engineering with Rhonda and Dawn. 

Early Release -- Agenda - we will be focusing on the Why MTSS, time to collaborate and provide feedback on presenting level of MTSS and collaboration time. 

MSA -Thank you to Rachel Frasier for providing feedback and input into our Magnet Schools of America Application.Thank you to Daphne, Alexandria and Ashley for the collaborative effort on the application. Fingers crossed..

Critical Thinking 

Business Meeting Agenda --- Please view this video prior to our meeting -- Every Child Needs a Champion - this will be referenced in our dialogues. Agenda

Early Release - Our focus of our Friday will be MTSS - what is it, how is being implemented at Underwood and what are the next steps in the process - Agenda

Electives - Reminder to submit requests for 3rd and 4th quarter elective materials by December 9th. 


Ceiling Mounts - All ceiling mounted projectors should have power. If you are missing an extension cord please see Travis. 

Playground Equipment - Our new playground structure is to scheduled to be delivered and installed on December 31st. 

On December 2nd, we welcome Digerido as a K-2 and 3-5 Cultural Arts Performance.  Digeridoo Down Under is a fusion of Australian music, culture, art, science, literacy and comedy.  We appreciate our PTA's support and funding of these learning opportunities for our students!

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21st


Lockdown Feedback - We would like to use an app Remind 101 -- (to be a part of the text message) as a way to communicate during emergency, but also to share information about school closings, delays, and other information. The app is free, but text rate apply if applicable.

PBIS Updates regarding behavior/communication:
  • Teachers are responsible for entering major/minor referrals for incidents that occur in their classroom (Specialists during Specials, Elective teachers during electives, etc).
  • All staff should enter minors and majors into the SIRS system.  Once a major referral has been entered, Travis/Daphne will be notified and complete the incident report.  If you need help entering major referrals, see Rhonda Miller.  This process will also be reviewed at the December Business meeting.
  • All behavior incidents occurring in Specials/Electives should be reported to the homeroom teacher (majors-same day, minors-within two days). 
  • Minor referral and communication clarification:  If the purpose of a minor is to communicate a concern, then parents should be notified either by phone or email (whether you are the homeroom/elective teacher or Specialist).   If teachers have had direct contact with parents,  then sending a copy of the minor referral home wouldn't be needed. (Communicating directly with parents doesn't negate having to enter the minor referral). 
  • The purpose of collecting data (whether it be major/minor referrals, behavior charts, frequency charts, etc) gives us the opportunity to capture what is happening.  It then allows us to analyze, problem-solve and make decisions.  Many supports are available for students, however without accurate data to show the need is warranted, these opportunities can not be utilized.  Examples of in house supports we have in place at Underwood include:  small groups with Victoria, behavior support groups during Specialist push in time (Rachel), Feeling Buddies curriculum (Ashley), check in/check out program.

Critical Thinking

Reminder-  Check your elective classes for third and fourth quarter and submit any instructional needs by December 9th.  All magnet money has to be spent before we leave for the holiday break.
Instructional Funds Request Form-
Elective Classes-  3rd and 4th quarter-


Last Thursday Kim Hughes spent the day in five classrooms coaching and supporting the implementation of Conscious Discipline!

Early Release Day December 2nd we will allow for a collaborative presentation to overview MTSS for the first hour, followed by an hour of team time.

Highlight of the Week!  Kellie Harris double checked her rosters and notified Alexandria and Ashley about students that either were/were not showing up to her elective classes.  This helped ensure the safety of all students and provides a location for them in the event of an emergency or early dismissal.

On December 2nd, we welcome Digerido as a K-2 and 3-5 Cultural Arts Performance.  Digeridoo Down Under is a fusion of Australian music, culture, art, science, literacy and comedy.  We appreciate our PTA's support and funding of these learning opportunities for our students!

As we are in the middle of Quarter 2 electives, if you have any artifacts from an academic elective that could be used in our display case outside the Media Center, please pass them along to Travis. Thank you to Lauren for taking on the vision of the display.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 14th

Communication -- #weareunderwood

Book Fair -Book Fair Sign Up (be sure to sign up for preview and buy).

IOWA testing - will be Wed, Dec. 7 and Thurs., Dec 8.

Teacher Observations - First Admin observation are to be completed by the end of the November. All second observations will be by the other administrator then the first one. 

Teacher Workday - Wednesday 23rd is a workday, be sure to turn in a  eave form if you are not planning on working that day. 

Critical Thinking

Server Upgrade - We scheduled to be reimaged on Monday, December 5th, no computer access for that day until and all call is made (don't plan to have computer access that day). 

Professional readingBook Lists (add Writing the Classroom Wall and Personalized Learning) - check out these educational books. If you would like a copy come and see me or if you would like to do a book study as a team or group.

Theme Teams - Great job by all of the Magnet Theme Teams! Our goal for these teams was to "scream our theme" of Gifted & Talented and you all are achieving that goal - with hall displays, media center hallway display, elective offerings, community outreach. Thank you for your efforts, it doesn't go unnoticed by Travis, Daphne, Alexandria, and Ashley!


Planning Days - Second quarter planning days should focus on identify third quarter ELOs. Determine some assessment tasks that would be measured 2-3 weeks. Assessments don't have to be tests, they should be other learning opportunities that require students to think and respond to show mastery of a skill. 

Technology Office Hours - Tanya will be hosting one-on-one or focus group discussions on technology items or integration on Tuesday (7:45-8:30). This week's topic will include bookmarking sites to the cloud to prepare for the Dec 5th server upgrade. 

Arrival - We need to continue to support our students in their movement throughout the building. It is great for upper grade students to want to visit teachers, please provide the welcome that they desire and redirect them to their classroom to start their day. 


Elective Letters - due to the Google Drive folder on November 10. Parents will be notified in this week's PTA communication that letters can be found on the Elective Letter webpage. If you have not already, please upload your letter so that Andrea and Tanya can get it on the webpage for parents. If needed, directions can be found here - Elective Letter Directions

Magnet Magazine - Why Magnet? First publication of Explore Magnet (Travis is excited to say that he is quoted in the "Ready, Set, Go...") - Also Rhonda Miller's picture is on page 11 with the Kindergarten Basis! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7th


Morning Message - Starting Tuesday November 15th the Morning News will be producing their shows on Tuesday and Thursday this will be a collaborative effort with the elective and myself. Mrs. Trowell will send out the message on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Be share to show the morning message during the school day, this could be during your morning meeting, snack time or a part of your brain break.

Server Upgrade - we will be having our server upgraded on December 5th. More information to come (meeting with the person on the Friday the fourth). 

Electives Start Today-  Please submit all change requests on this form.
 Check your rosters daily and notify us of any discrepancies.

Election 2 Hour Day - A district-wide phone call to all parents tonight in English and Spanish about the two-hour delay tomorrow. 

Critical Thinking 

Highlight of the Week!  Mrs. Herb selects one goal from each quarter's list of goals for students to focus.  They aim to master this standard at 80%.  Daily they review the goal.  Mrs. Herb learned this best practice in her PLT for the county last year, and states that on average all of her students are mastering each of the "said" goals at 80% or higher.  Way to go! 


Elective Share -- Excellent job by students and teachers during the Elective Share. It was great to see a variety of students and electives being shared on Thursday. 
Creativity and the Curriculum--Instead of fighting the Halloween jitters, Mrs. Jennessee applied her science standards and worked with the students' excitement.  In this particular instance, they predicted and questioned how the baking soda was going to react with the other ingredients.



Thanks to the Star, Rhonda, Sherry, Pat, Lauren, Alexandria, Ashley, Heather Peaden, Sharon, Maggie and Scott, for volunteering at the magnet fair!  We really appreciate the support and knowledge you shared with prospective parents!

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31st


Election Day (2 hr Delay) - Staff will need to be in by 10 but the building will be open at normal times. We will have a late dismissal start, so the day will begin at 11:20 (fourth period). All other schedule are normal. 

Business Meeting - Thursday we will be having our meeting at 7:45 in the media center -- teacher and teacher of the year celebration, United Way Kickoff, and other items. 


Elective share - Thursday Nov. 3 (K-2- 9:30 and 3-5 10:15) 30 minute specials - Instead of a buddy day, we will continue with our rotation.   Teachers and specialists need to be part of the elective share.

Critical Thinking 

MTSS - At least one MTSS implementation team member from the district has signed up to visit your school to conduct OTISS walkthrough on November 17th. 

December 2nd ER - We will be having our MTSS Coach Victoria Bardsley leading our team in an overview of MTSS and how we are supporting our students learning.  


Elective Artifacts - We are organizing the display case in front of the library we our academic electives and fine arts electives. We need your help. By next Friday 4th please submit an artifact or photo (via Drive preferably with students) that showcase something from your elective. With the artifact or photo include the elective name and the objective that the artifact goes with it. If you have submitted an artifact for the magnet fair, we will use that one after the Magnet Fair on the 5th. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24th


Unicorn Trot was a huge success, excellent job in supporting the PTA in participating in the spirit days, the Unicorn Trot, and turning in students' pledges.

Lockdown - be sure to review with your students the lockdown procedures, we do one code red lockdown practice a semester.

Student Council - will meet Thursday at 2:45 (have the students leave the room at the 2:40 bell). 


Planning Days -- First quarter planning days have been completed, it is great to see the collaboration and supporting each other in tasks. 

Conscious Discipline -- Ashley will be working with the staff members that were unable to complete our early release session. 

Critical Thinking
Power schools -- thank you for continuing to input weekly assignments. We are continuing to work through the "grade" default (level 4). It seems to be something with the preference, but will continue to work through Help desk and Academics department.

End of Quarter - is this Friday. Report cards will be going home on November 8th. 


Artifacts - Be sure to save artifacts for our Magnet Fair (November 5th). Please turn these into Ashley or Alexandria. Magnet Fair is November 5th.

Rex Hospital - Please email me if you are interested in having your students create Valentine’s Day cards! This was such a thoughtful gesture last year and was much appreciated by our patients and their families.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

October 17th


UNC REX and Underwood Elementary - Valentine's Day Card request - Last year we had over 200 cards that were sent to patients at Rex Hospital Valentine Cards. If this is something that you would like to do with your class, please email me and I will add you to list. We will be collecting cards February 

United Way School Captain volunteer and ask them to attend one of the (45 min) training session.  Our United Way Representative will host the training and share our vision, goals, process and other meaningful information to help achieve success again this year. Please email me if you are interested in being our United Way Champion.

State Fair -- YEAH ARTS at Underwood, Students finished #2 overall in school's at the North Carolina State Fair!

Hall Displays - Love seeing the hall displays, be sure to put a note that says the objectives and general purpose of the learning opportunities. 


Heather Peaden will be transiting to a 3-5 grade level teacher support position. We would like to welcome Neeta Shah to third grade and will be starting on October 19th. Heather will start as at a 3-5 support teacher on October 24th.

MTSS Walkthrough -- on October 26th a WCPSS Mtss team member will be completing walk throughs looking at 7 categories of adult behavior through Hattie's research. This is NOT a teacher evaluation tool. This information will be shared with our MTSS team in December.  Please review a two minute -- to learn more about the purpose.

Oct. 16-22 is International Character Counts Week. Take a picture, write a short description, and tweet it using #WCPSShasCharacter - Courage, Perseverance, good judgment, respect, integrity, responsibility, kindness, and self-discipline.

Spirit week - Monday - Crazy hair/socks, Tuesday Favorite Team, Wednesday - Hat day, Thursday - Pajama, Friday - Underwood Trot day. Be sure to have Rachel F. take a class picture.

Early Release Lunch - PTA will be providing lunch on Friday for us!!! Also, specialist will be helping with Unicorn Trot, so no specials.

Critical Thinking 

CD Cohort - bring CD book (if you have one) and handouts to Kim's session for our October 21st Early Release meeting.

PBIS - Be sure to wire up students (minor/major referrals) - we use this data to make data decisions about classroom learning and decisions. Write ups should be written when it's impacting learning/teaching and/or a repeated occurrence.

Alignment Lessons - Be sure to let Alex or Ashley know if as a grade level you don't want these lessons. 


Thursday, October 20, 2016 to offer support with your implementation of Conscious Discipline® 

Thank to those who came to support the Grounds Crew Clean up. 5th Grade residency will continue this week. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10th

Such an awesome team to be a part of on a daily basis!!! 

Kudos for your continued focus on student learning and finding solutions for concerns that we have control over. 


The hallway displays are looking great! They showcase authentic student work utilizing common core standards. Please be sure to add a note that shows families the standards and what the purpose of the product.

Powerschool Assignment - Reminder that we have decided to have two ELA and Math assignments into Powerschool Gradebook. Assignment do not have to be tests they can be ticket out the door, project, literature circles, etc).  If your interim reports didn't populate as intended please email me the students that it impacted so we can share with academics and hope to decrease these concerns for first quarter report cards.
PowerSchool and PowerTeacher will be unavailable from 5pm, Friday, October 14th until 6am, Monday, October 17th due to DPI system maintenance.

Critical Thinking

Learning spaces -- we have purchased some furniture to increase voice and choice for our students. We have five classes that are fully invested in flexible learning spaces. We have some wavy tables (one side of the table has wheels and is able to move when needed) and Hokki stools that would love to have a home in places that would utilize them. Are you one of those classrooms? - email Ashley if you are interested in trying out seating options or a table.


Magnet Theme Team -- We are excited about our Theme Teams the purpose of these teams is to have a collaborative effort for our school. The teams are intended to support our school culture in multiple ways to drive our magnet theme. The teams have been designed to support multiple facets of the school community.  #weareunderwood 

Community Work day October 15th -


Wake County - ECU MSA Cohort Information Session
If you are interested in participating in a cohort-structured program to earn your Master in School Administration (MSA) or Principal Licensure Add-On Program (Must have a Masters Degree) please plan to attend an information meeting co-sponsored by WCPSS and the Department of Educational Leadership at East Carolina University.

From the Superintendent's office - WCPSS recognizes a student’s First Amendment right to express his or her thoughts and ideas. A student cannot be compelled to participate in the National Anthem, but each student should maintain proper decorum while others participate. 

Have a great week!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week of October 3rd


Back to School Picnic - Thursday, October 6 from 5:30-7:00. Hope to see you there!

YLearning - Starts Monday, Oct. 3. Dismiss the students at the 3:45 bell to the Media center. Daphne will send everyone a list of the students' names that will start tomorrow. Thanks again to Karen F-Vennners, Cheryl W & Scott B for being part of the tutorial program!!! If you have any questions about the program, contact Christian Ruark - or see me!

Field Trips - All teams have turned in their field trip paperwork! Yay!!!  Remember to turn in the parent permission forms with medical needs to Gina Cornick at least 1 month ahead of time. Safety Plan must be signed by both Travis and Gina!  Once it is signed, turn in to Daphne!

MTSS -- ICEL document we used last year to come up with our SIP goals in reading and math. (I Instruction/Instructional Strategies C:  Curriculum Design/Curriculum Planning E:  Environment/Motivation and Management )

Critical Thinking

The 2015-16 individual teacher Value-Added reports will be made available to teachers on the evening of October 6.


Brain Smart Start --- sign up to lead these during Business or Early Release meetings -- Schedule


Prospective parent school tours began this month.  Twice a month we will be touring parents around the building and possibly popping in classrooms to observe.  No need to stop instruction or do anything different upon our arrival.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 23rd


Be sure to complete the form -- Unicorn Trot shirts

Early Release -- Sept 30th (Agenda will be sent out Monday). Thank you for the feedback from our last Early Release and voicing next week's agenda items --

Money Collection and Receipt Procedures - be sure to review Germaine's email on September 21st 
about the WCPSS procedures for collecting and receipting money. 

YLearning Parent Meeting - This Thursday, there will be a meeting for parents of students invited 
to be part of our YLearning program. It will be held from 5:00-5:30 in the Media center. 
Christian Ruark (YMCA) will share with parents the purpose and goals of this afterschool tutorial
program.  Dinner will be provided and families encouraged to attend our Back to School picnic.  We are happy to share 
that Scott B, Cheryl W and Karen FV will be part of this program! 

BACK TO SCHOOL PICNIC - THURSDAY, September 29 from 5:30-7:00pm.  Hope to see you there!!!

All Field trip forms are due ASAP! Many thanks to the grade levels that have turned in the
required paperwork!

They are backkk!!!!  Healthsource is providing 10 minute massages on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5. 
The link has been send through email and here:


Would you like to help out with Science Olympiad, our parents are fantastic in working with the teams and are hoping that some teachers would provide some additional assistance and knowledge. Email me if you are interested and I will share with Lauren Blackburn.

Critical Thinking 
As a part of my continuous learning at our principal meetings and the district vision 2020 - The Dynamic Learning Experiences Pulse Check is an opportunity for WCPSS leaders and individual staff members to assess their current understanding and implementation of the key themes and “bucket areas” of the Wake Vision. The Pulse Check is a short survey  focused in the following key areas: leadership and culture, learner agency, social and emotional learning, digital learning and the “4Cs”. It is designed to provide a snapshot of the current knowledge and practices in these areas and to serve as a guide to focus local professional development efforts. - Pulse Check Please complete by October 7th. The survey is anonymous and the results will be discussed at our next area principal's meeting. I will be able to see the overall results, the more honest and accurate feedback the better.

Teachers sharing their classroom via Twitter

Vocabulary in Mrs. Beeson's class 
Casting to TV to support ESL students 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16th


- The expectation for Power School Gradebook is that there are 3 ELA, 3 Math, 1 science / Social Studies assignments with a conduct and work habit each week. After the first week, we had 75% success rate for having assignments into Powerschool (good start). Be sure that you record the grades for the assignment, unless the assignment carries over to the next week. Also, integration of subjects in assignments is encouraged and supported as one of the assignments for multiple subjects. Objectives that are being assessed should be in your Memberhub announcement for families previewing the week. Be sure to "unclick" publish to deter from public view.  

Elective website will go live on September 20th, be sure to have your letter uploaded - if you have questions see Andrea, Tanya or Christine (Theme Team). 

Member hub - be sure to add Daphne and I ( to your memberhub. 

Magnet Parent Tours for perspective parents start next week 9/20 (check calendar on our website - 


Laptops, iPads, and iPods have been distributed by teams. We will need to work together when one teacher on the team needs additional devices. The goal is not to have the devices staying in the separate rooms. 

We need to continue to work together as a team to support our learners, but also in a way to builds a community and not taking things personal. shares insights on 7 forms of collaboration, asking good questions, and modeling what to expect.

Critical Thinking

Planning Day focuses on --- identifying ELOs and mapping out when to teach them and how to assess them (creating assignments, unit/project creation, other ways for students to show their knowledge).

Self-assessment/PDP --- Sign up - we need to all have plans signed off on by October 5th.


See what your peers are creating in their classroom via Twitter --

NCTIES has opened our Call to Present Applications.  If you are interested in presenting at our 2017 Endless Possibilities conference, please submit your proposal at  The application process will be open from September 8, 2016 until October 24th, 2016.


Communication, Communication, Communication --

In a world that has some many ways to communicate it is important as a school family that we share our expectations with you all!

  • Memberhub -- our teachers will post at least once a week sharing the learning that will be taking place during the next week. They will also post a variety of information and photos. If you are not a member, please contact your classroom teacher. 
  • Website - On our site you will find our calendar, information about our school, electives, and many other items. Be sure to use the search bar (magnifying glass) to find what you are looking for 
  • Email - this is a great tool to have individual conversations and ask questions. Our goal as a staff is to respond to emails within a 24 hour time period. 
  • Twitter - many of our staff members utilize Twitter to show learning that goes on in the classroom. I also use it to share school-wide information. Our twitter handle is @underwoodgtm. My Twitter handle is @tshillings if you would like to follow us. Also on our website all Tweets that mention @underwoodgtm are archived on our main page. 
  • Parent Teacher conferences - our goal is to have a minimum of two parent teacher conference (one in the fall and one in the spring). Some of our teachers are moving to student led conference, so expect your child to be active member in the meeting. 
Communicate last week to students:

Thursday message - (third grade is included in student council) 

Friday message -

Please let us know if there is a way to better communicate.

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 2nd

Underwood Elementary will provide a relevant and engaging education and will graduate students who are collaborative, creative, effective communicators and critical thinkers.


Parent Blog -- How do we communicate with families (this was shared at Friday's Staff Retreat). Communication, Communication, Communication (click to read post)

Are there items that you would like for us to share during the morning videos? FYI - these are being created by using a iPad and/or iPhone and using the iMovie App. 


Breakout EDU --- Andrea and Tanya have been introducing this cooperative learning tool with students. We will be embarking on these challenge on Friday - 

Friday Agenda -- September 9th ER

Quarterly Planning dates are due to Ashley and Alexandria.  We will be setting agendas for these half days to focus on weekly curriculum identification and assignment creation to a collaborative team effort. 

Agenda's need to be ready to be viewed by Tuesday afternoon. 

Critical Thinking 

What do good writer's do?
(Via Jenn Williams) 
How are you sharing expectations to students? How are you providing feedback, does it lead to more thoughts and questions or does it leave to ok, thanks? We need to provide feedback to extend students thinkings.

EOG Growth Charts (more dialogue and discussion in leadership and reflected on our SIP) - 3 year growth data ELA/Math ... when you review the information what questions arise, what trends do you see? Some good trends, some not so good -- what are we going to do change the undesirable trends?


Love seeing safe places, student jobs, and greetings through out the school building. I am excited to see the focus on students and their emotional support prior to the academics. In the words or Rita Pierson, "students don't learn from people they don't like". Take the time to build those relationships with students. 

Be sure to complete your #befunky selfie for our #weareunderwood wall 

Friday, August 26, 2016

First Week of School

Breathe, you can handle this! Remember it is a process not a race, looking forward to a fantastic year!


Language Services At-a-Glance (be sure to be signed into Lotus Notes) - information about interpreting supports from the district.

- Middle School students and personal children. Please be sure that your personal students are supervised before and after school. I have also shared with families that we are unable to have middle school students stay in the media center after school. Please be mindful of supervision of personal children.


PLTs will start this week focusing on norms, role, and supporting each other during meetings. It is important to maximize our time and focus on what the students are learning, how will we know they learned it, and what are we going to do if or if they don't learn the identified standards. 


Be sure to complete your "befunky photo (thank you Lauren for organizing

Critical Thinking 

Did you turn in all of your forms and via the videos??

Monday, June 6, 2016

End of school year post

Critical thinking 

 Teacher Working Condition Survey Results (82% participation) -- Results can be found at - Underwood 572 -- these results will be discussed at our open of school meeting.


Principals for the Day  (per Foundation event)-- June 8th - Madeleine Clodfelter (am) and second grader Adam Clodfelter (pm). We will be walking around the building observing classes and walking the building. 

5th grade celebration -- Applause Parade at 10:30. Celebration ceremony - 11:00-11:50 in the multipurpose room and playground area from 11:50-1:15. 

EOGs -- We have two makeups to complete today and we will have completed our 2015-16 testing season!  Thank you to Tanya and Daphne for leading the daunting tasks of testing. 3rd grade results have came back and the students did a great job on showing their knowledge of the third grade curriculum. We will be getting fourth and fifth grade results on Tuesday. 


Mrs. Mann's Art Elective (public art) and 5th grade classes creating a Raleigh Mural!

Field Day is on Tuesday June 7th. We are looking forward to a fun and entertaining day for all students. 


Third and fourth grade class lists meetings will be on June 10th. Also, all cumulative folders reviews are completed on June 10th.

See you soon --- Thank you to Rachel Hansen for working so well with our students (and others) with IEP. Best of luck in Washington DC. Thank you to Nancy Weeks for her help in teaching our students Spanish, as well as supporting our Spanish speaking families. Thank you to Beth and Drew for their supporting in our front office! Thank you to Mr. Thrash in working with our ID-Mod2 class, he has been a big help. Thank you to Molly Hoffman for supporting second grade as one of the instructional assistants in that grade. Thank you to Karen Glenn for continuing to support our performers in the field of the Arts.

BIG THANK You to Sheryl Bryant and Jennifer Page for taking on two maternity leaves throughout the second semester. You all have been instrumental in smooth transitions! Thank you to Amelia Harrleson for supporting our ID Mod class for the last few months.

Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30th


Thank you to the k, 1, and 2 teams, all specialists and special areas/curriculum support for completing the class lists for next school. You all did a great job of focusing on balance class lists that you would want to teach. Third and fourth grades will be reviewing class lists on June 10th.

Some great sharing about what is going on in our classrooms  (via Twitter)

Collaboration in Dance


Custodian -- Mr. Jones has chosen to take a different career path and has resigned from his position. We are currently interviewing for his position. We will also be changing our custodial hours and expectations to increase the consistent cleanliness for our building starting at during the new school year.

Great job on the first two days of testing (all of third grade and fifth grade science). We know this week will be just as successful! We need to continue to work together.

Critical Thinking 

Learning spaces -- 5 minute videos about creating learning spaces for students (interested in making some changes to your classroom environment? We would love to hear from you! We (Ashley, Daphne and I) met with our furniture buyer for the district to get some ideas -- Catalog