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