Weekly Update 3/22

I can’t say for certain that spring is in the air but I do think that the spring break excitement is intensifying!!!!  4 ½ days left!  Friday will be a ½ day and our dismissal process should begin around 11:05 am.  We had a great week learning about story elements like setting and character traits, identifying and counting money and states of matter.  Next week, we are reviewing short and long vowel sounds, open and closed syllables, sink/float and math rotations that will review various math concepts taught this year.


We will have our Festival of the Arts event on March 28th from 6-8 pm.  We will be performing at 6:05 so please plan on arriving to school at 5:50.  We practiced today and while I am a little biased I am happy to report that they sounded amazing!!!


A note from Mrs. Patterson regarding our student illness policy:


It is imperative during this time of the year that all families support our Student Illness Policy.  Please review the details below and thank you following these guidelines at all times. If you have any questions,  then please feel free to call our school nurse, Ms. Mlynzcak at 364-8080.
Students should not be in school if they have the following:
1. Fever of 100.4 degrees or greater before taking a fever-reducing medication.
2. Vomiting or diarrhea because of illness
3. An unknown rash or possible contagious condition
4. Unable to focus due to pain, chronic health condition and acute illness
5. Flu-like illness ( with or without fever), headache, fatigue, cough, aches, weakness and sore throat.
A child should be free of symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school.


The Kaechele Field Day/Trip Shirt Online Store is now open until Friday, March 29th.  The shirts will cost $9.85 this year and all payments will be made online.  We will not except any checks or receipt any money. You can access the online web store by going to the following link: http://kaechele19.itemorder.com

Mark your calendar for a NEW SPIRIT NIGHT that KES has never done before: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17th

Take a night off from cooking and enjoy Marco’s pizza and/or cheesy bread presented in a box decorated by YOUR child(ren.)  Their artwork is guaranteed to be the hot topic of dinner conversation!

Dinner can be carry out (John Rolfe Parkway location) or delivery.  Look for additional information with detailed instructions printed on yellow flyers that will be distributed in the orange communication folders on March 26th & April 9th.

I think that is all for now.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing the kids back on Monday.

Weekly Update 3/15

What a fun day we had, especially since we had a surprise visit from the leprechaun.  Another reason why kindergarten is just the best year ever!!!


We had a great time exploring verbs and their endings.  In addition to learning about action words, we paid special attention to the ed and ing endings that are often added to verbs.  We talked about how the ed ending signifies something that has already happened and that ing refers to something that is happening now.


We also began our two week unit on money.  We will work towards correctly identifying the penny, nickel, dime and quarter, correctly identifying their value and maybe even correctly count some different combinations of pennies, nickels and dimes.


Homework notebooks and new homework packets are in their backpacks and orange folder this afternoon.  I also sent home a copy of the Martin Luther King poem that we will be reciting at the Festival of the Arts.  Please mark your calendars for the evening of March 28th.  I have not received our performance time at this point but will let you know as soon as I hear.


Our animal habitats are looking so good!  We have collaborated with our 5th book buddies, referenced some non-fiction sources, researched on PebbleGo, and used information that we already knew to create some really authentic habitats.  The objective was really to let their creativity flow and produce something that was truly generated by the information that they gathered.  It’s been so neat to see their ideas and confidence with creating and transferring blossom.  Thanks for sending in their needed supplies!  We will probably spend one or two more days on finishing them, then we will display these in the library for all of our coyotes to see.


I think that is all for now… Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday.

Weekly Update 3/1

We had a blast celebrating Dr. Seuss this week!!!  Areas of focus throughout the week were fiction, rhyming, beginning/middle/end, measurement (length, height and time) and American symbols.  Next week we will move on to the world of spring/spring animals, words that end with ck and a continuation of measurement. (volume, weight, temperature)


Don’t forget to check out the Coyote Courier for the latest KES updates.



Homework notebooks and new weekly assignments are in their backpacks this afternoon.  Thanks for encouraging and helping your child complete those on a weekly basis.  The intend is that it offers a connection between our day and yours so please let me know if you have any questions about the assignments.


I think that is all for now.  Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Weekly Update 2/8

We survived the 5 day week!!!  I was grateful for the warm temperatures and that the groundhog did not see his shadow.  We had a week filled with all things sh, Abe Lincoln and skip counting.  Next week, we are moving on to the th digraph, Valentine’s Day and numbers to 100.


Report cards will go home on Monday.  I am so proud of how far these cuties have come since September.  There has been so much growth socially and academically in the 91 days we have been at school.  A huge thank you for all that you do each and every day.


Our Valentines exchange will be on Thursday, February 14th.  If your child would like to exchange valentines, please have them make a card for everyone in the class and make a bag or box to hold the valentines they receive.


100th day is on February 21st.  Notes about that day came home this week.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the t-shirts.


Notes from KES:

February 11-15 Coat Drive for Caring Clothes Closet RVA: This campaign is sponsored by our KES community service club. Please send in gently used children’s coats to help support those in need for warm winter items.

February 11-15 Children’s Hospital Foundations’ Change for Children Campaign: This campaign is sponsored by our KES SCA. 100% of the collection stay here in Richmond to support patients that are receiving services from Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Bring in any spare change for classroom change jars.
January 22-February 21 Healthy Schools, Healthy Virginia Thank you for considering a donation that will be shared with the American Heart Association and KES. Half of the donations will be used to purchase a set of Polar OH1 optical heart rate sensors. The other half of the donation will go to the American Heart Association. Go to www.HealthySchoolsHealthyVa.com and click on Find My School. Locate your school, click Become a Fundraiser and the Join a Team.


Should I send my child to school?  During flu season and other times, many parents question whether or not they should send their child to school after they have been out sick.  Please review the following information in our KES Parent/Student Handbook about our procedures:   Do not send your child to school if they have a fever over 100.4 degrees, vomiting or diarrhea due to illness.  Children should be free from these symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school.  Also, if a child is absent from school due to illness, they may not attend after school activities that may be going on at school that take place on that day.  A child who has been prescribed antibiotics can usually return to school 24 hours after treatment has begun or as directed by the child’s physician.


FEBRUARY                          Kindness Month at KES

18                                           FULL DAY for students ( it was originally a half day but due to snow it was changed)

21                                           Family Fun and Fitness Night

26                                           PTA General Membership Meeting: Library, 6:00PM to approve annual budget

I think that is all for now.  Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday.


Meredith Betke

Weekly Update 1/25

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope it’s been a good week for all.  Another week down and lots was accomplished.  This week we focused on the short vowel e, rote counting to 50 and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Next week we will move onto the digraph ch (a combination of two letters representing one sound), rote counting to 100, counting backwards from 10, skip counting by 10’s and shadows/Groundhog day. 


I will be out on Wednesday learning more about phonological and phonemic awareness.  The first session I attended at the beginning of January was really informative so I am super excited to get back and learn more about how to better teach reading.


Don’t forget that next week is our International Night and World Read Aloud Day.  I’ve received some really cute pictures for our WRAD program and our slide is looking so cute. If you have not emailed me your picture please take a quick second over the next few days to get that done.


Next week I will be sending home a letter in your child’s orange folder.  This letter will contain information on how to access your child’s RAZ Plus account.  Raz Plus is an online leveled reading resource for students. I have introduced this program to the students in class and taught them how to log on. When the students log on, they are able to pick books to read at their level.  Once they pick a book they will be able to listen to, read, and finally take a 5 question quiz about the story. We have used Raz Plus as one of our reading rotations, but it would be very beneficial for your child to use at home!  You can even download the app and use it for long car rides.  We have started with very basic books to get them use to the program and build confidence. If your child reads all the books on a level and needs to move up, just let me know. They all complete levels at different rates, and with 15 students to manage, I don’t always know when they are finished.  Thanks so much for supporting your child’s reading at home and let me know if you have any questions.


Next week we will have a Young Scientist lesson on Tuesday and technology session with Mr. C on Thursday.


I think that is all for now. Don’t forget to check out the Coyote Courier from Mrs. Patterson which can be found on the KES website.  As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Meredith Betke

Weekly Update 1/18

What a great week we had learning about the letter u, penguins and numbers up to 20.  The kids are working so hard to really apply and connect all that they have learned in our 78 days of kindergarten.   We made some ADORABLE snowmen today and the challenge was to use other items then coal, carrots and buttons and boy did they blow me away with their choices!  They are proudly hanging in our school hallway for all to see.

I also introduced an app on our Ipads called Kids A-Z to the class this week.  This is a great app that will help and encourage their reading and comprehension.  I will send info home next week on how you all can access this at home.  We also have a lesson with Mr. C, our ITRT, (computer guru

Final update for 2018

Oh my gosh, what a whirlwind!!!!  Between the normal craziness of the season and a computer crash, I just realized that I have not updated this blog since the end of November.  It has been a great month and among the business there were lots of laughs and great memories made.  Have a wonderful winter break and I look forward to seeing everyone back in the new year!!!

Weekly Update 11/30

And now the panic and excitement begins!  The last day of November… the last day I can put off all that needs to be done during this wonderful holiday season.  We had a great week back together after a nice Thanksgiving break.

Our language arts unit this week focused on ways to identify fiction and nonfiction books, graphing games to better help us identify initial sounds and activities and crafts to reinforce the letters B and M, their sounds and proper ways to form these letters when writing. Next week we are moving on to the letter A.

While our formal unit on graphing has come to an end, we will continue to work with graphs as we spiral that skill through our daily calendar and routines.  Next week we will dive into the world of part, part, whole.  Questions that we will look deeper into understanding are:

  • How can we look at an image and recognize parts of a set up to five without counting? (dot images, rekenreks, tiles, toothpicks, dice)
  • How can we use manipulatives to describe parts in set up to five? (five frame, counters, unifix cubes, beads)
  • How can we use manipulatives to describe parts in a set for numbers up to ten? (ten frames, five frames, counters, unifix cubes, beads)

Our unit on magnets might have been their favorite so far.  They had so much fun experimenting and discovering with all the different types of magnets we were able to borrow from the KES science lab.  We were able to kick off our study on magnets with a visit from Mrs. Young from the Young Scientist program.  Next week, we will shift our focus to better understanding and differentiating between wants and needs.

Their bag of books will come home again today.  Thanks for the reminders at home to keep up with these borrowed books and to bring them back on Monday so that we can keep moving on in our reading groups!

Celebrate the holidays and upcoming winter break by attending the KES Winter Music Fest, Thursday, December 13th @ 6:30pm in our gym! Enjoy an evening of song and merriment as our talented musicians, singers and dancers perform songs from the great American holiday songs collection, which you can be certain will warm your heart and put a smile on your face. That’s Thursday, December 13th @ 6:30pm in our gym and dress for the party!

I think that is all for now.  As always, please let me know if you have any questions, thoughts or concerns.  Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday.

Meredith B

Weekly Update 11/16

We had another fabulous week in kindergarten!  It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away.  The kids are getting super excited and their knowledge of Thanksgiving grew by the day.  We had a blast learning about the letter Q and uniting Q and U as best friends forever.  Wherever q goes, u will follow.  Next week, we are moving on to the letter V.

Our unit on graphing is off to a great start!  Doing them each day at calendar certainly helped create their strong foundation.  We will continue with unit into the following week.

Our unit on Thanksgiving is always a special one.  Questions we look to answer are why is Thanksgiving Day commemorated?  What are some ways that communities commemorate Thanksgiving Day? Where was the first Thanksgiving held in Virginia? Who was there and why did they give thanks?  Where was the first Thanksgiving held in Massachusetts?  Who was there and why did they give thanks?  And the all important one is what are your favorite foods to eat at Thanksgiving!  We will spend Monday and Tuesday wrapping up that unit.

Homework sheets came home today and a new poem will come home on Monday.  I will also send home their bag of books so that they can show you how well they are reading in kindergarten!

The following is a message from the art teacher:

Hello Families,

As the year goes on we are making more and more art and exploring more materials. We are diving into the world of paint and clay soon! Please provide your student with a large old t-shirt that they can wear over their clothes when they come to art for our messy days. 


Thanks so much,

Julz Suder

I think that is all for now.  Have a wonderful weekend and I will see the kids back on Monday for a 2 day week!

Meredith B

Weekly Update 11/9

What a powerful morning we had at KES.  Our Veterans Day assembly is always amazing and today’s did not disappoint.  Thank you to those that were able to donate to our deployed veterans. Each student in our school wrote a letter to a Veteran so seeing the huge stack of letters during our assembly was quite moving.

This week we studied the letter X and found that this letter, so far, was the most challenging when creating our “letter of the week is for” chart.  Our X-ray crafts did come home today which are super cute.  Next week, we will be moving onto the letter q.

Our unit on patterns was a success and oh the patterns they can create!  If I heard it once, I heard it a hundred times, “Look Mrs. Betke, I found a pattern!”  Made me smile!!!  For the next couple of weeks we will work on collecting data for graphs, interpreting and reading graphs and answering questions related to graphs.  This is such a fun unit and is provides many great opportunities for them to collaborate with their classmates.

Our social studies unit on past and present went well.  We created a timeline in class the chronicled my life as an example of what a timeline was.  They really made me feel old when they all reacted to how long ago I was born!   For the next couple of weeks we will explore Thanksgiving and the people associated with that holiday.

I so enjoyed meeting with you all at our recent conferences.  I am so fortunate to have such a supportive group of parents.

I believe that is all for now.  Stay dry and warm and I look forward to seeing the kids on Monday.