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.

Weekly Update 11/2

Time has officially started flying!!!  Happy November everyone.  While I am not a fan of cold weather, I can’t help but love this time of the year.

It was another fun week filled with jokes, Halloween, homemade applesauce, Fall Fun Day rotations, the letters J and W and a math screener! 🙂  A big thank you to those parents that donated their time and resources to make our Fall Fun day a success.  Between apple tasting, a creepy carrot craft, apple painting and investigating pumpkins fun was had by all.  We are observing the 4 leftover pumpkins and have made some predictions about which one will rot first.  They even had to give a reason why they picked the pumpkin they did.

Next week we will move onto the letter X, patterning, long ago/now and Veterans Day.

I am looking forward to meeting with you all on Monday and Tuesday.  Don’t forget that Tuesday is a student holiday and that Friday KES will be honoring our Veterans.  Please make sure to check out the Coyote Courier with important school information.

I think that is all for now!  Have a great weekend and don’t forget to turn your clocks back.

Take care,

Meredith Betke

Weekly Update 10/26

Phew, what a week!  We survived the Pumpkin Patch.  We were almost done searching for the perfect pumpkins when the rain started so thankfully we were able to get loaded up on the bus before any major wet catastrophes. Thanks again to our chaperones for helping keep our kids safe and ensuring that everyone was loved and had a good time on their first kindergarten field trip.  It really takes a village and thankfully we had so many volunteers that there were only 3 kids to a group.  Chaperones, please feel free to email me any pictures you may have taken.

In language arts we are moving on from letters/sounds/letter formation D and F to all things J and W.  We will also have our Fall Fun Day this coming Monday which is usually a big hit.  Thanks for all the items that are being donated and for the volunteers who are coming in to help out.

Our skip counting unit in math was a success!  I was amazed at how many could already count by 5’s and 10’s.  I am hoping that we may now have a deeper understanding into why and how we skip count.  We will continue with this skill all throughout the year.  Next week, I will begin our kindergarten math screener.  This will give me a better insight into their strengths with numbers and number concept.

Our science unit will focus on all things pumpkins.

I think that is all for now!  As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

Take care,

Meredith Betke

Weekly Update 10/19

Here’s to another great week in room 133.  Everyone looked so adorable for our pictures this morning.  Of course, their favorite was posing for the funny picture!

Their community helper projects were ADORABLE!!!!!  They were all so proud to show them off.  We had lots of fun talking about those helpers that provided a service and those that made goods.  We were so comforted to know that we had 3 future police officers in the room!  🙂 Before we shared these projects, we did spent some time talking about what it means to be a responsible citizen, how to speak in front of others and about appropriate listening skills while someone is presenting.  The posters are proudly hanging in the classroom and have been so fun to look at each and every day.

During our Language Arts block we focused on the letters Y and Z.  I also started PALS testing this week but will utilize next week to complete them.  I was so impressed with their energy and effort and enjoyed working with them one on one.  While I was testing they were busy rotating through some fun Y and Z inspired rotations.  Next week, we will dive into the letters D and F.

Our math unit was on reading, writing and representing numbers through 5.  Next week, we are moving onto skip counting.

We will continue our 5 senses unit next week.  It is going to be hard to top the popcorn activity we did earlier in the week.

Poetry notebooks will come home Monday with their new pumpkin poem.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read through these poems!  Some of the kids even read their poems to our book buddies today.

Our field trip is one week from today. Cross fingers for a pleasant weather forecast.  Please dress accordingly for the field trip and pack your child’s lunch in a disposable bag.  Also, send in drinks that can be thrown away.  We have a nice group of chaperones joining us so the day should be a fun one.  We will plan on leaving Kaechele around 9:15 and returning around 1.  Chaperones, I will send out an email Monday or Tuesday with other specific details.

I think that is all for now!  Don’t forget to check out our Coyote Courier.

Take care,

Meredith B

Weekly Update 9/28

Goodbye September and hello Fall. I am definitely looking forward to less rain and more fall like weather!

In language arts, we will be moving on from the letters G and P to the wonderful world of all things C and H.  Thanks for all your help at home with connecting these letters to their everyday world.  Poetry notebooks will come home Monday with our new poem My Family.  They are getting so good at pointing to each word as they say it.

Our math unit on patterns proved to be very successful. We built, identified, transferred and extended so many different patterns using colors, sounds, movement and objects. I loved hearing them say that they could tell me what the core was! (That’s the part that’s being repeated) Next week we will work on counting a set of up to 10 objects. Important vocabulary to listen out for is count, number, how many, identify, match, numeral, set and order. One-on-one correspondence will also be something I will be working with them on. Counting involves two separate skills: verbalizing the list (rote sequence counting) of standard number words in order (“one, two, three, …”) and connecting this sequence with the objects in the set being counted, using one-to-one correspondence.

Our unit on Fall is off to a great start.  We will continue this unit into next week.  We have learned that trees aren’t necessarily dead when they lose their leaves they are just saving energy,  We painted some beautiful fall pictures today which are still drying so they will go home on Monday. Next week we will explore more about Fall and the life cycle of an apple.

Just a quick reminder that our first Young Scientist lesson is on October 16th.  Please use the link under the Parent Resources tab or the information that was sent home on Monday to pay the $16 fee.

Thanks for all your help with homework.  We had almost every homework notebook turned in today!!!

I will not be at school Wednesday, October 3rd through Friday, October 5th.  My son Luke is scheduled to have an appendectomy during that time.  The kids will be in great hands with the substitute.  She and I actually taught together many years ago at Pinchbeck Elementary.

Monday, October 8th is a student holiday and our annual Fall Festival is on October 12th from 4:30-7 pm.

I think that is all for now!  Have a wonderful weekend and I will see everyone back on Monday.

Meredith Betke

Weekly Update 9/21

Such a fun week in room 133!  We had a lot of fun learning about the letters N and T. We worked on proper formation of both the upper and lowercase letters, we identified their sound and created word charts that were filled with words that started with each of those letters.  Next week we are moving on to letters G and P.

In math we worked on sorting.  I even tried to trick them today by asking them to identify how I made various groupings of kids and they were spot on!  Next week we will dive into patterns.  We have already created an AB pattern during calendar so I am super excited to see how far we can go!  We will work to identify, describe, extend, create and transfer repeating patterns.  Some key vocabulary to listen out for is core, extend, create, transfer, repeating, pattern, next, compare.

We have concluded our unit on colors.  The hope is that they can identify, read and maybe even spell some of our color words.  We have our color poem displayed in the classroom so they can use it when writing or reading.  Their Brown Bear, Brown Bear books will come home next week.  They have taken such pride into making each page a little different.  We have also worked on writing each color word the kindergarten way.

Social Studies was patriotic and hopefully by now we can all identify our flag and president.  We will continue to work on our pledge and KES motto.  We have even started learning our KES song.  Our science unit for the upcoming week will be on the season of Fall.  I am definitely ready for some cooler temperatures!  We will be using our 5 senses to help us better understand the beauty of this special time of year.

The kids are doing so well with our routines and expectations.  This week especially, their fun personalities have started to shine.  Thanks for all your help with homework, library books and emptying their orange folders on a daily basis.  Homework notebooks and a new homework packet are coming home today.  Poetry notebooks will be coming home on Monday with our new poem I Am Special.  Please try and have those back by Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

On Friday, 9/21/18, our school celebrated International Peace Day by participating in a school wide assembly and recognized ways to be peaceful.  When we find our own sense of peace, then we can share it with others. At KES we show our support for peace by being kind, loving, compassionate, and empathetic with each other.  Each KES student will receive a copy of a picture of our entire school in the shape of a heart. Students were challenged by Mrs. Patterson to support peace in our school and community by sharing this picture with an individual person, a group of people or perhaps in a local community organization.  Students can write a note on the heart, color a picture, or just post the picture somewhere. The purpose of this activity is to encourage our students to think about ways to share peace within their community and to also advertise that KES students promote peace. We look forward to hearing how KES hearts have made a difference in our community.   

I think that is all for now.  I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Don’t forget to check out the Coyote Courier.

Take care,

Meredith Betke

Weekly Update 9/13

Weekly Update 9/15

Posted on September 15, 2017

Week two is in the books!  We had another great week and I am hoping that everyone stays dry over the next 3 days.  Remember there is no school tomorrow and in light of the upcoming weather forecast, Kaechele Elementary School’s PTA Back to School Night scheduled for this Thursday has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 20th; 6:30-8:00 PM.  Hope everyone is able to come that evening!

We had so much fun learning about our colors.  So far, we have explored the colors brown, red, yellow and blue.  We learned a new song for every color so the hope is that they can at least recognize, and maybe even spell some of the colors mentioned. Next week we will move on to the colors green, pink and purple, black, white and orange.  I sent out an email yesterday with our adjusted color schedule.

This week in math we finished our unit on 2D plane shapes.  We sorted and classified them and even had some one on one time so they could tell me all they knew about shapes. It was so adorable hearing some of them say vertices!!!!  Next week, we will broaden our focus to sorting and classifying objects based on their attributes.  Some key vocabulary words for this unit will be sort, classify, size, shape, color, attribute, larger, smaller, thicker and thinner.

During our language arts block this week we learned about the letters R and S. We immersed ourselves in things related to those two letters… literature, handwriting, sound identification, crafts, etc.  Please encourage them at home to practice writing and identifying these letters, making the letter sounds and naming objects that begin or end with those letters.

Our new poem about colors will be coming home in the poetry notebook on Monday. Homework notebooks will also go home Monday along with the new homework packet for next week.  Remember these notebooks are not due back until Friday.  Poetry notebooks should come back by Wednesday or Thursday so that we may begin working on the next poem.

Wednesday, September 19th is a half day.  We will begin dismissal around 11:00am.  Please let me know in writing if there are any transportation changes for that day.

I think that is all for now.  I hope everyone has a wonderful, restful weekend.

Take care!


Weekly Update 9/7

We made it!!!!!  Wow, what a week.  So many new friends, so many new routines, so many new responsibilities and of course so much fun!  We mostly focused these four days on becoming familiar with our kindergarten schedule.  Each morning as they entered they would get their good morning hug, unpack their backpack, check their orange folder, turn in any homework/notes, and begin working on their morning work. And on a good day that took about 30 minutes!    We had music and a quick visit to the library on Wednesday and then PE on Thursday and even survived our 1st fire drill.  We have sorted through the difference between snack and lunch and have even come to count on Coyote/PIE time being offered at the END of the day.  I am big believer in consistency so I really trust that they will seek comfort in knowing everyday typically follows the same pattern.  Hopefully, you are hearing positive things at home about their time in room 133.  We have had to have some talks about waiting for your turn to speak, sitting quietly in your own space, being kind and respectful and using a zero voice in the hallways but in just 4 short days I have seen great improvement.  Thanks for reminding them at home how important these school skills are.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look through the items located in the orange folders and for sending them in each and every day!  Their homework homework, a new homework packet, a white paper bag (sack) and a poetry notebook have come home today.  Please send the poetry notebooks back to school on Monday so we can review the poem and highlight the week’s sight words.  A new poem will come home most Fridays.  Just a reminder that homework is due the following Friday of each week.  Thanks for sending in the name-tags all week.  I am happy to report that we are all done with them!!! They were a big help to us all!

During our math block we focused on plane figures. (circles, squares, triangle and rectangles)  We created an anchor chart that identified how many sides, angels and corners (vertices) these shapes had.  We learned words like round and curved when describing a circle.  We took a look at these shapes with differing orientations and compared plane figures by size and shape.  We also identified examples and non- examples of plane figures.  They got such a kick out of me crossing the non-examples out with red ink on our Promethean board.  Next week, we will continue our focus on these shapes and dive deeper into sorting, classifying and comparing.

During our language arts block we took some time learning more about our classmates by asking important questions.  We used this info to make some graphs, make comparisons and find friends who had similar likes and dislikes.  We also worked on being a good listener, waiting your turn and being kind to others.  Of course, any chance I got, I weaved in some letter sounds and letter identification and encouraged proper handwriting when writing their names.

Next week we will begin our unit on colors!  In support of this theme, we are asking that the kids wear the color of the day.  No worries if you don’t have that color!

Monday – brown

Tuesday – red

Wednesday – yellow

Thursday – blue

Friday – green

Our social studies unit also focused on being a good citizen, learning our pledge and Kaechele motto.

September 19th is a 1/2 day.  This means we will start dismissal at 11:00.  Please make sure to let me know in writing if there are any changes with transportation for this day.

Thanks for taking the time to read this update.  I will update the blog on Fridays.

There is a tab on my home page titled wish list.  If you have any of these items laying around or are able to grab one or two, I would be so grateful!  We did get some math addition flash cards and band aids today so are covered there.

Thanks for sharing your sweet children with me!  I have really enjoyed getting to know them this week and look forward to the many memories we will create during this school year.

Take care!

Meredith Betke