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.

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