Mrs. Kulkarni's Blog

Welcome to First Grade!

News and Notes for the LAST WEEK

I can’t believe that this is my final blog posting of the school year! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful children with me and for all of your support throughout the year. I’m looking forward to sharing with you the remarkable growth that was made (on the report card and work samples sent home). I hope you all have a wonderful summer! Please keep in touch, as I’d love to hear about the progress your child makes in years to come. 


ice cream

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR STUDENTS WHO READ AT LEAST 12 BOOKS FOR THE LAST FOUR WEEKS! The children read their way to a sundae! At the end of the day on Friday, they built sundaes with toppings of their choice and enjoyed watching Charlotte’s Web. We recently finished reading this chapter book and compared the movie to the text. On Monday, a special prize is being given to the six students who went above and beyond and read more than 20 books!!



Great news! Our class won both the first grade Music and Art class awards for best behavior for the entire school year. Mrs. White had her celebration with our class during Music on Friday and Mrs. Jones will have a 45 minute ART CARNIVAL celebration this Monday just before our Author’s Tea. Yippee for us! 




On Monday, we will have our Author’s Tea, where the students will show off their reading and writing growth. Thank you to everyone who made plans to join us for this special celebration and class awards ceremony. Please sign in at the front office and wait in the lobby for us to welcome you to the Core Curriculum Room (down the first hallway). We’ll open the doors promptly at 11:45. Our class will go directly to lunch following the Tea at 12:15. Please feel free to stay for lunch, if you’d like. Guest lunches are $3.75.

We’ll have another treat right after lunch (on Monday). Mrs. Finnegan and Mrs. Daniel will be making snow cones for all the students in the entire school. It’s their way of thanking them for using the Media Center this year and all of the reading they did. We’ll eat them outside at 12:45.


Yearbook autograph signing will also be Monday – in the morning and in the afternoon! If your child has a Kennesaw yearbook, please send it in on Monday. We have made our own class yearbooks with photos from the school year and pages of memories. We’ll be signing them and filling them out this week. Look for them to come home on Tuesday.

Supplies from your child’s desk and cubby will be coming home on Monday and Tuesday.



On Tuesday, May 22nd, we’ll have a school-wide Awards Day. Awards will be given to students for yearlong perfect attendance and from the Specialists (P.E., Art, Music, and Technology). We will follow a different schedule, because it’s Early Release (at 12:30). We will pick up sack lunches at 10:55 and eat in our classroom. Our class will celebrate summer birthdays after lunch. All of the students’ remaining  belongings will be sent home on this day.

On our last day of school, Wednesday, May 23rd, backpacks are not allowed on school buses, so we ask that no student bring one. Please send lunches from home in a disposable bag. It will be Early Release (at 12:30) and, again, our sack lunch pick-up time is 10:55 and we’ll eat in our room. No need to send in a snack this day – I’ll provide one for all my students. 




Second grade here you come!





Biblionasium is a safe, fun, social reading community for students. Click on Biblionasium and LOG IN with your child’s lunch number & password.

Summer Reading Challenge: Read for 1,500 minutes during this summer! Log your minutes for fun prizes in August! We just learned about Biblionasium a week ago in the Media Center! Refer to the paperwork that went home that day.

Please check my last blog post for more summer reading opportunities!


No Comments »

News and Notes for the Week of May 14

Wow! I was overwhelmed by the generous gifts bestowed upon me this week for Teacher Appreciation Week. Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers, sweet cards, my favorite snacks, and the generous gifts and gift cards. The staff was treated to a fabulous lunch off campus and I was able to savor it with extended time!  The PTA also provided us with some wonderful treats. Because of all the chocolate treats I received, I’m going to have to wear loose clothing this week. Ha! But in all seriousness, I am so thankful to all of you for giving me your support and allowing me to teach your terrific children!




I hope all our moms had a fabulous day on Sunday. We enjoyed growing your special gift* and writing a sweet (and funny) card to show how much we care. *Please keep the soil mildly moist and in partial sun. If they haven’t already, the flowers should bloom shortly. Thanks so much for allowing me to be your child’s surrogate mom while in my care. ♥



It’s hard to believe that this is our last full week of the school year. It will include a few more assessments, so accurate data can be included on the upcoming report cards. So far, I’ve seen wonderful growth in many areas. I was surprised, however, with some of the review assignments, as many careless errors were made. Please continue to send your child to school ready to learn right up to the last day. We have a few more standards that need to be taught/learned, such as reviewing how to answer questions about data, using conjunctions to combine sentences, and accident prevention in and around our homes. Many behavioral reminders have been given to the class over the last week or so. I really appreciate whatever support you can provide to help your child end the year on a positive note.



On Wednesday, we will have magician, David Ginn, visit our school. He provides an educational school show promoting reading while doing magic.



Friday is the last day of Read Your Way to a Sundae. Twelve scoops need to be completed by then to earn the yummy ice cream reward. Many students have already brought 12 scoops in, and now the challenge is to see who can read the most. Three Baggy Books were sent home again in order to help with this assignment. Please make sure your children are reading “just right” books on their level and each scoop gets cut out and signed. If more scoops are needed, please have your child bring more home. Copies are left out in the classroom. Thanks for your help in keeping your kids motivated to read this time of year. At the end of the day, we will celebrate with real ice cream sundaes that your children have earned. It’s my treat to purchase and serve the sundaes for all the hard work your children have put into their reading this year. I’ll have a few other surprises for the students that afternoon as well.


By the way, there is only one more phonics lesson: silent letters. I sent home and uploaded the word list.



An Author’s Tea invitation will come home on Monday. Please return the notice (at the bottom of the invitation) so that we can plan appropriately for the number of guests to expect. This week, we will practice reading our writing pieces in preparation. Prepare to be amazed! Please limit the guests to 3 per student. We hope that each child has at least one visitor to represent him/her. Thank you!



Summer Reading Programs

On Friday, representatives from the Kennesaw and Acworth libraries came to share (Biblionasium)   with us about all that they offer for school age children. For more about Cobb Summer Reading, go to

Did you see the yellow handout regarding the Cobb County Reading Challenge?  Your child’s username and password are located on this document. Minutes of reading can be logged over the summer and special prizes will be awarded. Mrs. Finnegan will host a special celebration at the beginning of next school year for any of our students who participate.

Summer Link: Math & Reading (Pre-K to Grade 8)

The Personalized Learning Department is working closely with CCSD Library Media Services, and other resource providers, to provide an engaging digital summer learning experience for students. The Summer Link website has been enhanced for easy navigation on any device and now includes resources in multiple languages. Tasks have been differentiated by level and are available for all students in grades Pre-K through 8th grade.

Postcards will be mailed to all elementary students within the next month. Summer Link Webpage: Summer Link



Last week, your child’s enrollment form for the 2018-2019 school year at Kennesaw Elementary was sent home. Please make any necessary changes in red ink, sign and date the back, and return. If your child is not returning to KES, make a note on the top of the form with the reason and what school he/she will be attending (if known). 

Two weeks ago an envelope was sent home to be used for your child’s final report card. If you haven’t already done so, please attach two FOREVER stamps, address it with your summer address, and send it back to school ASAP.

Thank you so much to those of you who have already returned both the form and the envelope!


Next week:

Mondayour Author’s Tea, where your child will show off his/her reading and writing growth. Thank you to everyone who can make plans to join us for this special celebration and awards ceremony. Please sign in at the front office and join us in the Core Curriculum Room. We’ll begin promptly at 11:45. Our class will go directly to lunch following the Tea at 12:15.

After lunch, Mrs. Finnegan and Mrs. Daniel will be serving snow cones as a thank you to all the students who used the Media Center and read this school year.

We will then sign our class and/or school yearbooks this afternoon.


Tuesday – fourth quarter Awards Day. Perfect Attendance and Specialist (Art, Music, P.E., Technology, and ALP) awards will be given. Invitations will be sent out to parents of students being recognized.  Lunch is 11:10-11:40 and EARLY RELEASE is at 12:30. All student belongings will go home.



Wednesday – Last day of school! Second grade send-off. Lunch is 11:10-11:40 and EARLY RELEASE is at 12:30. No backpacks on this last day, please. If bringing a lunch, please send it in a paper or plastic bag.





No Comments »

News and Notes for the Week of May 7

Our last fundraiser for the year!

Have you heard about the movie our class can view together after school this Tuesday? We read the first Boxcar Children book a few months ago (the students loved it!) and we are now reading the second book in the series, which is the subject/title of the movie. 

Our local AMC Theater will have a one day showing of The Boxcar Children – Surprise Island

Please join us, if you can:

Where: AMC Barrett Commons 24   2600 Cobb Place Lane NW, Kennesaw

When: Tuesday, May 8th

Time: 4:00 (arrive by 3:50 to sit together); Running Time 1 hr. 40 min.

Cost: $8 for children and $12 for adults


Here’s a link for more details:

Movie Trailer –

Theater Information

Please let me know if you plan on joining in on the fun!



I hope that the reduced homework expectation has made it easier to complete the Read Your Way to a Sundae challenge. Most students have handed in six or more scoops to date! Since Media Center books can no longer be checked out, please let me know if you need another book sent home (in addition to the Baggy Books) from my classroom library. Another 3-4 scoops are due this Friday. This will keep your child on track to earn the ice cream reward with a total of 12+ scoops on Friday, May 18th. Thank you for having your child read “just right” books and to have cut out the scoops before sending them in – there simply isn’t extra time to do it in class. 



Please continue practicing sight words (if your child knows less than 200) and this week’s phonics skill: The consonants of g and c have two (hard and soft) sounds.

        *The soft sound of g sounds like a j, like page and gentle.

        *The soft sound of c sounds like an s, like ice and cent.

See the Homework tab for the list of words we will be practicing and the possible Bonus words.




On Friday, a representative from the Kennesaw library will be coming to share information about the summer library program. Over the summer, the library will host Monday Movie Nights, Wednesday afternoon STEAM activities, and School-Age Storytime. Check out their events here:



This Thursday, May  10, our class will be taking the Student Learning Objectives Assessment (SLO) in Music. This assessment is created at the District level and is a state requirement. It’s a subject assessment given to students at the beginning (in the Fall) and at the end of the year to determine student growth over the length of the course. We’ll spend a few minutes each day reviewing some of the Music standards (i.e., steady beat, rhythmic patterns, read quarter and paired eighth notes and quarter rests, and pitch concepts).


Last week, we took two computerized assessments.

The Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) is a nationally normed reading comprehension test that contains literary and informational text passages. Test questions are computer-adaptive and focus on literal comprehension of the passages. Scores are reported in Lexile (L) measurements.




0–39%                                        BR–100L                                        BASIC


40–55%                             100L–200L                        LOW PROFICIENT

56–69%                                200L–300L                                 PROFICIENT

70–80%                              300L–400L                        HIGH PROFICIENT


at 80% & ABOVE                          ABOVE 400L                                ADVANCED 


The Scholastic Math Inventory (SMI)  provides a measure of students’ readiness for mathematics instruction in the form of a Quantile measure which indicates how well a student understands mathematical concepts and skills along a developmental continuum. It screens for early numeracy and basic fact fluency. A student scoring at the Proficient Performance Level by the end of the year is considered to be achieving at grade level.


BELOW BASIC              BASIC             PROFICIENT            ADVANCED

                                          EM400-60                        65-255                 260-450                 455 and Above

Once all tests are completed, a School-to-Home Report will be shared that includes student-specific progress information, as well as home-involvement suggestions. 



Additional end-of-the-year assessments in all subject areas will continue to be administered, so we accurately know the growth our students have made. I am allowing for as much time as possible for hands-on activities, movement breaks, and Arts Integration lessons in between assessments. Please do your best to have your child arrive to school on time, be well rested, and have a nutritious breakfast to help sustain them throughout the day. Don’t forget to send in a healthy snack – some students are going without.



Save the date:

Please plan on joining us for our class Author’s Tea on Monday, May 21st from 11:45-12:15. The students will be sharing some of their writing they published this year. You will be amazed!








No Comments »

News and Notes for April 30 – May 4


A $1 donation will go to our Relay Team benefiting the American Cancer Society – allowing your child to wear a hat for the day and a purple Relay for Life pencil will be given, too!  We will take the hats off during our Scholastic Math Inventory (assessment), but as long as they aren’t interfering with our learning, the hats can be worn the rest of the day. 

Since it’s May 4th tomorrow, we will also celebrate “May the 4th Be With You!” A Star Wars shirt can be worn, if desired.


Have you heard of the Summer Slide?

Between the end of one school year and the start of the next, every student risks summer learning loss. On average, students lose 2 months of reading skills over the summer! Since the summer break will be here before you know it, it’s a great idea to start planning now what activities you’ll use to avoid summer learning loss. I sent home the final Scholastic Book Club flyers for the school year. Please do not feel that you’re under any obligation to order; I just want to provide you with this very reasonably priced option to keep your children reading all summer long. If you’re interested, please place your online order by this Monday, April 30th by midnight. 

How to order:

Go online to:  and look up Helga Kulkarni

Or enter our Class Code: L68CR

Follow the instructions to place your order online.

**Look below for the Summer Bridge workbook order that can also help combat Summer Slide.


Please return one signed copy of the Progress Report that was sent home on Friday. I’m so proud of how much reading progress that my students have made so far. Many students have learned all the required 200+ sight words. Yay!


This Monday will be the  last day to send in Box Tops for Education for this school year. This contest will earn the winners a Popsicle party.  So, please continue searching for these labels and send them in a baggie labeled with Mrs. Kulkarni. We sure did enjoy the pizza party we won in the last contest!



This Friday (May 4) is when all Media Center books are due. If every student in our class has his/her books returned by this day, our name gets put in a drawing to win a special end-of-the-year party with Mrs. Finnegan. Please insure that your children have all books brought back on or before Friday. 


This week our students will be taking the Scholastic Reading Inventory and Scholastic Math Inventory. The Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) is a nationally normed, formative assessment that provides a student’s reading ability level and determines instructional needs. The Scholastic Math Inventory is an assessment that provides a direct measure of students’ math achievement and growth. 

Next week, our class will be taking the Student Learning Objectives Assessment (SLO) in Music; this assessment is created at the District level and is a state requirement. The SLO is a district-developed subject assessment given to students at the beginning and end of a course. Our students took this at the beginning of the school year and will now be taking it to measure their growth over the course of the year.


Our class testing schedule:

Tuesday, May 1 – Reading

Friday, May 4 – Math

Thursday, May 10 – Music


The tests will be administered electronically (on desktops and iPads). 

We have spent some time reviewing the standards and preparing to take an online test. Parents, please help your child wake up early enough to have a healthy breakfast at home or school, get to school on time, and to think positively. Thank you!




The award-winning Summer Bridge Activities workbooks are aligned to Common Core State Standards and were developed to help parents support their children academically year-round. An order form was sent home with the Progress Reports. It is a school fundraiser that will benefit your child over the summer as well as Kennesaw Elementary. Please consider ordering one for your child.

No Comments »

News and Notes for April 23-27

field day

On Monday, we’ll have the opening ceremony to our Field Days. Please send in a beach towel for your child to sit on, only if the weather clears up, as we will be seated for almost an hour on the pavement. Because of this afternoon event, we will be following an altered Specials and Lunch time. Our lunch will be 11:10-11:40. 

Thursday is First Grade’s Field Day. Please have your children wear a t-shirt that matches the color group they have been assigned, (if possible), along with comfortable sneakers, as we will be very active. Also, have your child wear sunscreen, as we’ll be outside most of the day. Visors or caps are allowed, if you’d like. Water bottles can be brought outside to each station, but each child will be in charge of his/her own bottle. We’ll also be taking a few indoor breaks for snack, water, and the restroom.

                            FIELD DAY TEAMS

RED                  BLUE             YELLOW         GREEN      

FAIZA                             LILEIGH                           CELESTE                        RYLEE

RYAN                              JACK                               GABRIEL                        CHRISTOPHER

ANABEL                         CHRISTINA                     JACELYN                        LAUREN

KINGSTON                    CHELAN                          LOGAN                            LORENZO

MOISES                          ZOIE                                KAYLEN                          BEN


Because the other two grades will have their field days on Tuesday and Wednesday, we will not have Specials, but, luckily, our lunch times won’t change. 





ice cream

Did you see the new homework that was just sent home? The Read Your Way to a Sundae assignment, along with phonics and some occasional math practice, will be taking the place of the 5 Star Homework. And, no separate reading log will need to be filled out. Check the HOMEWORK tab to the right for the weekly phonics word list.

We’re hoping that this will keep the children motivated until the end of the school year. Each week, your children are asked to read at least three books on their level. They will fill out, cut out, and have you sign, three or four reading scoops and hand them in each Friday.  After completing 12 scoops over the next four weeks, they will earn an ice cream sundae party. It’ll be a yummy reading celebration!




Progress Reports will be sent home this Friday, April 27th. Please sign and return one copy. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the report, please don’t hesitate to ask.



Box Tops Contest April 16-30th 
The class with the most wins a Popsicle party!     

  We won a pizza party in the last contest. Who is up for winning this one?





Order your Kennesaw Elementary yearbook by April 30th.
Please visit this PTA page to order!





No Comments »

News and Notes for April 16 – 20

We had an exciting first Hatchimals lesson in the Media Center with Mrs. Finnegan last week. We will have two follow-up lessons this week, searching for text evidence in fiction and non-fiction texts. Once the proof has been found, the first graders use a QR code to hatch their next Hatchimal. I wonder who will be able to hatch them all?


Walking Club for first grade this week will be changed to Thursday (April 19). Please make sure to wear sneakers to participate in the fun. We’ve been logging in a lot of miles!





Don’t forget that the Art Show is this Thursday evening from 4:00-6:00. Each year, students have an opportunity to display one framed work of art into a formal art show. Family and friends are always encouraged to bring their child to view the body of artwork Kennesaw Elementary students have produced. You will be so impressed by the work created by your child!


This week is our last Five Star Homework for the year. A bonus prize will be given to anyone up for the challenge of completing 10 or more stars. Who is up for the challenge? Look for a fun homework assignment for the final month of school.


Dates to come:

Field Day Opening Ceremony, weather permitting, is on April 23rd.

Your child may bring a beach towel to sit on, as we’ll be sitting outside on the pavement.

Our lunch time will change on this day.

Field Day for first grade will be April 26

Ms. Adams sent home a volunteer request form for any parent willing/able to help out with this fun event. Please return the form ASAP, if you can volunteer.

Our lunch time may change on all three field days (April 24-26). Please continue to check back for important information regarding this event.

On Field Day, your child will be asked to wear a team color. These have already been assigned. Your child is asked to either wear a colored shirt matching his/her team color, or wear white or another color that is not one of the other team colors (red, blue, yellow, green).

April 27th- Progress Reports go home

No Comments »

News and Notes for April 9 – 13



There is no assigned 5 Star Homework or Baggy Books this week. Please continue practicing sight words and this week’s phonics words. The focus is on the variant vowel /ô/, which makes the short o sound spelled with aw, au, ough, augh. and al. Please send in evidence on Friday that the words were practiced.



We are excited to have a children’s author visit on Monday, April 9th.  Carmen Agra Deedy lives in Decatur, Georgia. She’s most notably published the following books:

14 Cows for America, Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, The Yellow Star, and The Library Dragon




Starting this week, we will have one of three special Media Center lessons with our marvelous Media Specialist, Mrs. Finnegan. 

First graders will work on text evidence in Fiction and Non-Fiction stories using Hatchimals. How many will they be able to hatch?

Other lessons this week:

*comparing two ideas and pieces of information on the same topic

*revising/editing/publishing a personal narrative; ending punctuation    

*comparing two-digit numbers using < and >

*George Washington Carver








No Comments »

News and Notes for the Week of March 26

You will have a “golden” opportunity to win a mystery prize from Kennesaw’s Golden Egg Grab. Playing is easy and fun. Simply come to our hallway from 7:10-7:50 a.m., March 26th – 28th.

Eggs are $1 each or six for $5. Cash or check made payable to KES. Please return the permission form to participate.

Inside each egg, you will find a small gold star. If you are a lucky gold star winner, you will get to be one of nine students who earn a very special treat this Thursday. 

You can play one day or all three days this week.  Treats and gold stars will be available Monday through Wednesday. There will be 9 gold star winners in all.

All proceeds from this event will go to the Kennesaw Elementary Relay for Life team benefiting the American Cancer Society.

So, come one morning this week (M-W), join the fun, and support a great cause, because the Golden Egg Grab winner could be YOU!






Our G.A.B.I.E. in-school field trip is this Tuesday! 

It is a digitally wrapped school bus, with 10 interactive stations inside and two more outside, to learn all about what our state manufactures and grows. One of the outside stations allows each student to plant a vegetable seed or flower seed with soil in their very own container.  We are looking forward to this educational experience and meeting Gabie, the Honey Bee mascot.

In order to accommodate our field trip, our lunch time has changed:


That afternoon, we will have the pizza party we won for the “Box Tops for Education” contest. What an exciting day!








We’re looking forward to Cultural Arts Day this coming Friday! We will have the opportunity to see a variety of artisans (such as a sculptor, a puppeteer, musicians, public safety officers). Our lunch time will change because of our schedule, so we’ll be eating sack lunches in the room that day and we will not have Specials.




If you have not yet turned in the signed report card envelope that the report card was sent home in, please do so by this Friday


I would truly appreciate some donations for our class Treasure Box. I pick a few items up each weekend, but with so many students being rewarded for their hard work, it dwindles down quickly!

And, if anyone has any portable CD players (or individual cassette players) we can add to our Listening Center, we would love these, too. I’ve recently spent quite some time trying to repair the ones we have, but they are not always being handled gently and some are held together by rubber bands. We are running low on AA batteries for them as well, so if any of our families buy these in bulk and could spare a few, these would also be appreciated.

As always, we thank you for your support and generosity!



Cobb Digital Library

Students can access our county’s research databases and supplemental digital resources. From home, go through the Cobb County School District website.  Make sure you have signed up for Office 365 first.  Then, the user name is your first name.last [email protected] and the password is the computer password you use at school (first initital, last initital, birth month and day – 4 digits). 



spring break

April 2 – 6

I hope everyone enjoys the week off from school. I look forward to hearing about it when we all return. 

No Comments »

News and Notes for the Week of March 19

Report cards for the 3rd quarter will be sent home on Wednesday, March 21. I am so proud of the growth my students have made so far. I’m sure you will be impressed, too! Please return the unsealed envelope that it’s being sent home in and sign the Parent Signature line, acknowledging that you have received the report. Thank you so much! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the report, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Upcoming dates: 

March 21st    Kindergarten and new First Grade registration from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Media Center.

March 23rd   Awards Day for perfect attendance, citizenship, and personal recognition of outstanding reading growth. Parents of students being honored will receive a special invitation.

March 27th   G.A.B.I.E in-school field trip

                          Youth Culture 101 Parent Workshop  11:30 – 1:00

March 30th   Cultural Arts Day  We will not have Specials on this day and lunch will be in our classrooms at a different time.

Spring Break  April 2nd-6th


No Comments »

News and Notes for the week of March 12

It was Daylight Savings on Sunday, March 12th.  spring forward   I realize it may take us awhile to adjust to the time difference.


It’s the end of the 3rd nine weeks on Wednesday, March 14th. It’s Early Release Day, so dismissal is at 12:30. Specials and lunch times are earlier than normal. Report cards will be sent home the following Wednesday.



We will be eating sack lunches in our classroom on March 30th, which is Cultural Arts and Career Day. A lunch order form was sent home for this event.  Please return it no later than this Friday, March 16th.



St. Patrick's  on Saturday, March 17th. 



A few notes:

With the end of this quarter, many assessments will be given to determine the level of mastery of the standards taught to date. Some of the scores from last week’s assessments were disappointing, since better work was produced earlier in the quarter. The class has been having some difficulties staying focused recently; I’m not sure why, but I would appreciate it if you would speak to your child about the importance of staying focused on the tasks at hand and putting forth effort. I truly appreciate your support, as there are still many standards needing to be taught. 

Congratulations to Lileigh and Lauren for entering the Google art contest. Their entries were featured on the morning KNN news.


We have had a change when students are logging into the Cobb Digital Library through MackinVia.  The User Name and password are both the student number .   We are no longer using “read” as the password.  The district is trying to get all logins the same to make it easier for staff and students. Go to our Media Center’s page from our school website to access it:



No Comments »

Skip to toolbar