Mrs. Kulkarni's Blog

Welcome to First Grade!


All Cobb County Schools are closed on Wednesday, January 17 and Thursday, January 18, for both students and staff, due to road and travel conditions.


KES students and families…ready for a snow day reading challenge? Take a picture of your readers, post it at Kennesaweson twitter or email Mrs. Kulkarni with . We can’t wait to see your snow day reading pics!


Please have your child hand in the completed 5 Star Homework and Baggy Books with signed reading log on Friday. Hope everyone is staying safe and warm! 

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News and Notes for the week of Jan. 16-19

Image result for Happy MLK Jr. Day

Dear Families,

I hope you enjoyed the three day weekend together and had a chance to discuss the reason for the holiday. On Friday, we read a few books and discussed briefly who Martin Luther King Jr. was and how he dedicated his life to achieving equality and justice for ALL Americans. I loved watching how the students looked at each other after our lesson, appreciating the fact that we’re all in the same class/school together because of his DREAM! 

This week:

We began Reader’s Theater last week during our reading time. Three stories with dialogue have been chosen and parts have been assigned. The children are having so much fun learning how to read and act their parts, they may not realize that they’re improving their fluency with repeated practice. We hope to be ready to perform our stories by the end of the week. If so, I will record and share them with all the parents.

We will return to the Media Center for another lesson with Mrs. Finnegan to determine the central message/main topic and key details of a text. The students will put together puzzles – each individual piece is a detail and the completed puzzle is the main topic.

Our math lessons will center around practicing using the strategies we have already learned to solve addition problems to 20. We’ll discuss which strategies are best to use, depending on the type of math problem we need to solve.

We’ll continue our social studies unit on Lewis and Clark with Sacajawea through next week. Students will need to describe the contributions, time in history, and character traits of each of the American Heroes we study this year. We read, write, draw, watch videos, and act out many of these historical figures to bring them to life.

The standards state: 

SS1H1: The student will read about and describe the life of historical figures in American history. Identify the contributions made by these figures: Benjamin Franklin (inventor/author/ statesman), Thomas Jefferson (Declaration of Independence), Meriwether Lewis and William Clark with Sacagawea (exploration), Theodore Roosevelt (National Parks and the environment), George Washington Carver (science), and Ruby Bridges (civil rights). 

SS1G1 Describe how each historic figure in SS1H1a was influenced by his or her time and place.

SS1CG1 Describe how the historical figures in SS1H1a display positive character traits such as: fairness, respect for others, respect for the environment, courage, equality, tolerance, perseverance, and commitment.



Next Thursday, January 25, we will be celebrating our 100th day of school (as long as we don’t have another school cancellation!) The students will be completing all sorts of fun math activities on that day! A Ziploc bag will be sent home, labeled with your child’s name. Please help your child fill this bag with 100 small things, and bring them to share with our class that day. Examples of 100 items that could be shared include paper clips, stickers, pennies, or toothpicks (please, nothing fragile). The possibilities are endless! Look for more information to be sent home soon!




The PTA Coffee Talk is this Friday, 1/19, at 9:30 a.m. If you’d like to volunteer in any capacity in 2018, we would love to have you! Come for coffee, with questions, or ideas!


Spring After School Enrichment Program reminder:  Registration will CLOSE next Monday! No exceptions will be made. Please make sure you have registered prior to 1/22/18.





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All Cobb County schools are closed Monday, January 8, for both students and staff, due to the forecast of freezing rain and the impact on roads and travel.

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News and Notes for the Week of Jan. 4 and Jan. 8

Dear Parents,

         Happy 2018! I hope you all had a wonderful break; I certainly did. Thanks so much for your sweet words and generous gifts for the holidays. It was very much appreciated. I expect that the seasonal calendar and the stocking photo ornament  your children made for you were also treasured. 

         I can’t believe that we’re halfway through the school year already, can you? There is still so much more of the first grade curriculum to be learned! This quarter some of our new units of study include: reading and writing opinion text, math strategies with unknown numbers and word problems to 20, adding and comparing numbers to 100, functions of the major muscles, light and shadows, and the important contributions of Theodore Roosevelt and Lewis & Clark with Sacagawea. .

         Report cards will be sent home this Friday. I’m happy to share the wonderful growth your children have made so far. Please sign and return the unsealed envelope. The report card and attached comments are for you to keep. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the report, please don’t hesitate to ask.

         Because we’re been experiencing fluctuating weather, please make sure your child has another layer to add or remove, since we’ll continue to go outside for recess (temperatures permitting – when the outside temperature or wind chill factor is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher). Also, don’t forget to send in a healthy, dry snack, along with a water bottle each day/week. Some students are running low on glue sticks and white erasers. Please ask your child if he/she needs more and kindly replenish them. Our class is getting low on disinfecting wipes; anyone willing to furnish us with more? We’re trying to prevent viruses from spreading!

        I’ve really missed your children. Please tell them I am looking forward to seeing them on Thursday and hearing about what they did during their break.


What are we learning?

         We are reviewing long vowel words from the last quarter in our phonics lessons this week. Next week’s lessons will be words ending with -ck. Treasure Box treats will now be given to those students who learn how to spell all 12 words!

         New Baggy Books with the accompanying reading log will come home on Friday, but no Five Star Homework. Instead, a “Spelling Peer Check” page with next week’s phonics words on which 6 words can be tested, practiced, and re-tested. Please send this page back next Thursday.

         A few short assessments will be given as pre-tests in reading and math for the 3rd quarter.

         We’ll learn about our muscles and the functions of muscle groups (like our neck turns our head and our heart pumps blood). An assessment will be next Monday.



Dates to Know:



      drama kids image.jpgjust dance it.JPGbuilder bunch ad 2017.png


Monday’s (1/29-4/30)

12 sessions. No classes on 2/19 or 4/02


REGISTRATION/PAYMENT: ($200). Please register/pay on the Spanish Now website.


Tuesday’s (1/30-5/1)

12 sessions. No classes on 2/20 or 4/03


REGISTRATION/PAYMENT: ($195). Please register/pay on the Drama Kids website.


Wednesday’s (1/31-5/2)

11 sessions. No classes on 2/21, 3/14 or 4/4


REGISTRATION/PAYMENT: ($199). Please register/pay on the Just Dance It website.



Thursday’s (2/1-5/3)

12 sessions. No classes on 2/22 or 4/05.



Please register/pay on the Builder Bunch website.



All ASE Participants must register separately for the school’s ASP program.

Please email Meg Jollett at [email protected] with any questions.




Tuesday, January 9th  for First Grade









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A Teacher’s Pledge for Parents

So what do teachers want parents to pledge in 2018? A reporter asked a group of teachers from across the district what they recommend, and they had much to say. Here are their suggestions:

  1. Spend at least five minutes every day talking with your child.

This means put down the cell phone, mute the TV, turn off the XBOX and truly engage. Go beyond the typical “How was your day?” Ask questions that will prompt additional questions. “Ask something about what they did, or how they solved a problem. Something that will prompt another question and hopefully get your student excited about learning and doing well in school,” said a teacher at a local high school. “I have so many students that have given up on themselves and just don’t care anymore.”

  1. While we’re talking about cell phones, please put it down in the car line.

“No, but really. We had one parent try to drive away with her youngest trying to climb in the back door and an older one not even in the car yet,” said a teacher at an elementary school. “Another parent almost ran over a kid. A third one ran into our gate.”

  1. Create consistency.

Keep bedtimes, rules, consequences and routines just that – routine. Stick to your guns and enforce the standards you have set. Even if they gripe, kids will benefit from it tremendously. When expectations are set, they know exactly what they’re getting and that’s both comforting and healthy for a child, especially the little ones. And on the subject of bedtime, make sure your children are getting plenty of sleep. “Make sure your kids go to bed early enough. So many of my students fall asleep in class every day,” said another elementary teacher. “It’s really sad.” Elementary age students typically need 10 hours of sleep.

  1. Check the school blog, your teacher’s blog, and your school emails regularly.

This is an important online tool that teachers use to communicate with parents, post homework assignments, and other classroom news. With the information just clicks away, “there are no excuses for not knowing your child’s class happenings and missing assignments,” said another classroom teacher.

  1. Embrace play time.

With so much pressure, testing and technology, children often don’t get enough time to let loose. Let them run, let them play, and best of all – let them interact with one another. Social engagement is critical.

  1. Get involved.

Even if it’s something small, get involved in your child’s education. Read with them, join the PTA, show up for lunch one day. Show your child that you’re present and interested in their education, and they will be, too.

  1. Work with teachers.

If there’s one thing this group of teachers couldn’t stress enough, it’s that they want parents to work with them.

“Know that your child’s teacher always has your child’s well-being and education at heart. We are here to try and turn them into their best and reach their full potential,” said another teacher. “We know what they are capable of doing (behavior and academics). Work with us to do what’s best for your child, don’t resist and resent us.”

  Follow @JessicaJSaggio on Twitter.


I truly do appreciate all of your support!   Mrs. Kulkarni

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News and Notes for the Week of Dec. 11

All Cobb County schools will resume classes on

Tuesday, December 12, on a normal schedule.

Schools will be closed Monday, December 11, 2017

All Cobb County Schools will be closed Monday, December 11, for both students and staff, due to continued power outages at multiple schools and poor travel conditions on secondary roads in the northern part of the county.



What an exciting day we had on Friday! Since we began our day with only 14 students, and by the end of the early dismissal time we had just 4 students, alterations had to be made to the lessons I had planned. Any work your child may have missed will be done on the day we return. Students who were absent should return their Baggy Books and be prepared for the Phonics Test.

With our busy schedule this month, we must find time to review and assess the important concepts learned these nine weeks. The official reading tests will check word accuracy, fluency, and comprehension using a level E text. Please help your child prepare by retelling his/her Baggy Books, and know the author’s purpose (to entertain, to inform, or to persuade).

I will also be spending quite a bit of time formally checking to see what your children currently know in every academic area. There are mandatory benchmark assessments and first grade summative assessments that also must be given.

In between testing, we’ll be having fun experimenting with sound (pitch and volume) for science,  and reading/performing Reader’s Theater scripts.

No doubt by now that you have heard more about the tickets your children are earning for the good choices they are making. This time of year is always more difficult for students to stay focused on their learning, especially with all of the tests given, so I am offering an incentive by rewarding those that do. I hope all of my students will collect enough tickets to join in the Movie Day fun on the day before the last day of school before the Winter Holiday break.

Don’t forget that we’ll have a book exchange at our class holiday party on Monday, December 18th. Looking forward to celebrating all of the hard work your children have put in and having a little holiday cheer together! 


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News and Notes for the Week of December 4

happy holidays


The KES Holiday Gift Shop is coming!

The Holiday Shop is a temporary store set up with gift items for purchase, and over 80% of them are under $5.00. Children may purchase gifts for parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles or anyone on their holiday gift giving list. The children love being able to shop independently (we will have adult volunteers available to assist them) to select gifts for their loved ones.  All items will come home in a sealed bag ready for giving; they will come home in their backpack that same day. This is a voluntary event for those who want to participate, and it is not a PTA fundraiser. This a fun opportunity for the children to experience the joy of hand selecting gifts for seasonal giving.

Here is how it works:

Our class has an assigned “Sneak Peek” time on December 8th during the school day (similar to the Book Fair process) to preview the gift items. Students will fill out a shopping wish list to bring home to review with parents. Our class has an assigned shopping day on Tues., Dec. 12th, and we ask that parents send in either a check or cash in the amount that the child is approved to spend on the day that they are assigned to shop. We are unable to hold onto any money or checks overnight, so please send it in on the exact shopping day. 

We hope that the children will enjoy this event! We are also in need of volunteers to help staff the shop and assist the children in their gift selection. Here is the Sign-Up Genius if you’re able to help out:




This year our 1st graders will be performing the holiday musical December Gifts for the school on Thursday, December 7th as a dress rehearsal for the evening performance.  The school performances will alter our lunch and specials times that day. We’ll go to lunch from 11:07-11:37 and our Specials will be later in the day.                                 

1st Grade Holiday Musical – Thursday, December 7, 2017

Attire: Students must wear the musical t-shirt or another maroon-colored t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

Students dropped off in the classroom at 6:00 p.m. 

KES Cafeteria

PTA Meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Performance at 6:45 p.m.

Pick up: KES Gym





On Friday, December 8th, we will be offering a Parents Night Out. Your kids can attend a fun evening at school for the low price of $5 per child. This includes pizza and a drink, along with the movie, Arthur Christmas. This event will be limited to Kennesaw Elementary students and their Big Shanty siblings. Drop off will start at 6:00 p.m. and the event ends at 8:00 p.m. The last day to order tickets will be this Wednesday, Dec. 6.



good behavior

This time of year it’s always difficult for our students to stay focused on the lessons and we will be working hard (and assessing) right up until the last day. So, for the last few weeks of school before the break, your children will be able to earn Good Behavior Tickets by making good choices. Once the first set of ten tickets are earned, the children will get a treat from the Treasure Box. After the next ten, they will receive a free morning work pass. And finally, with the third ten, they will have earned the grand prize of a Movie Day pass. The children will have through December 18th to earn all 30 tickets. An additional prize will go to the top ticket earner. Popcorn, drinks, and other treats will be served while enjoying the movie they’ve chosen. Please ask how many tickets your child has earned over the next few weeks and encourage him/her to earn as many as possible.

Thank you so much for your support with this!

10 Tickets = Treasure Box

20 Tickets = Morning Work Pass

30 Tickets = Movie Day




In celebration of the holidays, each student may take part in a book exchange. For our holiday party on Dec. 18th, each girl will bring in a wrapped book to exchange with another girl in our class. Each boy will also bring in a wrapped book to exchange with another boy in our class. Please spend approx. $5.00. Wrapped books should be brought to school by: Monday, December 18. 

Consider ordering from the Scholastic book order that I emailed and sent home. It’s a great resource for our book exchange. Also, if you’d like to order books as holiday presents or stocking stuffers for your child, please let me know and when the order arrives I will contact you – to keep it a surprise for your child. Online book orders are due by midnight of Sunday, December 3.

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Being THANKful

It was just Thanksgiving and over the break I’ve had time to reflect on what I am thankful for: my family, my health, the experiences I’ve had, and all of the people in my life, including you and your children.


In our classroom each week, we share our Bucket Filler slips and discuss what makes us happy. Last week I was glad to hear that the children were grateful for the medicine that can heal them (or at least make them feel better), for having a nice home to live in, for having a safe school to go to, for their loving families, and even for their teachers.  I’m grateful that this group of children doesn’t always emphasize the material things – although they are just 6 or 7, so toys are included somewhere on their lists. Ha! Their lists say something to me. It speaks to our classroom discussions that aren’t in the first grade standards. It speaks to the families and the experiences your children have already had in their relatively short lives.


I am a teacher who is passionate about teaching and learning. In our classroom, there is endless learning taking place, and none of it comes strictly from a textbook. Most of it needs to be experienced, not just listened to and regurgitated. Learning is valued and celebrated because your children are my children. Have I had to dole out tough love on occasion? Yes, I have, but that is what a mother does when she knows the potential of her children.


I am thankful for the commitment so many of you have offered, not only to your child, but to other children as well. Your support for our class, our school, and the greater community has been noticed. I’m so fortunate to be part of this place I call home.


So, before the crazy, busy season gets even busier between now and the end of 2017, I wanted to just put in writing how thankful I am for you entrusting me to be your child’s teacher – their guardian, their champion, and their mother every school day. I truly appreciate it all.


And, since I am thankful for my loving family at home, I have put aside time for them this past week. I waited until this weekend to grade papers, make lesson plans, and check my school email. I hope you all had a restful, healthy break, and enjoyed your time with your loving families. Please let your children know that I have missed them and how very thankful I am to have them in my life.



I’m curious to hear how many of your children came home telling you about our tasting event. Everyone tried at least one tiny bite of each of the healthy foods presented to them. We reviewed the story of Green Eggs and Ham, and the fact that you can’t always judge something without trying it first. Thanks to those parents who were able to send in a special food for us to try. Some of you may be surprised by what your child actually liked, and for others, it may not have come as a surprise at all. The experts say that it takes 7-15 times on average for a new food to be introduced before it becomes accepted, so don’t give up! Thank you also, for those of you who encouraged your child to take the 5 a Day Challenge in our Five-Star Homework last week. I was happy to see that some of your kids were able to meet the challenge or at least attempted it! Hopefully, they will continue this way of eating beyond this week. Please give me feedback on this tasting event. I would love to hear if you think it’s worthwhile for me to continue it with my future classes.



Our recent food drive greatly benefited the families of Kennesaw Elementary. I’m very proud of our class for donating so many Build-a-Bags and gift cards!

While there was to be a contest between classes (still waiting on final numbers!), I am hoping that our class met the challenge for bigger reasons. I spend a great deal of time in class helping my students learn how to be good citizens and celebrating their efforts. This is our opportunity to show once again that we are “Bucket Fillers” for a greater purpose.

Thank you again for helping feed those in need.




By the way, there was no Five-Star Homework assigned for the break. I will send Baggy Books home to practice next Friday with the following week’s Five-Star Homework.

Sight word and vocabulary word tests will resume the week we return. Please have your child continue studying their individual word lists sent home on Friday before the break. A very special thanks to Mrs. Adams for assisting me with sight words on Fridays! We will have a new list of phonics words as well. You can find the words on this blog and I’ll also send home the list on Monday. 



Please look for information coming home on Tuesday, November 28th, about our Holiday Book Exchange. I’m also sending home Scholastic Book Flyers with holiday book selections that can be used for the exchange, if you’re interested, or for ordering books for your child as a gift. If you’d like to purchase any as a gift, we can arrange for you to come pick them up from our class or I can send them home in a sealed paper bag. Online orders will be due by Sunday, Dec. 3, so they will arrive well before the Holiday Break.


Do any of you remember HIGHLIGHTS magazine? Maybe you had a subscription as a child or had the fun of reading through them at your doctor’s or dentist’s offices. You have the opportunity to order a subscription for your own child, either the regular version or the newer PUZZLE BUZZ books, which contain fun, skill-building activities. There is no obligation to order, but please check YES or No on the forms and sign/return them to class. Even if you don’t care to subscribe, our class can earn some FREE GIFTS with the signed slips. Only fill out the name and address if you are interested in the subscription. 

Lastly, on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 2nd 9 weeks progress report was sent home with all students. If you haven’t done so yet, please sign and return one copy and keep the other copy for your records. I hope you are as pleased as I am of the growth being made so far!



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News and Notes for the week of November 13-17

Thank you to everyone who sent in items for our Canned Food Drive. By the looks of it, we’ll be feeding many families with the donations. A special treat will be given on Monday to my students who donated, as a special thank you for participating.

Here is a quick update with the events happening this week at school:

MONDAY – Our nutrition unit includes a fun Fruit and Veggie Tasting event. We’ll discuss the importance of eating  fruits and vegetables each day.

Thanks to some of our parents who have volunteered to send in some unique foods, we’ll be trying bites of:




Brussel sprouts







kale chips

sweet potato chips

Be looking for the tasting chart your child will fill out to see which ones your child liked and could possibly be included in some future meals. 

Who is up for the 5-A-Day Challenge?

A chart was sent home on Friday (and added to the 5 Star Homework) to get credit for keeping track of the fruits and vegetables eaten for six days in a row. Your children will need to write down which ones they ate (at home and at school) and see if they can meet the challenge of eating 5 servings each day. 

TUESDAY – We will have lunch in our classroom because Kindergarten will be having their Thanksgiving Feast in the cafeteria. Our first graders who will be getting lunch from the cafeteria will be given sack lunches. We can choose what time we eat lunch that day, since we’ll be eating in our room.


WEDNESDAY – It’s our Thanksgiving Feast Day! On the menu: turkey with stuffing and gravy OR cheeseburger, sweet potato souffle, green beans, fresh fruit, hot roll, and cranberry sauce. Other options are yogurt pack or pb&j or cheese sandwich. Meals are served with a carton drink of milk or juice or iced tea. Yum!

Even if you did not return the RSVP, you are still more than welcome to join us. All of this is only $3.75 per guest . We’ll be eating from 11:55-12:35 at Tables 5 and 6. Please allow ample time to park and sign in before meeting us in the cafeteria.

Shortly after lunch, we’ll be participating in some fun Fall Centers. Thanks to Mrs. Kramer for helping me organize the stations, which will include making a fall-themed treat and craft. Thank you also to the parent volunteers who have agreed to help man each of the stations.


THURSDAY – Once again we will have lunch in our room, with sack lunches for the students who purchase from the cafeteria. 

Progress Reports will be sent home to all students, even to those with no or few academic or behavior concerns. Please sign and return one copy and keep the other copy for your records. Some of the standards for this nine weeks have not yet been taught/assessed, but the ones that have, will be noted. If you have any questions about the report, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Don’t forget to send in the 5 Star Homework!

FRIDAY –  Please remember to return the Baggy Books and reading log. NO 5 STAR HOMEWORK WILL BE SENT HOME OVER THE THANKSGIVING BREAK, but Baggy Books will come home. Perhaps your child can impress family members with his/her reading abilities!


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Holiday Food Drive

PTA                                                                           turkey

Kennesaw Elementary’s

Holiday Food Drive

through November 9th

This year we are hoping to provide full meals for our families in need. Our Room Mom (Mrs. Kramer) sent out a Sign-Up Genius to help prevent collecting too many of one item. Check it out here: Canned Food Sign-Up.

As of this posting, we still need 12 items to fill up our first bag. The class that fills up the most bags wins a pizza party!!

Items are DUE THIS FRIDAY, NOV. 9th. And, as a bonus, 3 Stars can be earned by completing the Canned Food Drive activity on the Five-Star Homework.


Suggested Items:

Lemonade/Kool Aid Mix      Sugar             Cranberry Sauce

Brownie/Cake Mix      Muffin Mix      Macaroni and Cheese

Sweet Potatoes/Yams      Mashed Potatoes     French Fried Onions

Corn Bread Mix             Cream of Mushroom Soup       Canned Soups

Peanut Butter       Jelly      Green Beans     Stuffing Mix      Canned Fruit

Cereal/Pop Tarts           Spaghettios/Ravioli

Canned Goods such as green beans, peas, carrots, corn, etc.


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