Mrs. Kulkarni's Blog

Welcome to First Grade!

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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News from last week:

What a wonderful turn-out for Jump Rope for Heart we had. Our class had 100% participation. As of Friday, our school already raised $16,000 for the American Heart Association. Our students have raised approximately $764,000 for the American Heart Association since 1993. We appreciate all of our students, parents, and the community, as we could not be one of the top schools for Jump Rope For Heart without you!

We are still accepting donations online or cash/checks made out to the American Heart Association.









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News and Notes for the week of November 6

Fruit and Veggie Tasting

We are beginning a two week Nutrition unit this Monday. Students will be learning about the food groups and the importance of healthy eating. The following Monday, on November 13th, we’re going to have a Fruit and Veggie Tasting. It will be an opportunity for your child to try some unfamiliar fruits and vegetables. I would love your help in providing some small samples of raw or cooked fruits and veggies for our class to try. In previous years, some foods we’ve sampled were pomegranate, kiwi, guava, mango, brussel sprouts, plantain, and kale chips. Perhaps you have a family recipe that you’d like to share? We’re only looking for 20 bites! A note will soon be sent home giving you the opportunity to participate. Thanks in advance for helping my efforts to instill (hopefully life-long) healthy eating habits in your children.







Mrs. Kulkarni and all of the other first grade teachers will be out the following day, November 8th, to attend an Arts Integration training. We’re looking forward to injecting our classrooms with more researched-based arts strategies from KickStART Cobb: Using the Power of Arts Integration to Fuel Early Language and Literacy Development. Please help me remind your children to be respectful and courteous to the substitute we’ll have.



Please scroll down to read the posts about the Holiday Food Drive, JRFH News (with photos), and the Thanksgiving Feast.

What we’re learning:

Retelling key details of non-fiction text

Long a phonics words spelled with /ai/ and /ay/

Writing an informational piece (students chose owls or spiders)

Capitalizing names and dates (days, months, and holidays)

Subtraction strategies






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Our class will have our feast for an extended lunch time from 11:55-12:35 on Wednesday, November 15th.  There will be a photographer available to take family photos.

For a clearer copy of the flyer, please click on this link: First Grade Thanksgiving Feast


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News and Notes for the Week of October 30 – November 3

This Tuesday, October 31st, we’ll have an optional Storybook Character Day.  Students may dress as a character from one of their favorite books.  This is a fundraiser for United Way. Please bring one dollar and the book to participate.


On Wednesday, November 1st, we’ll have Picture Retakes. If parents are unhappy with the way the first ones turned out or if there are any new students to Kennesaw Elementary, please return any unwanted photos and be prepared for new ones to be taken.


We’re all ready to participate in Jump Rope for Heart this Thursday! Everyone in our class has signed up to participate during the event (10:15-11:00). We earned a new playground ball for doing so. And, congratulations to Christina and Christopher for being randomly chosen to get a Jump Rope for Heart t-shirt! Pictures will be taken for the yearbook and the local newspaper, so please have your children wear their (current or former) JRFH shirt that day, if you have one from last year. FYI – this will be our Specials for the day. A heart-healthy snack will be served that afternoon and we are asking your help with this. Please refer to the blue paper sent home asking for students to bring in a bag of 5 apples that day.

Don’t forget to return the donation envelope on the day of the event (not before, please). The main reason we are putting this event on is to collect donations for the American Heart Association. It’s such a great cause. By the way, prizes your children have earned for collecting donations will arrive sometime in December.

Be prepared for exhausted children that evening. Ha!




Our PTA is partnering with Thanks for Giving to help feed families in Cobb County during the holidays. The foundation’s goal is to feed 1,400 families for not just the holiday, but for an entire week. Look for information soon about how you can help with this Canned Food Drive. We’ll have specific food requests so that we can make Thanksgiving Meal Bags for those in need within our community. We can feel good knowing families across Cobb County – some even from KES – are having a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. Here is more information about the Center for family resources:

For this quarter, our Language Arts lessons are focused on Non-Fiction. Our students have already created an informational “All About Pumpkins” book and will be finishing another NF book, “All About Bats” this week. We’re going to then begin studying owls or spiders (their choice).  We’ll be recording facts on a graphic organizer about that animal, using books we checked out from the Media Center and information from the PebbleGo website.

Math lessons will be focused on subtracting from 20. The students have done a good job using TouchMath as a strategy. We’ll continue practicing this strategy and using a number line as well.

We finished our unit on Benjamin Franklin and have begun learning about Thomas Jefferson. A booklet we’re making about him will be sent home to give you an opportunity to review the important facts before the assessment. Students need to identify and describe the contributions and character traits of each of the American Heroes we study this year.


All first grade classes will have a Thanksgiving Feast on Wednesday, November 15th. Mark your calendar now. The cafeteria will be serving a holiday meal and parents are encouraged to join their children that day. Yummy! On the days that Kindergarten and 2nd grade will be feasting (Tuesday, 11/14 and Thursday, 11/16), we will have sack lunches in our classroom.

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News and Notes for the Week of October 23

Thank you all for taking time to meet with me for Conference Week.  Aren’t you impressed with your child’s growth so far?  I sure am!

What a spectacular Fall Festival we had! Our Gardening basket turned out well. What a great job Mrs. Kramer (our room mom) did in getting it organized. Thanks to everyone who contributed. 

I hope you had a chance to come experience the Book Fair during the week or the evening of Fall Festival. Thanks to those who supported our Scholastic Book Fair and for the donations of books that I received. The students I teach (now and for many years to come) will truly enjoy them!  I will be reading them all and adding them to the bookshelves in our room.

Thank you for signing your children up to attend Jump Rope for Heart (JRFH). We are very close to 100% class participation. When we do, we will earn some special class prizes. What a wonderful cause we’re supporting! If your child raises $100 or more, please send in a note stating this. He/She will be praised on the morning announcements and his/her name will be displayed on the wall outside the gym. Save all donations until the day of JRFH, November 2nd.

Even with the cooler temperatures coming our way, as long as there is no precipitation, we will continue to go outside for recess. Please don’t forget to label all jackets with your child’s name so they can be more easily returned, if necessary.


     The topics that we will focus on this week are:

     Reading-  author’s craft and retelling non-fiction texts with key details

     Writing – informational text and including NF features

     Math – TouchMath strategies to solve subtraction problems 

     Social Studies – Assessment on Benjamin Franklin and introduction to Thomas Jefferson



  Red Ribbon Week is Oct. 23-27
red ribbon week

Monday – “United We Stand against Unhealthy Choices and Bullying” Wear Red, White, & Blue

Tuesday–  We Can Be Anything We ImagineDress in Your Career Choice, Be Creative

Wednesday– We are Drug Free, What’s Your Superpower? Dress like a Superhero

Thursday–    Your Future’s Bright Wear Neon Colors

Friday– “Team Up against Drugs” Wear Your Favorite Team’s Jersey  



This Monday, October 23rd is Awards Day. We’ll be celebrating perfect attendance, good citizenship, and outstanding sight word recognition for the first quarter. If your child came home with a “secret” invitation, please join us, if you can, for the ceremony in the cafeteria at 8:50. Because of all three grade level ceremonies, lunch will be at 11:07 and PE will be at 11:50. 



Cobb EMC is sponsoring a guest author, Chris Rumble, this Thursday, October 26th. His mission is to “brighten the future by encouraging the hearts and minds of the next generation – one energizing and hilarious presentation at a time.” For more information, go to


Mrs. White has begun preparation for our 1st Grade holiday musical. Mark your calendars for December 7th at 6:45 p.m.. You’ll be in for a special treat with all of our first graders performing the musical, December Gifts.

If your child is interested in having a speaking solo (not guaranteed), the permission forms are due this Wednesday. If the form was misplaced, you can request a new one, or download it here

Solo packets will be sent home this Friday with the selected students who have been given parent approval on the permission form, have confidence speaking in front of an audience, and have acceptable behavior during the school day, and can attend morning rehearsals on the required dates.

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News and Notes for the Week of October 16

As you know, this week is Parent Conference Week. Thank you in advance for making time in your schedules to come in and meet with me. I can’t wait to share with you the progress that your children have already made. I have so much to share and only a limited time (20-30 min.) to do it in, so forgive me if I seem long-winded, but please come with any questions you may have; I plan on reserving the last few minutes of our time together to answer them. Please knock (if the classroom door is closed) at your scheduled time, so everyone can get equal time.

Our daily schedule has been adjusted so we can meet with all our parents. The children will be dismissed two hours early (12:30) and therefore their Specials and lunch times have been changed. Our Specials will be shortened to 30 minutes and we’ll be going to lunch an hour early at 11:10.



Don’t forget that we’re having our Wild West themed Scholastic Book Fair this week: Monday, October 16th through Thursday, October 19th from 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. and Friday, October 20th from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Come check out all the cowboys and cowgirls on display. I wonder who will win the prize for the most creative one. It will be hard to choose!

Our class will be visiting the Book Fair on Monday, where the students will be given an opportunity to fill out a wish list.  I have attached a Book List for you to look at with your child hereThis is only a small sampling of all the great books available at our Fair. 

If you cannot attend, you may use the Book List Order Form (that came home on Friday) and send it back to our school.  Per county policy we are not allowed to give change back from a check.  We are tax exempt so we do not charge tax, therefore please do not include tax in your check total.  If you do, we will consider it a donation to the fundraiser. Please make checks payable to Kennesaw Elementary.

During the event, we also invite you to help a classroom increase its library from the Classroom Wish List displayed at the fair.  All classroom teachers have picked the titles desired for their class library.  In addition, proceeds from this event go towards purchasing more items for our Media Center. Because of the Book Fair, there will be no book check-out until Monday, Oct. 23th, afternoon.



This coming Friday evening (October 20) from 5:00-8:00, we’ll have our Fall Festival. We still need your help to make it a success. The basket our class is putting together has a Gardening theme. We have only received a few items so far to fill it with. Would you please donate something gardening related (gift cards, seeds, a tool, etc.) and send it in by this Tuesday, Oct. 17th? We would really appreciate it. I have to thank Mrs. Kramer for being in charge of this project. 

It is Bus Driver Appreciation week, so we signed a banner for our wonderful Kennesaw bus drivers and we are asking your child to write a card to show thanks for all they do. It’s on the Five Star Homework this week, so your child will get credit for making one! If your child does not ride a bus each day, just send the card in and I’ll make sure it gets to one of our school bus drivers. And, if your child does ride the bus one day this week, just have him/her give the card to the bus driver directly.

Looking ahead:

It’s time to begin preparing for our annual First Grade Holiday Musical! This year, students will be performing, “December Gifts.” A letter and permission form from Mrs. White will be coming home on Monday with the details. Permission slips for those interested in solos need to be returned by Oct. 25 and solo rehearsals will be the morning of Oct. 30.

October 31st will be an optional Storybook Character Day. Students may dress as a character from one of their favorite books. Details to come.


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News and Notes for the Week of October 9

BREAKING NEWS: Here is the County’s New Math Webpage  loaded with information to help parents understand what their child is learning/resources for the school year. There is a helpful Parent Math Video Series for each grade level. Check it out! (By the way, I also added it to the “math resources” page in the right margin.)


Well, it’s official. We spent last week conducting the final assessments as the first quarter has just ended. I’ll share the results with you at our conference next week. Parent conference notices were sent home. Thank you to everyone who has returned the slip confirming your assigned date and time. I’m looking forward to meeting with you all!


                            This Thursday, October 12th, is an Early Release Day.                                               Staff members will  have a professional learning day. Art will be at 10:05 a.m. and lunch will be 11:10-11:40 a.m.  Dismissal begins at 12:30


Our reading and writing lessons will now shift focus from fiction to non-fiction. We will discuss the features of both genres. The Baggy Books that come home next week will include one non-fiction book to practice. Our writing lessons will include locating non-fiction features, researching information about some interesting animals, listing the facts in a graphic organizer, and later, using some non-fiction features to write a “All About . . . ” book that will teach people about this animal.

Addition lessons will begin in earnest this week. My Homework pages were attached to the Five Star Homework grid as a review of sums to 10. Look for practice pages we’ll be completing in class noting how we are using TouchMath (information about this was discussed and sent home at Open House) to help make adding numerals more concrete and multi-sensory.

In Social Studies, first graders will study the important contributions of many historical people,  where these historical people lived, and the positive character traits exhibited by these important historical figures. This week we’ll learn about Benjamin Franklin.


Jump Rope for Heart is coming on November 3rd. Permission slips were sent home (blue sheets) to sign up to participate. The event happens during the school day. Kids can join this exciting fundraising event where they learn heart healthy skills, have fun jumping rope, and raise money for the American Heart Association. It is a Kennesaw Elementary School tradition. Please return your permission slip ASAP!


The Media Center will soon be hosting the Scholastic Wild West Book Fair (during Conference Week). One of the homework activities is to create a fun cowboy/cowgirl out of a cereal box. This assignment encourages you to participate, as it will be a school-wide contest in which the “cowboys/ cowgirls” will be displayed in the Media Center during the Book Fair.


                                                Bring your decorated cereal box

( or any small box: tissue, crackers, etc.)

into the Media Center by October 12th.

The winner will receive a special

prize for the most creative decoration!

All cowboys/cowgirls will be on display

during the book fair, October 16-20.

This contest is optional. Please remember to

keep your decorations fun (nothing scary, please!).

 I can’t wait to see all of your wonderful, creative creations!  Will you be a Book Fair Contest winner??


**Our annual Fall Festival will be held on Friday, Oct. 20th from 5:00–8:00 p.m. Our class is putting together a Gardening basket for the silent auction. Please refer to the email sent out by our room mom, Mrs. Kramer, as to how you can help make this a success.


**Living in a digital world we often forget about the benefits of reading and being read to. My students and I spend hours every day in the classroom engaging in books.  We even get to listen to books on CD and books on Tape; yes, this involves books recorded on old-school cassette tapes with cassette players. I’m dating myself, I know. 

But, my first graders are also loving Raz-Kids! It’s an interactive reading program with an impressive collection of “listen-to” and “read-only” books. I have carefully placed my students in individualized levels. Online quizzes and automated practices in reading will hopefully improve their comprehension and fluency as they progress through the levels.

They access this online program every week at one of their Reading Workshop stations. But, with only a limited amount of time in our class and so many other reading experiences to engage in, each child only goes online once or twice a week. In addition to reading the Baggy Books with your child that I have sent from my classroom library, you can provide this positive way to encourage the love of books by allowing your child to go to from home. Our class username is hkulkarni2. If you have any difficulties access this site, please let me know. And, don’t forget that you can access all e-materials through Cobb Digital Library at, Student login: student ID# and password is read.

Thank you so much for your support with growing your child’s literacy skills!

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News and Notes for Week of October 2

I hope everyone had a restful and rejuvenating Fall Break. Spending time with my family, cleaning/organizing our home, as well as sleeping in, was on my priority list!  I can’t wait to hear how the kids spent their time. I have missed them. Please be aware that this Monday, the first grade team will be at an off-campus Arts Integration training. Any notes/messages for me can be given to the substitute, but won’t be seen by me until Tuesday. Can you believe this is the last week of the first quarter? Wow!

Fall just began and it has already started to display itself; so many children will be bringing hoodies to add/remove, due to the temperatures. Please make sure to label this outerwear, since they could be easily left out and lost on the playground.

Because of Fall Break, no Five Star Homework was assigned.  Three Baggy Books were sent home and reading will be assigned for this week. We will also still practice and assess sight words and phonics words. Other lessons this week will include writing a final Small Moment and learning about Producers & Consumers and Goods & Services along with the meaning of scarcity.

After School Programs Reminder: Please make sure you notify me if your child is staying for an After School Enrichment program (Soccer, Drama Kids, Dance It, Builder’s Bunch). Since this is technically a transportation change, please notify me in writing each morning OR send in a signed note with all of the club dates listed.


book fair contest

By the way, I highly encourage participation in the PTA Reflections contest. There are six arts categories to choose from to create a piece with the theme of “Within Reach.”  All participants will be recognized.  Send back the signed flyer or let me know and I will get you the entry form and packet. Entries are due October 20th. Watch this Reflections video and get creative!

Mark your calendar:

This Monday, Oct. 2, Family Dinner Night is at Newks from 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Conference Week begins October 16th*. I’ve made note of everyone’s request for a certain day/time. Parent Scheduling letters will be sent home this Tuesday. Please sign and detach the bottom to confirm our appointment and return it by Friday, October 6th. *Parents needing an interpreter will be scheduled for Wed., October 25th.

The 2017 Fall Festival will be held on Friday, October 20th from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Contact Patti Kramer for details regarding our Gardening Basket.


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