Mrs. Kulkarni's Blog

Welcome to First Grade!

News and Notes for the Week of December 9

Happy December!

With our busy schedule this month, we have a few more standards to practice and then we must find time to review and assess the important concepts learned these nine weeks:

Reading – The official reading tests will check word accuracy, fluency, and comprehension using a level E text or above. Please help your child prepare by retelling his/her Baggy Books independently with key details. Students will also be determining the main topic and key details in Non-Fiction books and explaining what the author’s purpose is in a text (to entertain, inform, or persuade).

Writing –  We’ll finish our final informational piece about a topic of his/her choice. It needs to include a topic sentence, several facts about the topic, and a concluding sentence.

Math – Place value to 99. Students should know how many tens and ones are in a one or two-digit number. A summative assessment having most of this quarter’s math standards will be given by the end of this week.

Science – Sound. We will finish learning how sound is made (vibration) and experiment with volume and pitch. We will take the test this Thursday. 

In between testing, we’ll be having fun reading/performing a Reader’s Theater script. And, on Friday afternoon, we’ll get to explore some seasonal books with fun activities in other first grade classrooms.




Our 1st graders will be practicing the holiday musical The Littlest Christmas Tree during Specials on Monday, Dec. 9th and then performing for the school on Tuesday, Dec. 10th as a dress rehearsal for the next evening’s performance.  

On Monday morning, the t-shirt orders will be distributed. Students can wear their shirts to school on Tuesday for the dress rehearsal and again for Wednesday night’s performance.

Practice the songs here:

Use the password PRACTICE in all capital letters.                            

1st Grade Holiday Musical – Wednesday, December 11

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

Students dropped off at NorthStar Church between 5:30 and no later than 6:00 p.m. 

Performance is at 6:30 p.m.

Hope to see all of you there. You won’t want to miss it!

Attending the holiday musical is listed on the 5 Star Homework this week! 




The Holiday Market is this week and our class will get to shop this Thursday. A shopping catalog and payment envelope were sent home last Thursday. If you’d like for your child to make purchases for you or other family members, please send in the order (on the back of the envelope) and payment on Thursday (not before, please!).





In celebration of the holidays, each student may take part in a book exchange. For our holiday party on Dec. 17th, each girl will bring in a wrapped book to exchange with another girl in our class and each boy will 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: Tuesday, December 17. If you ordered from Scholastic, the books should be delivered by the end of this week.


Stocking Fillers

We’re planning something fun for our class party on Tuesday, Dec. 17th. I’m asking for each student to bring in small items for his/her classmates. Examples include pencils, erasers, stickers, candy, or any other small holiday-type trinkets that your child can fill his/her classmates’ stockings with. We have 19 students in our class, so your child would bring 18 items to fill the other stockings, which I will provide. If you’d rather not purchase anything, your child can make holiday notes or cards to give out instead. The children will get to open their stockings at the end of our party.

We will do this in addition to the $5 book exchange. If this creates a financial burden for your family, please reach out so we can assist.

If your family is feeling generous, you’re more than welcome to send in an extra set of class stocking fillers or an additional $5 book for a student who is unable to do so.




There’s been an issue with the QR code link to pay by card for Kid’s Night Out. Due to this issue, they will extend the sign up through Wednesday. Remember, you will need to send in the waiver form in addition to paying online in order for your sign up to be complete. 



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 homework 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 19th to earn all 30 tickets. 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 = Homework Pass

30 Tickets = Movie Day



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Being THANKful

It will be Thanksgiving in less than a week. It’s time for me 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 – such blessings!

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 healthy foods and 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 specifically 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, just like 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 2019, 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 am putting aside time for them this coming week. After I post this week’s blog, I’ll wait until next weekend to grade papers, finish lesson plans, and check my school email. I hope you all have a restful, healthy break, and enjoy your time with your loving families. Please let your children know that I will miss them and how very thankful I am to have them in my life.


Our recent food drive greatly benefited the families of Kennesaw Elementary. I’m very proud of our class for donating so many food items!

I spend a great deal of time in class helping my students learn how to be good citizens and celebrating their efforts. This was our opportunity to show once again that we are “Bucket Fillers” for a greater purpose.

Thank you so much for helping feed those in need.


We had a wonderful turnout for our Thanksgiving Feast. The KES Cafe Staff always does a spectacular job with their holiday spread. We appreciate all the families that were able to come celebrate with us.



The week after our Thanksgiving Break, we must say farewell and good luck to our student teacher from KSU, Ms. Coleman. She really enjoyed her experience in our class and getting to know your children as she taught them. We’ll miss her! We’ll have a little celebration at the end of the day on Friday, December 6 to wish her well.



By the way, there was no Five-Star Homework assigned for the break. I  did send Baggy Books home to practice in case you could make time for reading practice, but the books and reading log won’t be due until the Friday after we return.

New sight word and spelling lists were sent home on Friday. We now have 14 students who have learned all 200 first grade words. Hurrah! A very special thanks to Mrs. Cato for assisting me with sight words on Fridays!

We will have a new list of phonics words the week we return. You can find the words on the Homework tab on this blog (as always) and I’ll also send home a paper copy of the list on Monday. 


Please also look for information that was sent home on Thursday about our Holiday Book Exchange. Did you see the Scholastic Book Flyer attached to it with a large selection of holiday and seasonal books? They can be used for the exchange, if you’re interested, or for ordering books for your child. If you’d like to purchase any Scholastic items 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 at the end of the day on Monday, December 2nd, so they will arrive well before the Holiday Book Exchange and the Holiday Break. SAVE THE DATE: TUESDAY, DEC. 17TH IS OUR CLASS HOLIDAY CELEBRATION WITH OUR BOOK EXCHANGE!


On Wed., Nov. 20, the 2nd 9 weeks progress report was sent home with all students. If you have not done so already, please sign and return one copy and keep the other copy for your records. I hope you are as pleased as I am with the growth being made so far!


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December Dates to Remember:

12/1 (by 11:59pm EST) KES Winter Spirit Wear orders due (

12/2  Scholastic book orders due  (   Code:L68CR)

12/6  Ms. Coleman’s last day; Angel Tree gifts due

12/9–12/12 Kennesaw Elementary Holiday Market 

12/10  Holiday Musical school performance

12/11   First grade Holiday Musical at NorthStar Church 6:30 p.m. (arrive by 6:00)

12/13   PTA Parent’s Night Out at KES 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

12/14   Christmas at Piedmont Church: Chorus & Grasshoppers perform

12/17   Our class holiday celebration (stocking stuffers sent in and Book Exchange)

12/19  Good Behavior Movie Reward; Early Release at 12:30   

12/20  Early Release at 12:30

12/23 – 1/3 WINTER HOLIDAY BREAK (Students return January 6)




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News and Notes for the Week of Nov. 18

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TUESDAY – We will have lunch in our classroom because Kindergarten will be having their Thanksgiving Feast in the cafeteria. Our first graders who get lunch from the cafeteria will be given sack lunches. 

WEDNESDAY – It’s our Thanksgiving Feast Day! On the menu: turkey with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, green beans, fresh fruit, fresh roll, and cranberry sauce. Yum! This is not a pre-paid meal, so just pay when you come. We had 11 families return the form stating they are joining us. Can’t wait to see everyone! We’ll be eating from 11:10-11:50 and sitting at Tables 3 and 4. Please allow ample time to park. For any families planning on checking their children out directly after the feast, please email me or send in a note. This way, I can make sure to have your child already packed up before we go to lunch.


Progress Reports will be sent home this day. 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.


THURSDAY – Once again we will have lunch in our room, with sack lunches for the students who purchase from the cafeteria, since it will be 2nd grade’s turn for the Thanksgiving Feast.

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


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Join us for a fun night of STEM activities. With the help of North Cobb volunteers, district Science Kits will allow our students to explore their world using a hands-on learning approach.


FRIDAY –  Please remember to return the Baggy Books and signed 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!



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 (15!) healthy foods presented to them. Just like the story of Green Eggs and Ham, you can’t always judge something without trying it first. Thanks to the 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 the last two weeks. 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.



Please look for information coming home by the end of this week about our Holiday Book Exchange in December. You will see a Scholastic Book Flyer, which has a large selection of holiday and seasonal books. An even larger selection can be found on their website. These books can be used for the exchange, if you’re interested, or for ordering books for your child. If you’d like to purchase any Scholastic items 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 at the end of the day on Monday, December 2nd, so they will arrive well before the Holiday Book Exchange and the Holiday Break. SAVE THE DATE: TUESDAY, DEC. 17th IS OUR CLASS HOLIDAY CELEBRATION WITH OUR BOOK EXCHANGE (and stocking fillers – more information to come about this in December)!



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The Angel Tree is up and ready! When you come for the Thanksgiving Feast please consider taking an angel from the tree and spreading the love to our Kennesaw families in need. Angel ornaments are hung on a tree in our lobby with wish lists for children at Kennesaw Elementary. Any adult is welcome to take an ornament, sign the sheet, purchase gifts, and return them unwrapped to our school.

Thanks so much in advance for helping us bring joy to our families this holiday season! All gifts are due NO LATER than December 6.

And, speaking of children in need, our North Cobb High School community will once again be hosting Shop with a Warrior. They are helping little shoppers from their feeder elementary schools! Forms must be submitted no later than Wednesday, December 3, so please reach out to the Guidance Dept. for support with this event. The Shop with a Warrior event will be on Saturday, December 14 from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.


Also, please don’t forget that our Thanks for Giving Food Drive items need to be turned in by November 21! Thank you to everyone that has already donated to support our Cobb County families in need! We are overflowing, but will have another box soon. So, let’s fill that one up, also!
We are so grateful to our KES families for your generosity!


Purchase some KES Winter Spirit Wear! Delivery will be mid-December, some time before the Holiday Break.


Thanksgiving Break


Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 1st Grade holiday musical,“The Littlest Christmas Tree.”  It will be on Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30 p.m. at NorthStar Church. Please return the permission form for our performance, if you have not yet done so. A second notice was sent home last week if you had misplaced the original. Even if you’re not interested in purchasing a t-shirt, a signed permission form still needs to be returned by this Wednesday, November 20. 



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News and Notes for the week of November 11

News from last week:

What a wonderful turn-out for Kids Heart Challenge we had! Our class had 100% participation. As of Friday, our school already raised $18,000 for the American Heart Association. Our students have raised about $800,000 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 without you!

Many students told us that they forgot their envelope on the day of the event. We are still accepting donations online or cash/checks made out to the American Heart Association.

Prizes will be ordered soon and should arrive before the Winter Break in December.



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This 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 three of our parents who have volunteered to send in some unique foods; we’ll be trying bites of avocado, pomegranate, kiwi, and starfruit. We really need more parents to volunteer to make this event a success. I would love to have about 6 to 8 more parents willing to send in 20 bites of other fruits or veggies.

Anyone able to send in any of the other prepared foods I’ve requested or a unique family favorite? 

Please email me or use the Sign Up Genius by Sunday evening, if you can send a unique fruit or veggie we can try, so I can ensure no one else is sending the same item in . 3 Stars can be earned on the Five-Star Homework for sending something in.

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 last week (and added again to the 5 Star Homework this week) 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. 3 Stars can be earned on the Five-Star Homework for taking the challenge. Here is another copy of the 5 A Day Challenge.



Kennesaw Elementary’s Holiday Food Drive

We are hoping to provide full meals for our families in need. Non-perishable items are DUE BY FRIDAY, NOV. 21. And, as a bonus, 3 Stars can be earned on the Five-Star Homework for your donations.


What we’re learning this week:

Reading: main idea and key details in non-fiction texts

Writing: informational writing about bats

Grammar: pronouns

Math: balanced equations and number bonds to 10

Health: nutrition




All first grade classes will have a Thanksgiving Feast on Wednesday, November 20th. Our time will be 11:10 -11:50. 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, and Thursday), we will have sack lunches in our classroom. Please return the bottom of the yellow flyer to let us know if you plan on attending and how many family members to expect.


PTA STEM Night is on Thursday, Nov. 21


Thanksgiving Break


Mrs. White sent home invitations for the 1st Grade holiday musical,“The Littlest Christmas Tree”. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30 p.m. at NorthStar ChurchPlease return the permission form for our performance, if you have not yet done so. A second notice will be sent home on Monday, if you have misplaced the original. Even if you’re not interested in purchasing a t-shirt, she still needs the signed permission form returned by November 20. You’ll be in for a special treat with all of our first graders performing the musical.You’re not going to want to miss it!



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News and Notes for the week of November 4

Daylight Savings Time  –   Sunday, November 3

Enjoy the extra hour of sleep!












On Wednesday, we’ll be participating in the SOAR (Safe Orderly and Respectful) Bus Safety program, which has been rescheduled from last week’s cancellation due to the rain. We’ll be rotating through four stations with the help of Hawkeye and CCSD bus drivers to learn to be safe in and around a school bus.





Fruit and Veggie Tasting

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We are beginning a two week Nutrition unit this week. Students will be learning about the food groups and the importance of healthy eating. The following Monday, on November 11th, 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, Brussels sprout, plantain, and kale. Perhaps you have a family recipe that you’d like to share? We’re only looking for 20 bites of each! Please sign-up is here, if you can send in one food. Thanks in advance for helping my efforts to instill (hopefully life-long) healthy eating habits in your children.




Kids Heart Challenge Logo

We’re all ready to participate in Kids Heart Challenge this Thursday! Everyone in our class has signed up to participate during the morning event. We earned a new playground ball for doing so. Pictures will be taken for the yearbook, so please have your children wear their shirt that day, if you have one from last year. FYI – this will be our Specials for the day. During this event, a healthy snack will be served to the students to help boost and maintain their energy. We are looking for parents from each class to join us during this special time. As a parent volunteer, you will be helping to prepare and serve healthy snacks and are welcome to join the jump roping fun. We’re still looking for a few more volunteers during our time slot, so if you are available, please consider joining us! Click here.

Have you registered online yet to accept a heart healthy challenge and help Mrs. Kulkarni and our class win a great prize? The top 2 classrooms per grade level with the MOST students registered online will earn their classroom a gift card! Click here to register and also earn your student the Powerband:

Please register today and help our class WIN! 

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!




Begins November 4

Our PTA is partnering with  to help feed families in Cobb County during the holidays. The foundation’s goal is to feed local families for not just the holiday, but for an entire week. Read the information sent home about how you can help with this Canned Food Drive. We 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:

An incentive to participate has been included in the Five Star Homework this week. A PTA flyer will be sent home soon with more specific details.



Save the date:

Nov. 11  Fruit and Veggie Tasting

Nov. 20  First Grade Thanksgiving Feast  11:10 -11:50                                      Progress Reports

Nov. 25-29  Thanksgiving Holidays

Dec. 11 Holiday Musical 6:30 p.m. at NorthStar Church  *Congratulations to Harper and Carter who were chosen to be soloists; they’ll be elves!*




What we’re learning this week:

Retelling key details of non-fiction text

Open vowel phonics words (ending with a long o or e)

Writing an informational piece about bats

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

Making 10 to add and related facts (also called Fact Families)


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News and Notes for the Week of October 28

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This Thursday, October 31, we’ll have an optional Storybook Character Day. Students may dress as a character from one of their favorite books. No masks or weapons, please!

In order to participate, your child must write a thank you letter to a deployed soldier. You can use the Thank You paper sent home last week, or use your own. The letter is due this Monday, October 28.









For this quarter, our Language Arts lessons are focused on Non-Fiction. Our students are finishing an informational “All About Pumpkins” book this week, and then, we will begin writing another NF book about bats. We are recording facts on a graphic organizer using non-fiction books and information from the PebbleGo website. We are including a Table of Contents and other non-fiction features.





Math lessons have been focused on addition strategies. The students have done a good job using TouchMath as one strategy to solve basic addition facts. Now, we’ll begin to count back from 20 with this strategy and using a number line as well.




We have begun a Science unit on light and shadow. The students will need to recognize and compare sources of light, explain how light is required to make objects visible, and explain/demonstrate how a shadow is formed. If your child made a shadow puppet for last week’s Five Star Homework, we’ll be putting together a shadow puppet show on Friday with a puppet theater made with a translucent screen.




Some children are either not bringing in a snack or bringing in items that are unhealthy and not adequately able to tide them over to lunch. Suggestions about healthy snack options have been discussed with the students at the beginning of the school year and at our Parent Night. First grade health lessons will soon focus on nutrition, so more in-depth discussions on this topic will be had in a couple of weeks. If you’re struggling with providing a healthy snack for your child, please send in a note for our guidance counselor, Mrs. Chambers, and she’ll assist you.

Please do not send in candy, cookies, or chips for snack. They can, of course, be sent in for lunch, if you choose. Speaking of lunch, many students are purchasing ice cream and/or chips with their school lunch tray, and some are eating only these items. If you’d like to limit these purchases, you will need to send in a note for the café manager and speak with your child about your expectations.





On Wednesday, we’ll be participating in the SOAR (Safe Orderly and Respectful) Bus Safety program. We’ll be rotating through four stations with the help of Hawkeye and CCSD bus drivers to learn to be safe in and around a school bus.



Picture retakes and makeups will be this Wednesday.

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Fall Celebration

This Thursday, October 30th, we will have some fun learning taking place with stations focused on Fall. We’ll make a craft, build a treat, listen to some seasonal stories, and play a game.

Thank you to those of you who have already filled out and returned the request for a donation or one of the supplies we need. Here is a Sign Up Genius that our room moms have put together to help organize what we need. 

Please follow this link and sign up.



Join the Downtown Kennesaw Merchants for a night of Trick or Treating

on Wednesday, October 30, from 4:00-6:00.

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Election Day



Kids Heart Challenge Logo

Thursday, November 7th

Our class reached 100% participation for our upcoming Kids Heart Challenge! Thank you for allowing your child to participate. We received a new kickball for recess! Please begin collecting donations for the American Heart Association and return the collection envelope on the day of the event. If your child reaches $100 in donations, please send in a note, so he/she can be recognized on the morning announcements and a special heart with his/her name will be hung on the wall outside of the gym.

You can register online to accept a heart healthy challenge AND help your teacher win an Amazon gift card! Click here to register and also earn your student the Powerband: 

The top 2 classrooms per grade level with the MOST students registered online will earn our classroom an Amazon gift card! Register today and help our class WIN! Thank you Heart Heroes!



All first grade classes will have a Thanksgiving Feast on Wednesday, November 20th from 11:10-11:50. 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, 11/19 and Thursday, 11/21), we will have sack lunches in our classroom.




Mrs. White has begun preparation for our 1st Grade holiday musical,“The Littlest Christmas Tree”. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30 p.m. at NorthStar Church. Please continue to return the permission forms for our performance. You’ll be in for a special treat with all of our first graders performing the musical. You’re not going to want to miss it!

If your child is interested in having a solo (not guaranteed), the permission forms are due this Wednesday, Oct. 31. If the form was misplaced, you can request a new one, or download it here. Students chosen for a solo will be given their part on Friday, November 1st.

To practice the songs, they are posted on Mrs. White’s blog: under the tab The Littlest Christmas Tree. To abide by copyright laws, you’ll need to
enter the password “PRACTICE” (all capital letters) to access the music.

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News and Notes for the Week of October 21

Thank you ALL for taking time to meet with me (and Ms. Coleman) for Conference Week.  Aren’t you impressed with your child’s growth so far?  I sure am!


I hope you had a chance to come experience the Book Fair during the week or the evening of Movie Night. 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. If your child created a box polar bear, it will be sent home this week. Congratulations to Elise for being one of the winners of the creativity contest; she received a free book from the book fair!


We had a great turnout for Donuts with Dad. Here are a few photos that were taken of the fabulous men in our students’ lives.



Kids Heart Challenge Logo

Thank you for signing your children up to attend American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. We just reached 100% class participation. We earned a new playground ball because of it. 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. Congratulations to Carter for already doing this! Save all donations until the day of our event on November 7th.


Image result for wearing jacket in fall illustrationEven 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-  retelling non-fiction texts with key details

     Writing – informational text (learning and writing about pumpkins)

     Math – TouchMath strategies to solve addition equations and word  problems 

     Social Studies – Benjamin Franklin

     Science – Light and Shadow



  Red Ribbon Week is Oct. 21-25

Monday – “We Are Red Hot ” Wear red

Tuesday–  “Team Up for Healthy Choices”  Wear your favorite sports team attire

Wednesday– “United We Stand – Buddies Not Bullies” Wear your favorite color and make a new buddy

Thursday–    “Life is Your Journey” Dress in your career choice

Friday– “Our School Travels the Right Path” Wear Your School Shirt or Red/Blue 


It’s Bus Driver Appreciation Week.  Please have your child write a note of appreciation to his/her bus driver and deliver it by Friday. 



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News and Notes for the Week of October 14

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, we’ll be going to lunch an hour early at 11:02, and we won’t have recess.



Don’t forget that we’re having our Arctic Adventure – Snow Much to Read! themed Scholastic Book Fair this week: Monday through Wednesday from 12:00-5:00, Thursday’s Family Night from 12:00-6:00, and Friday hours are 12:00 4:00. Come check out all the sweet polar bears 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.  A flier was sent home last week for you to look at with your child.  This 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 (on the back of the flier) 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. 21st in the afternoon.




Calling all dads (grandpas, uncles, and any other father figures)! Come share a sweet treat with your student on Thursday morning, courtesy of our fabulous PTA.



The topics that we will focus on this week are:

     Reading-  non-fiction text features

     Writing – teaching others facts (about pumpkins)

     Math –solving addition problems to 20 with Touchpoints

     Social Studies – Benjamin Franklin


Our reading and writing lessons will be shifting focus from fiction to non-fiction. We will discuss further the features of both genres. Next Friday, Baggy Books will include one non-fiction book to practice. Our writing lessons will include locating non-fiction features, researching information about some interesting topics, 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 the topics we studied.

Addition lessons will begin in earnest this week. 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 the beginning of the year) to help make adding numerals more concrete and multi-sensory.



We have two computerized assessments scheduled to be taken this week. We’ve taken them once before at the beginning of August.

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. 


Looking ahead: 

Kids Heart Challenge Logo

We are making plans to celebrate the 41st anniversary with the American Heart Association.  The Kids Heart Challenge, formerly known as Jump Rope For Heart,  is a fun and exciting event where your student learns about their heart while helping others and raising money for the American Heart Association. Please sign and return ASAP, the blue permission slip sent home on Thursday, so your child can participate during the school day on Thursday, November 7th. With permission, your child will have fun jumping rope that day, receive a special pencil and a collection envelope, and a paper heart with their name will be put on the wall outside the gym. With 100% of the permission slips returned in our class, we will receive a new kickball! If we don’t receive the signed permission slip, your child will not be able to participate.

Sign up online to help collect donations:

Kids Heart Challenge

  1. Go to

  2. Search for our school.

  3. Select our school and join team.




For the current contest, please send in the baggy of Box Tops labels by Monday, October 28. 



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 7

Well, it’s official; this Friday is the last day of the first quarter. I will be spending this week conducting the final assessments. I’ll share the results with you at our conference next week. Thank you to everyone who has returned the Parent Conference slip confirming your assigned date and time of our meeting. I’m looking forward to meeting with you all!


early-release-1bbxa9j.jpg (193×129)

                            This Thursday, October 10th, is an Early Release DayStaff members will  have a professional learning day. Technology will be at 9:30 a.m. and lunch will be 11:02-11:32 a.m. at Table 9. Dismissal begins at 12:30.


The Baggy Books that came home this week are fiction to give two choices for the Retell a Story homework. Your child should write the characters and setting, then write complete sentences telling key details of the events in order USING THEIR OWN WORDS – not copying the text.


My Homework pages were attached to the Five Star Homework grid as a review of math facts within 10 and measurement. This week, we will continue reviewing these skills, as well as place value (tens and ones) and counting on from any number within 100. Students will be given a summative assessment this week, which will include problems from each of these standards.


In Science, we’ll finish experimenting with Magnets and we will also review Weather and types of precipitation. Summative assessments will be given on both these topics.


If your child has continued studying the Social Studies topic of the places we live (our global address) to improve his/her score from the initial test given in August, please let me know. If you think your child is ready to be reassessed, it will be given this week.



On Tues., Oct. 8, first graders will have a Hearing and Vision screening by trained PTA members.



Book Fair Contest

Don’t forget to be part of the Fall Book Fair fun by creating a cereal box (or other small box) polar bear! Bring your creation to the Media Center by this Thursday, October 10th.  The winner of the most creative polar bear will receive a special prize. All polar bears will be displayed during the book fair and will be returned at the end. The Book Fair will be October 14-18. Will you be a Book Fair Contest winner?


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.

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 access this site from home. Our class username is hkulkarni2 and the password is read

We also have a subscription to Headsprout. It uses effective, interactive online episodes to teach non-readers and early readers the reading fundamentals including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and basic vocabulary as well as critical comprehension skills they need to become successful readers. Our class username is hkulkarni3 and the password is read

Go to to access both programs.

And, don’t forget that you can access all e-materials through Cobb Digital Library  here; login is and computer password from school.

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



Dates to remember:

October 11  Fall Festival 6:00-8:00

October 14-18  Conference Week, Early Release Days with 12:30 dismissal, and Fall Book Fair

October 17  Doughnuts with Dads

October 18  Poison Prevention Poster due (optional)

October 24  PTA Reflections due (optional)

October 28  Box Tops due

October 31  Character Costume Day


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Early October News

October is Kennesaw Elementary’s Community Helpers Appreciation Month. From now until this Monday, October 7th, please send in individual packs of salty snacks, like Chex Mix, pretzels, Cheez Its, popcorn, nuts, seeds, chips, beef sticks, etc. to help us build gift baskets for our Bus Drivers, & Police/Fire Departments. We will be making cards for the police officers and fire fighters, but if your child rides a bus to or from school, please consider writing him/her a card to show your appreciation.




Next Friday, October 11th, is the Big Shanty and Kennesaw Elementary Fall Festival from 6:00-8:00 at Big Shanty Elementary. Cost of admission is free and most attractions are free, too. If you are a PTA member there will be member-only attractions, such as an unlimited access pass, a QUAD jump, and a special OPS obstacle course. There will also be a photo booth, glow sticks, food tents, food baskets, and drinks for sale. Hope you can come!



Conference Week begins October 14th. Parent Scheduling letters were sent home two weeks ago. I have not yet received confirmation back from several families, so if you have not done so yet, please sign and detach the bottom to confirm our appointment and return it as soon as possible. I’m looking forward to meeting with you all!

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