Welcome to the Patience Fruit Stand!

Slide1I’m so excited to welcome the 2017-2018 Patience Fruit Stand Firsties! It’s going to be an exciting year patiently grooming, growing, glowing, and giving, and we’re so excited to celebrate our year of jubilee with each and every one of you!

Let’s see what we can expect in first grade this year!

To learn more about Mrs. Rhodes, click the image above.

open house presentation2017

You’re already here! Way to go!
Click the image above for more information about S.W.A.G. tags and other classroom policies and procedures


These are just a few things we have in store this year. For more insight into some of the different ways first graders will be learning this year, click the following image.

How is my child learning image

I couldn’t be more excited to partner with you this year for the best interest of your child. Thank you for choosing CCA and for allowing me to be a part of your precious one’s growth and development! It is truly an honor. I will continue to pray for you and your families.

Let’s have a great jubilee year!

Week One, Check!

It’s hard to believe that the first week of first grade is over! We have been very busy learning routines, procedures, and getting to know one another.

This week, we learned how to do our personal best by reading about a girl named Penelope, who, despite her good intentions, just continued to make sad choices! She sent us her daily schedule and the firsties came up with lots of ways for her to make better choices.

20150828_174816 20150828_17483820150828_174835  20150828_174830We created charts to help us remember our ideas, such as what our bodies do when we’re listening. We read books like No David!, My Mouth is a Volcano, and The Way I Act to help us see why it’s necessary to be a certain way in the classroom.

We also jumped right into some math by getting our hands on some fun manipulatives! We learned that these tools can help us to learn, and we learned first how to use them in ways that will make our brains grow and keep our room safe and neat.

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We learned about the 5 Finger Rule (ask your firstie to teach you!) and the three ways to read a book while building our reading stamina in the classroom. We read almost 16 minutes in one sitting without stopping this week! We also learned that it’s important to choose our own books, and think about our purpose, interests, comprehension, and words we know.

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In Writer’s Workshop we brainstormed writing ideas and learned how we will use our writer’s notebooks. We will be continuing to develop those ideas through the next week as we get used to brainstorming ideas, making lists of story topics, and sharing our stories over the next few weeks.

One of our most exciting forays into inquiry included experimenting with legos. The children were challenged to create something that could help others. They came up with all sorts of unique ideas! Ask your firstie to tell you about his or her own creation!

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I’m excited to see where the Lord takes us into next week!

Welcome to the Patience Fruit Stand!

It’s time for a new school year to begin!

Brand new pencils, markers, the fresh, neat rows of sharp crayons . . . this might be my favorite time of year. Everything is crisp and gleaming, and everyone is rested from a summer of fun.

I wanted to share a few articles with you to help your child transition from the easy, breezy summer days to a new routine and hopefully help with any anxiety your child (or you!) may be feeling about a new school year. Just click any of the following images!

How Family Game Night Makes Kids into Better Students

PressEncouraging Reluctant Readers

Ease Back-to-School StressEasing Back-to-School Stress

For your convenience, here is the information presented at our orientation. You may click the images to link to each document. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I am so happy to help you in any way I can. I’m so excited for this new year!

ppt imagepatience aco imageWhat is my child learning in first grade cover

helping hands imagegetting to know imagestudent success image

It’s Here!

It’s August, which means our favorite time of the year has arrived.  The new school year is here!

There is just something magical about the start of a new year.  Who doesn’t love a chance for a fresh start?  Everything seems new (especially the school supplies – ohmygoodness – crisp notebooks, the smell of box of sharp crayons, boxes of colored paper clips – YAY!) and exciting, the return of old friends and thrill of new ones, and the anticipation all the greatness that is to come!  It’s also fun for parents, even the ever heart-wrenching dichotomy of the thrill of a new experience for our children met with the heartbreak that those children are growing up, seemingly one step further into independence and one step further from the protection of our arms (can you tell I just had a new baby? Emotions. Sniffle). As a mom, I’m fully feeling that, too, as my older little ones prepare for K4 and K2, so I’m happy to have a classroom-full of dear ones to love on and the assurance that my children’s teachers will be loving on them.

Your babies will be my babies every day. I promise to take care of them.

Welcome, Firstie Families!

An exciting year is coming! The Patience Fruit Stand, home of the fabulous Firsties, is a special place, a space that allows us to develop and express our creativity, to take risks, to feel valued and safe. It is a place where everyone learns to treat one another with kindness and respect, and no one says “I can’t!”

Our curriculum is driven by four pieces of children’s literature, through which we integrate the study of art, language, math, science, social studies, and God’s Word. In Uncle Jed’s Barber Shop, patience is groomed in Depression-era southern-America where we follow the life-long struggle of Uncle Jed, the only black barber in a county of sharecroppers, to overcome overwhelming obstacles in his pursuit of a dream. Next, patience grows in the late-1800s, where we homestead along with a self-sustaining farming family in Ox-Cart Man. We learn the value of hard work and diligence, where our food comes from, and the importance of using resources wisely. In our third book, Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie, patience glows through a biographical account of courage, endurance, and faith as the protagonist dutifully and dramatically protects both her family and their livelihood. Finally, we end on a story that asks us to give back by making the world a better place. In Miss Rumphius, patience grows through the story of a young girl who is challenged by her grandfather to do just that. God’s world is a beautiful place, but it is up to us to be good stewards of God’s gracious gifts.

All the while, we build our stamina, independence, and learn reading strategies and the writing process by working in both small groups and independently through reader’s and writer’s workshops. In reader’s workshop, students participate in activities that provide them with opportunities to explore and practice writing, manipulate sounds and spelling patterns, read, develop vocabulary, retell and summarize stories, and build fluency and comprehension. In writer’s workshop, students write to communicate to an audience through studies of writer’s craft, build endurance, develop and refine grade-appropriate writing skills, work on the writing process, and improve fine motor skills and handwriting.

We develop and hone fundamental skills in addition and subtraction, patterning, problem solving, estimating and predicting, graphing, telling time, counting coins, comparing, measuring, numeral recognition, one-to-one correspondence, sorting, sequencing, and number sense in math workshop.

Technology is integrated into almost everything we do through the use of our Kindle Fires, SMARTboard, books on tape or CD, and trips to the computer lab.  We use digital photography to capture and reflect on our learning. Technology is used to dive into God’s Word, read and explore books, practice basic math skills, respond to literature, develop reading strategies, engage in science and social studies extensions, and work with words and spelling patterns.

As first graders, we develop much patience as we continue learning to take turns, wait for attention, take our time to do our best work, and develop communications skills which enable us to solve our own problems. Everyone learns best in different ways, and we learn to be patient with others and to help those who need it. Leaders emerge and children are allowed to be experts on topics of interest. Everyone is an expert at something; we grow deeper through shared experiences.

Finally, we invite our firstie families to partner and share in our experiences. We look to parents to support our work and communicate openly and honestly for the benefit of each child. I look forward to a great year; although it will sometimes be messy, it will be a time of new discoveries, developing maturity, and exploring friendships.

I simply can’t wait!

What is my child learning in first grade cover

Click above for more specific information about what first grade looks like in the Patience Fruit Stand.

Central-Christian-Academy shield

Click above to download a copy of the first grade ACOs.

Still the one . . .

New year, new blog title! As we pull together our school theme and work toward continued school-wide unification, we are making some changes. Check out the first grade classroom’s awesome awning (can you believe Mrs. Stephens made these HERSELF?!? with a little installation assistance from Mrs. Finch).


Firsties and firstie families, we have a great year ahead of us. I absolutely cannot wait to get started! Here is a little “sneak peek” of what you will see on the first day of school:




We have so much learning and exploring to do together! Don’t forget that Parent Orientation Night is Thursday, August 22nd at 7pm. I am continually praying for each and every one of my sweet students and families, and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store!