A Year of Grooming, Growing, Glowing, & Giving in the Patience Fruit Stand

It is nothing short of an honor to spend a year shaping little lives. This time of year is extremely bittersweet as I reflect on the time that’s passed and look forward another year to come. These first graders have truly grown this year, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to watch it happen! Thank you for your support, prayers, and love this year. We couldn’t have done it without our sweet families and friends.

Have a great summer, firsties. ‘Till I see you again . . .

Patience Glows

Thank you so much, families and friends, for coming to our 3rd fruitful event. Here are a few highlights!

Thank you, as always, for your support!


100th Day!


The 100th day was a big hit in first grade. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase, “This is the best day ever!” LOVE.

The firsties entered the room through their favorite. thing. ever.


Honestly, I don’t blame them. Streamers are awesome and such a fun way to celebrate anything! Every time there was any opportunity to enter or exit the room, the firsties grinned and closed their eyes, allowing the streamers to tickle their faces and trail through their fingers.

Simple joys.

We started the day by making some awesome 100th day hats. Each of 10 strips contained a 10-grid and a space to write a number sentence. At the hat’s completion, each student had written ten number sentences that equal 10, with matching colored 10-grids, for a grand total of 100! They modeled them with flair and excitement!

Next, we celebrated some more through the Primary Department Fashion Show! Each student had created a t-shirt featuring 100 items. It was so much fun to see how different each collection was! They loved showing off their hard work!

At snack time, groups of firsties were given a heaping plate of ten different snack items and a sorting mat. They were challenged to sort ten groups of ten pieces of snacks for a grand total of 100 snacks! This was one of the highlights of the day, for sure! Who knew 100 could be so yummy?!

The firsties continued their 100th day celebration through a series of 100-based activities. At one station, the firsties were given a series of challenges to complete in 100 seconds. They tallied, counted, jumping-jacked, and wrote as many words as they could through 100 seconds to see how many they could do.


At another station, students were given a work mat featuring 100 pennies and a die. Their challenge was to roll the die, color the number of pennies indicated by their roll, and count the number of rolls it took to color all 100 pennies. For many firsties, keeping track of all of those rolls was the trickiest part! They had to remember to slow down and make a tally mark each time instead of rushing to roll again. Patience glows!

At a third station, students were given a clipboard, pencil, and recording sheet and challenged to first predict where they thought 100 steps from the classroom door would lead them and then take those steps and check their thinking. This is one of the office staff’s favorite activities to observe on the 100th day because they get to see how each firstie’s strategy is so different!


At the last station, students created a book celebrating 100 by making 100 on each page in a different way, whether by recording 100 tally marks, counting by 2s, 5s, or 10s to 100, or filling in collections of coins that make 100.


We also learned and sang a 100th day song and had a 100th day dance party.

Was your 100th day of school ever this fun? We’re over halfway to the end of the year, friends!

P.S. Special thanks to our 5th/6th grade friends, who plastered 100 adjectives describing our fashion show to our wall! They were awesome audience members!



Patterns, Patterns Everywhere!

This week, the Patience Fruit Stand has been filled with patterns! Firsties have been noticing patterns in the world around them, identifying and classifying patterns, extending patterns, discovering patterns in sound, and playing pattern games.

Patterns in numbers


Patterns in sound


Patterns in words


Patterns in writing


Patterns in reading


Patterns in color


Patterns in counting the number of shakes it takes to make butter in a jar . . .


Welcome to the Second Quarter!

It’s hard to believe we’re already two weeks into the second quarter. We have been busy studying all things FALL, and kicked off the quarter with one of our favorite fall holidays: Halloween!

Check out our Frankensnacks!


The Firsties read a book about Frankenstein, then followed a yummy recipe to create a Frankenstein-themed snack. They all said it was their favorite way to eat a rice-krispie treat.

Our Fall themes have completely taken over math, science, and language as well – we’re using it to drive poll-taking, graphing, analyzing data, and measurement! Here is a peek at what we’ve been doing.


Notice that some of these bats are upside-down. Many firsties wanted to show how bats really “hang out.” 🙂


The firsties learned many things about bats this week. We read several nonfiction books and articles about bats, learned about all their parts, and were amazed to learn that a bat can eat about 600 mosquitoes in one hour! We also learned that although some bats to survive on the blood of animals, there are no bats that suck the blood of humans. A few firsties were disappointed. HA! We decided to serve a mosquito meal fit for a bat to help us visualize 600 mosquitoes. We figured out that if we placed 100 mosquitoes on each plate, we would need 6 plates to hold them all.


In the spirit of all things batty, we’ve been working on a project focused on one of our favorite fictional bats: Stellaluna. We’ve worked on using textual evidence to retell the story with a beginning-middle-and end, making inferences, using adjectives to describe the characters, describing point-of-view, charting character changes over time, and writing a summary. Some of these tasks required working in groups and others required working independently.



We also met a very special classroom visitor: Gobbles the Turkey. Did you know that Thanksgiving is coming very soon? Gobbles is worried that he might be eaten! He is looking for a good hiding place so that he’s safe until after our favorite turkey-eating holiday. The firsties wrote him a letter letting him know that he can hide here until after Thanksgiving. He has tried out a new hiding spot every day! The firsties spend the first few minutes of each day searching for him! He also writes us a letter each day asking for advice, sharing his favorite turkey-themed literature, and discussing his observations of our classroom. Turkeys aren’t always the best writers, though, so we always edit his letters for him, hoping to teach him some writing conventions before he leaves us.


On Tuesday, November 8th, our nation’s adults participated in the presidential election. In that spirit, our school held its own election: the Kindergarten Pumpkin Election. The Kinders created pumpkins to reflect the characters depicted in books they read. CCA Saints got to vote for their favorite.


Regardless of the outcome, participation in a fair and free election is crucial to understanding the democratic process. The firsties were thrilled to have their votes counted and see their voices be heard!

Fall is here!

Or so the calendar says. The thermometer doesn’t seem to agree! 85 degrees, today! Shew!

Well, we’re still celebrating FALL! It’s been all apples and pumpkins around here lately, and we’ve been using them to study math, science, social studies, writing, and the Truth of God’s Word! Check it out!20160923_081943


The firsties worked very hard to test their circumference predictions for their own apples using yarn.


They tested whether their apples would sink or float after making predictions. Boy were they surprised by the result!


The firsties found the weight of their apples using counting bears and snap cubes, discovering the properties of balance.


After making predictions, the firsties measured the height of their apples using snap cubes!


The firsties taste-tested their apples and decided which type of apple they like  best, then graphed the class’ results.


Did you know there is a star inside every apple?


It wouldn’t be an apple celebration without a little cooking. We made homemade applesauce!


The firsties each created a glyph to describe themselves and then used the glyph to write about themselves.


Finally, it was time to do a little pumpkin investigating!


We also measured its circumference using the string method we’d practiced on the apples, opened up the pumpkin to feel and describe its insides, and ultimately baked its delicious pumpkin seeds.


Finally, we allowed nature to take its course and checked out what happens to pumpkins when they are left out. It was pretty gross. We learned all about rotting and decomposition. After that, we dumped our pumpkin by the playground fence so we could continue to observe our pumpkin’s slow return to the earth. Unfortunately, that was right before Hurricane Matthew payed us a visit, so our dear pumpkin was washed away.


We learned all about the pumpkin’s life cycle, created a glyph and wrote about them, and recorded our scientific thinking. We also read a few books about apples and pumpkins and recorded our thinking about them.


We hope you are immeasurably blessed this fall season as well!


An Ambitious Project

Midway through the first quarter, the firsties are getting the hang of how to be first graders. Lines are formed much more quickly, workshop rotations transition more smoothly, messes are cleaned up more efficiently, and our stamina while reading and writing continues to build each day. It’s amazing, really, to see these little ones grow in their independence after only a few short weeks!

The firsties have been engrossed in several projects. The one that has most engaged them thus far sprang from their study of Noah. Although they have been learning about the patience of several Biblical figures, they seemed most interested in Noah. They wondered about his life and what it must have been like to follow God through something so incredible. They wondered what it was like to build an ark, to travel for such a long period with so many (stinky and loud) animals, and to trust God to fulfill His promise.

After reading the Biblical account of the flood, the firsties took note of each instruction given to Noah. Then they began to plan. Then they began to build.

20160913_11292220160913_11292420160913_11301020160913_11301720160913_11302020160913_11305420160913_11314620160913_11315020160913_11315320160913_11320920160913_11343120160913_13330320160913_13361620160913_133748This project continues to be ongoing as the firsties make discoveries, re-evaluate their thinking, discuss different ideas, and form new theories. They are working through math (measurement, addition/subtraction), Bible, physical science, social studies, and art concepts as they continue to pursue their ideas!

I can’t wait to see where their journey takes them next!