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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Stitch Fix #3 - May 2015

I LOVE Stitch Fix!!!  I have had 3 "fixes" so far, and all of them have been great!  I can't wait to share my May Stitch Fix goodies with you!

First, if you are not familiar with Stitch Fix and how it works, here is a quick summary:

1. Start by filling out your style profile - you will complete all sorts of questions on sizing, pricing, preferences, colors, etc.  
2. Order your first fix! Your card will be charged a $20 styling fee however, if you keep any item [one or more] you will be credited back the $20. 
3. Decide what you want and what you want to send back -in the provided postage paid envelope! 

Ok, here is my May Fix.

1.  Daniel Rainn Tolley Mixed Print Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Top  $68
I had previously noticed this top on Pinterest, and really liked it, so I was excited when I saw it in my May box. I love the mix of prints and the colors.  However, when I tried it on something just seemed odd with the crochet panel.  I think it was too wide and became too much of a focus point for me, instead of a fun detail.  

Verdict:  returned

 2.  Sweet Rain Montezuma Split Neck Blouse   $44

I was super excited when I pulled this out of the box.  I loved the color (it is more of a bright mint green, like in the close up photo).  I also liked the print.  The hearts were small enough that they almost looked like polka dots from a distance and did not look like a little kids heart print shirt at all.  This would look great with a pair of white pants!

When I tried this top on it felt too boxy for me.  There was not a lot of definition in the cut of the top.  Plus, it felt too tight across the back.  I was kind of sad that it didn't fit right, I really loved the color, print, and lightweight fabric.
                                                                           Close up of the print on the top

 Verdict:  returned

3.  Olive & Oak Peyton Dress    $74

The fabric on this dress is SUPER soft!  I love belted shirt dresses, and I liked the color of this one a lot!  I also liked the longer back with the split in the back hem.  Cute!  I felt like the fabric was a little heavy for spring/summer though.  I tried in on and it was immediatly evident that this was not going to work!  It was super baggy, and even when it was belted it felt like a paper sack (or fabric sack).

Verdict:  returned

4.  Papermoon Kasidy Swing Skirt     $58

                                                              Close up of skirt pattern

I loved this right away!  The color, the pattern, the length, the fabric.....everything!  I tried it on and it was just perfect!  The fabric is super soft and the skirt is lined with a lightweight fabric.  This is a perfect skirt for spring/summer!  I have already worn this skirt a couple of times and have received many compliments. 

Verdict:  Kept!!!

5.  Pixley Carlie Mixed Lace Short Sleeve Shirt     $54

                                                         Back Cut-Out Detailing

I wasn't so sure about this top when I pulled it out of the box.  I am not usually a huge lace/crochet person.  But, as always, I had to try it on because you never know- right?  I am so glad I gave this top a chance!  It is beautiful!  It looks great with the Papermoon skirt above.  My stylist even sent a cami/tank to wear underneath the top, which I greatly appreciated!  This top have the perfect amount of stretch and it form fitting but not skin tight.  I think it would look great under a cardigan in the fall/winter, so I can use it all year round.  Bonus!  The material is a bit delicate though, so I will have to be careful when wearing this top so I don't snag it.

Verdict:  Kept!

I ended up keeping 2 of the 5 items, which to me is a success!  The skirt will get a lot of wear and the top is so versatile it can be worn in many ways throughout the year.

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix yet, and want to give it a try, I would LOVE it if you used my referral link.  Using my referral link will give me credit in my Stitch Fix account.  Once you order your first box you will get your own referral link that you can then pass along to your friends and family!

Revolutionary War Battle Posters

Learning about the American Revolution is a big part of our 5th grade social studies curriculum.  Our textbook, however, barely even mentions the battles that took place during the Revolutionary War.

I noticed that my students were thinking that the Revolutionary War was simply one fight, and after that it was done.  Whoa!  Alright, time to delve more deeply into how long this war really lasted, how many people were involved, and how many battles actually took place during this time.

I gave my students a list of some of the battles that took place during the Revolutionary War.  I chose battles that I knew kids would be able to find information on.  Each student chose a battle and then did research to find the following information

  • name of the battle
  • date(s) of the battle
  • location of the battle
  • how many people fought on each side
  • how many people were wounded or killed on each side
  • how many people were captured on each side
  • the weather conditions during the battle
  • other information that you learn about the battle that you find interesting
I found a great website that neatly outlines most of this information.
I let me students search a little before giving them this treasure trove of information!

Their assignment was to show the information about the battle they researched on a poster.  It had to be colorful, neat, and include all of the information I mentioned above.  

Here are some examples of the finished projects:

By researching the battles, making the posters, and sharing their posters with their classmates, my students really got a better understanding of the many people, locations, and battles that were a part of this war.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Stitch Fix #2 - April 2015

I am very behind on this Stitch Fix post, fix #3 is set to arrive any day now!

With Stitch Fix, you get a box mailed to you with 5 clothing and/or accessories picked out for you by your own personal stylist.  You only keep what you want and you can send back whatever you don’t want in the postage paid envelope. And you can schedule a Fix whenever you want – every 2-3 weeks, monthly, or whenever you want!  
If you’d like to learn more about Stitch Fix or sign up for your very own Fix, you can click HERE to start your Stitch Fix adventure.
Here is what was sent to me in fix #2:

My first thoughts when I opened the box were
  • I like the blue/aqua pattern- Is it a dress, shirt, skirt......
  • I see something pink/red that looks interesting
  • black and blue isn't my favorite color combo
  • ugh- jeans, they will never fit

Octavia Nidia Graphic Print Infinity Scarf $28.00

I love scarves!  The fabric of this scarf was super soft, but I wasn't a huge fan of the blah colors.  I was hoping for something bright and colorful. This was to bland for spring.  RETURNED

Loveappella Shella Knit Top  $54.00
I really liked the color and fabric texture of this shirt.  The shirt was really comfortable and looked nice with jeans and colored pants.  But....it was a little too sheer for me.  I felt like I couldn't wear it without something under it, and then when I tried  to layer it with a tank under it, it just looked ridiculous!  RETURNED

Pixley Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top-  $48.00

I knew right away that this was not going to work for me.  I didn't like the blue and black color combo and it just looked baggy.  I tried it on though because you never know!  My initial thoughts were confirmed, this tank was not for me!  It was WAY to loose and baggy and the cross-over front gaped open in an awkward way.  I would have to wear something else under it and I am not really interested in wearing a tank under a tank.  RETURNED

41Hawthorn Renesme Geo Print Faux Wrap Dress-  $78.00

This was the blue/aqua pattern that I noticed right away when I opened my box, and when I saw that it was a wrap dress I was even more excited!  I tried it on and it was perfect!  The fabric was soft and it was lined so it wasn't too sheer.  I like that it is a "faux" wrap dress too- I don't have to worry about the wrap coming undone!  I don't usually spend this much on a dress, but I felt like this dress was colorful, fit great, was well constructed, and could be worn in different seasons.  I got many compliments when I wore this dress to work!  KEPT!

Kut From the Kloth- Dayna Skinny Jean-  $88.00

I don't have a picture of the actual jeans because....well, jeans are jeans.  This was the item I was most hesitant about when I opened the box.  I hate trying to find jeans!  They never fit right and the size I wear always changes from brand to brand.  I can try on 30 pairs of jeans at the store and not find anything that fits just right.  Well, my stylist Natalie must be magic because these jeans are quite possibly the best jeans I have ever tried on!  They have just the right amount of stretch in them and they are the perfect length!  I knew right away I was going to keep these, even though I never spend $88 on jeans!  I have already worn these several times and I still love them!  I am still in awe that I was sent a pair of jeans in the mail by someone who doesn't know me and they ended up being the best fitting jeans I have ever had!  KEPT!!!!

In summary, I kept 2 of the 5 items from this fix.  I think my stylist Natalie did a great job picking items out for me, even though I didn't keep it all.  I asked for color and patterns, and she delivered!  And she is a jeans wizard!

For my next fix I asked for bright colors, spring/summer type clothes and something with either a polka dot or chevron pattern.  Stay tuned, my next Fix is set to arrive later this week!

If you are interested in getting your own Fix I would love it if you signed up using my referral link! 
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I signed up for Stitch Fix and purchased the box myself. I’m sharing my opinions because I think they will help others. This post does contain referral links for new sign-ups that gives me a small credit towards to purchase of my next box.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Project - Woods Runner

We recently finished reading the book Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen as a class.  I love reading this book as we study the American Revolution in Social Studies!  It is a great example of how the war impacted those who were not part of the main cities or those taking the side of Patriot/Loyalist.

Samuel and his family live in the woods and are pretty removed from the everyday activities taking place in the big cities in regards to the conflicts between the colonists and Britain.  Then his parents are taken and he is thrown into the world of war, danger and fear.  I really like this book because every chapter is followed by a non-fiction page that explains a topic that comes up in the story (weapons, Hessians, jails, disease and illnesses, war orphans etc...)

The kids LOVED this book! I gave the kids several projects to choose from as an end of book project.  My class loves "projects" and choices, so they loved this assignment.

Several kids made ABC books about Woods Runner.  They had to make a page for each letter of the alphabet that explained a part of the book that started with that letter.

Here is one of the examples:
Inside the book

The books turned out so creative and I was impressed with the different ideas the kids came up with for each letter.  This project really gave them a chance to think back on many different parts of the book.

Several other kids chose to make a board game.  Requirements for this project were:  the game had to involve question cards related to parts of the book, it had to have written directions, it needed to be colorful, and they had to be able to explain it to their classmates so they could play the game.

Here are a couple of examples:
 In this game the players had to travel through the woods to try to get rescue Samuels parents.  Along the way they had to answer questions to avoid being captured by the British, the Hessians, or being delayed by weather, illness or other events.
This game had images of some famous artwork that shows events from the American Revolution (creative!).  On the red spaces they had to answer questions from the book about the British, on the blue spaces they had to answer questions from the book about the Patriots, and on the white spaces they had to answer a variety of trivia questions about the book.  I love how they connected the colors to the two sides!

One student chose to make a diorama.  
The diorama is showing Samuel in the woods as he is traveling to try to find his parents.  I love the trees!  They are made of circles of paper folded up and down then glued to real twigs.  How creative!

I like to give my kids alternative ways to show what they know or to wrap up a book or unit.  5th graders love to be creative and come up with such great ideas!

What kinds of projects have you had your class do at the end of a book?

Friday, May 1, 2015

American Revolution A to Z - Project

To wrap up our big unit on the American Revolution I had my students work on a poster showing people, places, or things related to the American Revolution for each letter of the alphabet.

I pre-drew the boxes on 11 x 17 paper and made copies ahead of time.  I wanted the kids to focus on the content, not how to successfully get enough boxes onto the paper :)

 The requirements were:
     You must have something for each letter
     You must include at least 12 images
     Each box needs to have a definition
          or description of the item
     Project must have a title
     Needs to be colorful
     Must be your best work
The kids were able to use their social studies textbook, non-fiction books and magazines in our class library and the internet to help them gather ideas and words for each letter.
 I was VERY impressed with the attention to detail and the quality of my students work on this project!    They were able to come up with a wide variety of ideas for each letter and I loved their illustrations!
 I really feel like this project (while it seems simple at first) gave my kids a chance to review the material they had learned about the American Revolution, learn some new facts and information and be creative (which is always a plus!).
I am always trying to come up with new,  creative projects that allow my students to show what they know in ways other than the same old assessments.

What projects have you done with your students that have been a great display of student learning?