February 11, 2019

Styling with Stitch Fix | February 2019

Referral links are used within this post. Any subscription made using these links earns me a styling fee credit that goes towards future Fixes. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

It's been a minute since I've had a Fix arrive - mostly due to being a stay-at-home-mom for the last couple of years. However, once I got back into the classroom and had some extra funds to play with, I wanted to treat myself with a few new pieces for my closet. So, I entrusted the help from my go-to stylists at Stitch Fix to help me refresh my closet as we head into spring!

I was eager to see what my new stylist would select for me to try on in this month's Fix. In my note I shared that I like to keep my overall style classic and feminine with pieces that are lightweight and easy to layer. Living in Southern California, we've been experiencing some chillier weather along with rain, so layering throughout the day has been key. I was also in need of updating some of my tops and finding new pants or jeans that I could easily go to work in but also enjoy a casual weekend wearing.

Like always, I wasn't disappointed with what my stylist, Julia, had picked for me. I'm excited to share what I received and what I decided to keep or send back!

Kut From the Kloth- Kate Boyfriend Jean | KEEP

I have always been a fan of a boyfriend style jean ever since I was in college and Gap released their new fit (I was a sales associate all throughout college and loved their clothes!). The relaxed, but fitted around the waist, fit was perfect for my curvy body type and I have really enjoyed having more options than just skinny jeans. This pair already has been my favorite go-to for both work and adventuring on the weekends!

41 Hawthorn - Tulla Knit Cardigan | KEEP

As a teacher I think there's some unacknowledged affinity for cardigans! I feel as though I can never have too many and what I love about Stitch Fix is that the cardigans my stylists have found for me over the years are such great quality! Yes, I could go practically anywhere and find an affordable cardigan, but I'm always having to replace them after a few washes (since I wear them so often). But when I make a cardigan purchase through my Fixes I can wear them again and again without worry of the material breaking down or the color fading - true signs of quality.

Mix by 41 Hawthorn - Abrianna Longsleeve Top | RETURN

This is another top that I really enjoyed - the deep maroon color, the length of the sleeves, and the lightweight feel. The only problem for me is that it fit too large which was unflattering. I have learned that I can best find tops that flatter my features post-baby by the material of the top. This particular blouse is cotton based, so it is lightweight but also stretchy as you wear it. If it were available in a L or even XL I would have exchanged it, but unfortunately the only other size was an XS. Although I'm not keeping it, I made sure to share with my stylist what I loved about it so perhaps she can find something similar next time.

Daniel Rainn - Koda Split Neck Blouse | KEEP

The key for me in terms of blouses is that typically they're made from a material that doesn't have much stretch, so the fit on the bust and waist are very important. Thankfully, this Koda split neck blouse by Daniel Rainn not only fit perfectly but the pattern was beautiful. I love that it added a feminine touch to what would be a basic black blouse.

Sole Society - Ferris Suede Peep-toe Bootie | RETURN

I've heard a lot of great things about Sole Society so I was excited to try a pair on in this Fix! Overall, I really enjoyed this bootie - it was fun, a beautiful blush color, and the fit was comfortable. The problem? The heel.

I'm already fairly tall and I prefer boots and shoes to be flat - especially as a teacher who is on their feet all day. I was sad to send these back, but hopefully Julia can find me a similar pair but with a flat or low heel.

The Breakdown

All in all today I saved on the three purchases I made from my Fix! Although I didn't get that Buy 5 discount, I still ended up finding new quality pieces to add to my closet and spend less than $200. I know, some might be thinking that on a teacher's budget spending $200 on clothing is not what one would consider a price point they are willing to shop in. However, I can say that although shopping with Stitch Fix once a month has helped me manage my closet and overall style, I've been able to invest in quality clothing. Otherwise known as clothing I never have to replace in months time.

Plus, the added bonus of sharing my referral link is enjoying my styling fee being covered! This means I get to only pay for the items I keep and enjoy being styled without paying anything additional! Win, win!

So, what is so great about Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix first began as a skeptical leap of style faith for me. I wasn’t quite sure that some stylist over the internet could really find 5 pieces that would not only fit me, but be looks I’d actually want to wear. For a $20 styling fee I received my first Fix and was initially so impressed with how my stylist heard exactly what I was looking for and delivered on it. I still wear a number of those first purchases today (and that was over 4 years ago) and enjoy adding new and fun pieces along the way.

I’ve journeyed with Stitch Fix through the ups and downs of my weight and even through my pregnancy with their maternity styles. Since it’s been a couple of months since my last Fix, I was so excited to see that they offer shoes now in addition to a new mens and kids line. This just proves to me that Stitch Fix has a finger on the latest trends, but also keeps the needs of their customers in mind. I can only imaging how they’ll grow and expand into the future!

What about those referral links?

Because I created a free style profile I now have the ability to share my love of Stitch Fix with others. A referral simply allows me to earn a credit of $25, which essentially covers my styling fee for the next time I schedule a Fix, while giving YOU $25 to cover your own styling fee! Once you create a style profile you are given a special referral link and begin earning your own credits. Why not get a credit for something you use anyways? I am so appreciative to those who use my link because it helps me enjoy the little things like a new top or pair of jeans, so thank you.

We're Going on a Nature Walk!

Nature Walks are a wonderful (and easy!) way for students to engage with not only their learning environment, but with the curriculum! For my busy EAK class I thought it would be fun and worthwhile to get them outside and expose them to learning that exists right outside in nature.

Throughout the last few weeks I've been introducing my class to the RIASEC codes from our World of Work initiative within my district. These codes help expose my students to the skills and interests that make up who they are; from Realistic "doers" to Artistic "creators", my students have a unique opportunity to learn more about themselves and apply what they're interested in in more meaningful ways.

Investigative "Thinkers"

The I in RIASEC stands for Investigative who are the kinds of people who enjoy activities that involve thinking, problem solving, observing, and analyzing. Investigative "thinkers" also enjoy using science and math to solve such problems! So, what better way to learn about what these thinkers enjoy doing than a Nature Walk?!

photo credit: Cajon Valley USD
I had a couple of parent volunteers assist me on our Nature Walk, which was about 10 minutes or so of walking around and selecting 4 items from nature to bring back to class to observe. I created these simple observation forms for the kids to use (drawing is a type of early writing for this age group) and I was excited to see what they'd find!

Some students found some really interesting and diverse pieces of nature to analyze. Some found seeds, leaves were the most popular, and others found grass, rocks, and sticks. I was surprised to see that none of them thought to bring in dirt or even a bug! Perhaps next time, haha.

When we returned to class I had my students lay their items in the boxes on their papers. I modeled for them how to analyze and look at the details of their nature items and begin drawing them exactly as they see them. Of course, at this point my EAK students mostly drew lines or just outlined their items, but it was fun to walk around and see how each of my kids interpreted their items.

Through this activity I was able to see who really embraced the activity and could quite possibly have an Investigative mind. I had a few students who really enjoyed looking at their sticks or leaves and I spoke with the class about how each leaf that students picked were slightly different from another. I also shared that within their drawings they could include details like the colors they used.

Even though wrangling 20 four year olds on a Nature Walk was quite the adventure, seeing them engage and be excited about making observations about nature was fulfilling for me as their teacher. It was exciting to see the language they were using and how each of their drawings represented their understanding of the world around them. I am always in awe of their thinking and it's been a privilege to expose them to such learning!

February 9, 2019

Make It Mondays

In my district we are known for our World of Work program, which is a curriculum that uses Holland Codes to allow students of all grades to explore their interests and the careers that are assigned to those interests and skills. Even young learners, like my EAK students, are encouraged to explore their interests (which fits very well into my All About Me unit) and the careers that best fit them.

Each day last week I introduced my kiddos to the Codes known as RIASEC. Dr. Holland developed these codes based on research and studies that showed that everyone's personality fit into one (or many) of these codes. RIASEC stands for realistic (builders, doers), investigative (thinkers, observational), artistic (creators, artists), social (helpers, teachers), enterprising (speakers, leaders, sellers), and conventional (organizers, likes things in their place). 

Bears Challenge

To best incorporate these RIASEC lessons into our everyday schedule and learning, each day of the week students will be challenged or asked to explore each of the codes. Every Monday is what I like to call "Make It Monday" where students work on some sort of building activity that realistic "doers" enjoy doing.

For example, the very first week I rolled this out I challenged students to build a bridge using only sticks and cups. They were only given four of each and were first challenged to fit 10 bears. The kids found ways to adapt and change their designed bridge in order to accommodate the bears. Then, I asked students to fit 15 bears, then 20. Each time it was really awesome to see kids problem solve and push through the challenge despite being frustrated a time or two.

Building a Bridge

Another fun way to get my kiddos to tap into their building spirit was challenging them to build a bridge using only legos. I had one photo as a reference but allowed them to come up with any design they wanted as long as it was bridge-like.

Marshmallow Structures

Additionally, in my building center I try to change up the activities so that what the kids are exposed to whole-group can be practice individually. In my building center I placed the good 'ole fashioned marshmallows and toothpicks to allow my kids to build structures that were different shapes. Some explored 2D and even 3D shapes on their own...and one of my kids was the only one to successfully complete the challenge of building a structure to hold an item! I was so proud of him!

What are some of your favorite ways to tie in STEM skills during the day?

February 5, 2019

Activities Celebrating Our Students

"I like me"

One of the biggest themes my kiddos will be discussing and learning about in EAK this year is understanding themselves and others. We've been doing a lot of talking about how each of us are special and have unique skills, interests, values, and personalities. One activity that we do together at the beginning of the year are these "I am special" word segmentation sentences.

First, we do a lot of building up their schema of understanding that they have special skills that allow them to do things. Next, they pick a body part that helps them do that something special and it was great hearing about all of the different things they came up with, like...

"My voice tells my mom "I love you."

"My hands can open doors."

"My hands can hold my baby sister."

I mean, cue the aww factor!

Afterwards, I dictate what they said and create little sentence strips with a section for them to trace their names. As an added skill practice of segmenting words, I asked them to place a box around the words within their sentence. This is another skill we've been working on and I found this activity to be a great way to practice it!

"Me" Portraits

Continuing with our learning about their senses of self, we read a bunch of stories about how we all are unique and those qualities make us special. There are a ton of read aloud out there that help reinforce these concepts and for my kids the directed drawings help them develop key drawing/writing skills for kindergarten!

A Color All His Own

One of my favorite stories to share during our unit on "All About Me" is Leo Lionni's A Color All His Own. This is a special story about a chameleon who is sad that he doesn't have just one color, like his other animal friends. Pigs are all pink, crickets are all green, but his colors change. It's not until he finds a friend in another chameleon that they both find true happiness in being themselves.

I loved the discussion with my class about how we are all like this little chameleon in that we look different, but we all have unique differences within our personalities and interests too that make us special. Each of my kiddos created their own chameleons using watercolors. They turned out so adorably!

It's been an amazing week seeing my kiddos' budding personalities begin to shine! Stay tuned for more fun this week!

What are your favorite ways to explore your All About Me units with your students?