December 30, 2012

jewelry letter punch

Back in college I took a jewelry class.
I didn't have much experience making jewelry, unless you count my jazzy jewelry set from my childhood.
I ended up loving that class.
One of the things I made was this ring.
I used a letter punch to engrave the metal before I formed it into a ring.
Hobby Lobby has some letter punches so I asked for it for Christmas.
When I pulled the hammer out of the present me dad said, "You wanted a hammer?!"
I am that weird girl who asks for things like hammers and staple guns. 
No joke.
The letter punch set is awesome.
I am going to have to go get the number set now.
Since my idea was slightly thwarted since I had no numbers, I came up with the next best thing.
My name.
The hardest part was figuring out the correct spacing.
I am still going to need to work on that.
Cool stuff.
Could probably make some awesome gifts for people with this gift.

December 28, 2012

642 things to draw

My sister and brother-in-law bought me this // creative escape // for Christmas.
I apparently asked for it, although I can't remember doing so.
I blame that on the fact that my Christmas list was due in July to my sister.
Six months can do that to your memory.
As you can see...
you simply can't draw without candy from your stocking and
I got this // marvelous soundtrack // for Christmas.
Imagine my squeal since I've been asking for it since last Christmas.
I grabbed some pens from my good 'ole college days and started flipping through the pages.
This thick book is filled with some interesting and eccentric drawing requests.
For instance...
Van Gogh's ear.

This will at least keep me busy and being creative.
Plus now if I run out of sketchbook assignments for the kiddos, I have 641 new inspirations...
Ya, I got that number right.
Van Gogh's ear isn't gonna make the cut (no pun intended) for the little ones.

December 20, 2012

art sub tub

So far this school year I have perfect attendance.
I am actually mildly shocked that between kids chewing on pencils, sneezing into the non-existent tissues in their hands, and coughing everywhere except into their elbow that I am able to boast about a perfect record.
Last year at this time I was an incubator of bronchitis and mild pneumonia. 
I know.

That being said almost every free moment from the last five months was spent doing masters homework.
That means that so many things I want to do for myself and my art room have been put on hold.

Finally though I caught a break the last two weeks of school.
My masters classes were done and suddenly it felt like I had an abundant amount of time on my hands.

So I spent the time doing something that I have wanted to do for a long time.
Have you ever heard of a
Sub Tub?

I've seen a few pins for them.
But I knew I needed to make one that was perfect for me.
And here it is.

The tub is color coordinating to match everything that is already color coordinated in my classroom.
So, I will never ever be able to change my colors again. Ha!

I laminated construction paper for the grade level dividers.
I also stuck some cardboard dividers into the tub for extra support.
Then I grabbed some file folders.
I already had my sub lessons on hand, so I just started labeling the folders.

Each file folder has the lesson plan* and I tried to get examples in them as well.
The examples take a long time, so this will continue to be a process.

But I wasn't done yet.
I saw // this pin // and knew the tub would not be complete without it.
I started snapping pictures all over my art room and emailing them to myself.
In a word document I labeled and described every picture.
I want this substitute to feel like the teacher, not like the guest speaker.

I probably gave a little too much information, but let's face it, no one wants to enter a classroom empty-handed.
These labeled numbers on the cabinet doors also appear on the lesson plans* that are located in the file folders.
I wanted the sub to be able to get the supplies on their own, so this was a must.

Hopefully this will keep me from working hours just to get sub plans ready.
Hopefully this will be helpful to any substitute who comes in.

Now all I have to do is break my perfect attendance record to see if it works.

December 16, 2012

jen's favorite things // a year in review //

Oprah's Jen's favorite things...
I am in the giving mood today so I thought I would share the things that have become your favorites.
You've pinned, commented, blogged about, tried out, and visited these posts quite a bit this year.

I've decided to give you the links to all of them in this blog post.
This is //draw the line at // 2012 by numbers.
with 20,189 views (since July)

with 730 views (since August)

with 447 views (since July)

with 369 views (since January)

with  320 views (since August)

with 289 views (since October)

with 189 views (since November)

with 178 views (since September)

with 165 views (since February)

with 128 views (since January)

Thanks for a great 2012!

December 14, 2012

this is not my home

Twenty-six years ago my mom was pregnant with me.
She was considering going back to school and obtaining an education degree.
My dad worried because he felt that being an educator was a dangerous profession.
Even with those concerns...
he ended up with two daughters who became teachers and a wife who is a high school receptionist.

That family story came to mind today in light of what happened in Connecticut.
The truth is that nearly three decades ago my dad's concerns seemed out of place.
School is crayons, games, little faces, laughter, reading time, and smiles.

Schools are the home away from home.
We are the teachers who blow kisses and give band-aides to ouchies.
We are the teachers who give hugs to any and every little face that walks into our room.
We give our time, we give our money, we give our lives to the little ones that walk in our school everyday.

But now.
Three decades later.
And especially on a day like today.
My dad's concerns seem to hold more weight.
Nobody wants concerns like that to be true.
But then I remember that my dad is just that...
a dad.
A parent.
One of two who forever hold a need to protect and care for me.
To ensure my safety.

And that is the same role we play when we set foot in the school.
We get to play parent to our students for 8 hours everyday.
We become one of three who hold a responsibility to protect and care for our students.

So my heart breaks as I think about everyone affected by the tragedy today.
It was just 5 months ago that I visited the Aurora theater complex and Columbine.
And it rocked my views as a teacher then.
As seen in //this blog post//.
And now here I am, not even a half a year later, realizing the world we live in severely flawed.

I am so thankful to know that this is not my home.
My home will someday be in a place where there will be no more tears.
So we may not have the words for this tragedy.
We may never understand it.
But no matter what I know that He is still sovereign.
And sometimes all we can do it pray.

December 12, 2012

snow globe collage

I'll use any excuse to play Christmas music in my room.
This lesson give me the perfect opportunity.
Second graders create these snow globes in just two days.
Day 1
Choose a 12 x 12 cool color background.
We tear up white construction paper and collage it on top to create our snowy landscape.
I handout tracer circles so the kiddos know where to make their drawings.
Winter items are brainstormed on the whiteboard
Music starts.
Drawings begin.

Day 2
We get out the construction paper crayons and colored pencils and begin coloring.

We pause part-way through coloring and cut our globe out.
Plus we add a base.
After the coloring is finished we get to the kid's favorite part.

My glitter ("snow globe snow") consists of:
Silver glitter paint, glitter, gold glitter paint, water, and some glue.
Mix together.
Paint on the globe.
When it dries you get something like this.
Ho Ho Ho!
Have fun!

December 9, 2012

2012 art ed finalist

So I am in a blissful state of shock right now.
I just found out that my blog has been selected as a finalist for the 2012 Art Ed Blog of the year.
I feel so humbled to be selected because my blog exists only because I was so inspired by all the amazing blogs out there.

Just looking through the list there are so many wonderful blogs out there.
If you want a chance to put in your vote simply go to this link.
Thank you again for the nominations, the friendships, and the wonderful year you have given me here at 
Draw The Line At

December 7, 2012

emotional self-portraits

I taught this lesson last year and it turned out to be one of my favorite third grade projects.
Let's be honest.
Drawing people can be hard.
Drawing people can be scary.
I am pretty sure my junior-in-college self stated something like that to my painting professor a few years ago.
She pushed me to do it anyway.
And I loved her for it.

Kids have the same fears.
People are hard and scary to draw.
But this lesson is fun.
It breaks down the process into easy steps.
And before your know it, your kids are rocking portrait drawing.

Day 1
Have a discussion about what emotions are. 
I printed out a huge list of emotions. (like this)
 Have you students pair up and show off the emotions that you call out.

Then I give them a template like #1.
The students choose an emotion they want to draw and write it at the top of their template.
Using the doc cam, I take them step by step how to break down the features on the face.
I also have a cartoon emotion worksheet (like this) on each table so they can note how eyebrows and wrinkles help show emotions.
Student draw their portrait in pencil. (#2)
The last step of the day is to outline everything in sharpie. (#3)

Day 2
After outlining in sharpie we tape our template to nice watercolor paper.
We start tracing everything except the guidelines.
Students are told not to shade anything in with their pencil.
Once the tracing is done, students are given sharpies to outline their pencil line.
Now they are asked to use the sharpie to fill in the eyebrows, pupils, and nostrils only.

My favorite part of the project comes next!!!
We start to discuss how different colors help us represent different emotions.
We sit down for a few minutes and watch all these short videos.
Color In Motion (click on the door that says "the movies")

Students are to pick a colored sharpie that best represents their emotion.
They use they sharpie to create a line pattern in the background.

Day 3
Grab these and begin watercoloring. (here)

These are a conversation piece in the hallways for sure!

Bonus: Have your kids write a story about why they are showing that emotion.

December 4, 2012

value pine trees

In Kindergarten we explore the idea of value in its most simplified form.
I saw (this lesson) from Katie and it inspired my lesson.
We began by talking about value.
Every student gets a 9x12 piece of white paper.
They fold it into 4 even rectangles.
And the painting commences.
I give them original green to start.
After they paint one rectangle they sgraffito lines into the wet paint.
Then I mix in yellow to the green and they sgraffito a different line pattern into a new rectangle.
Third comes white.
Lastly they get black mixed in.
I have a poster that I use over and over for my Kindergarteners that helps them remember different lines.
On the second day they get some additional materials plus their painted paper.
Students draw and cut triangles out of their painted paper.
They glue them down and cut smaller squares and rectangles for the tree trunks.
Here is my teacher sample.
My first kindergartners just did theirs this morning.
They loved it. Turned out super cute too.
Thanks for the inspiration Katie!