And…..I’m back!

I can hardly believe it myself but I’m back at teaching for the Anchorage School District at Dimond High (Live Lynx and prosper!), the best school ever! I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s amazingly gratifying to have the opportunity to help shape and mold young minds for great things. I hope to help them achieve greatness in the classroom and outside of it. This first semester includes Digital Business Communications and Computer Science 1 and 2.

I have some great ideas for new projects and improvements for past projects. I also am teaching a new course- Computer Science. It’s been a little challenging only because so many of them are at different levels, so getting them all to feel challenged and accomplished keeps me busy. I don’t mind, of course. I just hope I’m doing them justice. They deserve a great education. And I have to work hard to motivate them to want it.

Wish me luck and stay tuned!


GarageBand Introductory Project

One of my favorite units to teach in Electronic Communication is when we go over the application of GarageBand on the Macs. I provide them with an in-class tutorial over the application. From there we talk about the different parts of songs. Then I have an instruction sheet that I give them for their first project: Creating a song (with specific parts) from scratch in GarageBand. Here is the instruction sheet for the project that I give them: Garageband Introduction

Here are some of the examples my students did. I think they did really well creating the parts of a song….

Z’s Song:

Chey’s Song:

Claire’s Song:

Ed’s Song:

I hope you enjoy 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions.

Magazine Cover

For the final- giant- huge points worth project for Photoshop CS5, the students had to design their own magazine cover.

We discussed the defined 8 parts of a magazine cover and looked at some magazines together to identify the parts. Here are the activity sheets we did together in class.

Ingredients to Magazine Covers

Magazine Cover Research

After we looked at the ingredients to MC, they had to create a rough draft using construction paper and this worksheet:

Designing Your Cover blank

The final result of their rough draft was this:





with their Designing Your Cover Sheet:

They then took their rough draft and created their cover in Photoshop CS5. I was pleased with a lot of them. These are just a few, I think they look pretty professional, don’t  you?





There were several others that were fantastic, but for space sake, I will leave you with just those few 🙂

Our class loves comments! Tell us what you think- good or bad- we love constructive criticism….sometimes.

Facebook Cover Photo

Facebook has changed recently (again), in case you haven’t noticed. Over 90% of my students currently have a Facebook. So for one of their final assignments in Photoshop CS5, I had them design their own Cover Photo.

The instruction sheet (Facebook Cover Photo Project)  gave them the dimensions and the requirements for the final photo. Some of the students really did some awesome work. It was a fun project, most of them seemed to enjoy it.

For your viewing pleasure, my favorite one:

This is actually 4 different pictures that Colby put together…It was during WACKO (Wild and Crazy Kid Olympics), which is why two of them are dressed as Superheros.

Logo Project

Our logo project consisted of two parts. A research section, where they had to look up three different logos and answer questions concerning the company, slogan, and design of the logo.

The second part was to create a logo for a company (imaginary or existing) using Photoshop CS5. I made this project a little more open. I let them decide how many and what tools to use. Some did the bare minimum, some really did an awesome job. Here are a few of those exceptional examples from students who really put forth the effort….as I tell my classes “Minimal effort = Minimal grade”.

I gave them an example:







Their projects:


























Here’s the instruction sheet with research portion: Logo Creation

Oxymoron PhotoShop CS5 Project

Our first project in Photoshop CS5 this semester was called Oxymoron Project. I sent the students to the website From there they had to choose an appropriate oxymoron for inspiration for a photoshop project using 2 or more photos. This project was used for practicing layers and the tools within Photoshop CS5.

Here is the instruction sheet and some student examples:

Oxymoron Layering Project Instruction Sheet

Student work:

Oxymoron: Dead Alive








Oxymoron: Bird Dog







Oxymoron: Icy Hot