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First Six Weeks

Click here for your course syllabus/parent letter, the grading policy, my classroom rules, the Dallas ISD Acceptable Use Policy and the Dallas ISD Student Code of Conduct

Week 1 objectives
Learn and understand class and school rules and policies
Learn and understand the Dallas ISD Acceptable Use Policy
Learn and understand the classroom rules and procedures
Begin learning about Digital Citizenship
Begin leaning about Copyright Law

Week 1 vocabulary objectives- Students will learn to define and understand the following terms:

Acceptable Use Policy Digital Citizenship Copyright law Public Domain
Fair use      

Monday & Tuesday- Welcome back to school! Today, I want to briefly discuss just what this course will entail and get you ready for the year you are about to have. I maintain this website and will often make hyperlinks for you to follow. Take a moment at the start of class today to let me know what you think this class is all about.

In class today, I will tell you what this course will entail, what you can expect to learn, how your grades will be calculated and what rules and procedures we will use in this classroom.

After that, we can start to talk about Digital Citizenship. You are growing up in a very strange time. Technology often moves faster than the rules that regulate it, and the record speed of computer technology is no exception. As a result, many early adopters of new computer technology make mistakes. A good understanding of Digital Citizenship will help to steer you in the right direction when you interact with others using electronic devices.

No introduction to digital media would be complete without a decent discussion of Copyright law. Copyright law, quite simply, refers to the set of rules dictating what material from a different person you can use for yourself and how you can go about doing it within legal boundaries. Who holds copyrights? How are they established? Do you have special rights as a student that other people do not have? What is fair use, and what is public domain?

Next, we will talk about how copyright works from a practical angle. After that we need to take some time today to review what we know so far. If you are struggling to recall information about copyright law, try working through some of the questions on this page. Don't worry- it's more of a self-assessment. It's not a graded quiz. We'll finish up with a bit of discussion about what we've learned this week. We should all be able to log in at this point, too. Fingers crossed...

I have a quick recap for everyone before you leave. Go to this page and answer some questions for a daily grade. It's okay to collaborate with your peers on this!

To expand on what we have learned about copyright law, here are some good instructional videos:

Wednesday & Thursday- Today, we have some basic housekeeping tasks to accomplish. I want to show you the locations in the computer to which you will save your work. There is also a shared folder I can use to give you files you may need. We'll retrieve something from that folder and practice saving files to the correct location just for practice. After that, we will start to gather the resources for our next project. If there is enough time to do so, I want you to tell me your topic for that project here.

Friday- Today, we will start working on creating a flyer. Here are some ideas about what makes for an effective flyer. What I want you to do is build a flyer that would inspire a student to join or support a school group, club, team or organization. If you are having trouble thinking of one, the WT White page has a wonderful list of things under the activities tab. Today, we will look at flyers and talk about different things you would include on an effective one.

Remember, your audience will be students, and your work will be scored against this rubric:

Points Requirement
20 Flyer is persuasive to entice students to join or participate in the selected group, club or team
15 Fonts work well together
15 Banner and text are designed effectively and work well together
10 Text fits properly in the allocated column area
10 Text wraps or other such effects have been applied where necessary
10 Design principles have been followed
10 Turned in on time
10 No grammatical errors

teks: 1ah, 4abc

Week 2 objectives
Learn about principles of design, typography and color choice
Complete desktop publishing project
Begin working with Photoshop

Week 2 vocabulary objectives- Students will learn to define and understand the following terms:

Design principles Contrast Repetition Alignment
Proximity Typography Serif Layers
Levels Selection tools Lasso Magic Wand
Marquee Crop    

Tuesday- Happy second week of school, everyone. I know a lot of you are wrapping up your flyers, and if you are finished with those today in class, please let me know, and I will take a look for our first test grade. In addition to that, I wanted to get you a little more information about good design. While we have a free moment, I think it would be a good opportunity to talk about typography and fonts. This video gives a pretty neat explanation, too. Here's a quick activity I developed a while back to help make sense of font selection. Let's do the activity.

Now that we have all created one design product, I want to see how we did with color and design principles. It is important to learn about design principles in order for us to be successful in this class. They are commonly referred to as CRAP, which stands for Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. Here are some examples of design principles from the world of desktop publishing.

Proper color usage is vital, as well. Take a look at this color wheel and click it to see what colors work well together in terms of proper design. This presentation is one of my favorites about color and why certain colors invoke certain feelings.

Wednesday &Thursday- To start out, my students on Wednesday may need a bit of time at the beginning of the class to discuss color, design principles and font selection. We'll pick a few of the topics I listed for my class yesterday so you can stay on top of the subject matter.

Anyone who is finished with the flyer, I would like to see it today. I will take a look again on Friday for those of you who need a little more time.

After we wrap up our work in the first part of the class, we will get into a little bit of background information in Photoshop. The first thing you need to understand before we get into Photoshop is how layers work. After that, we will talk about levels (using this photo), as well as some of the tools for changing color saturation and brightness. Once you have a firm grasp of those concepts, I will need you to save a copy of this photo for the next project. You will learn to use selection tools through manipulation of the image.

Friday- It's entirely likely we are done with the photo of the face with the pieces we manipulated. If that is done, I want us to move into a lesson about photo retouching. This lesson is a little more complicated than the ones I write, but we will work through it together. You will need these photos of Venice and a cloudy sky to make it all happen.

teks: 6abcde

Week 3 objectives
Learn basic photo retouching skills
Create a composite photograph
Use digital cameras to capture images

Week 3 vocabulary objectives- Students will learn to define and understand the following terms:

Spot healing tool Healing brush tool Patch tool Magnetic lasso
Quick mask Composite photograph    

Monday & Tuesday- We've had a lot of schedule changes, so I think it would be best if we started out today with a review of what we learned in the first two weeks of school. I'll take you through a quick review of what you can legally use according to copyright law. We also need to remember what public domain and fair use are.

Next, we worked with InDesign. When we did this, our main emphasis was about making something that is visually appealing, but something that would also be informative and persuasive. Make sure you know that sometimes what you say is just as important as how you say it. Your colors, your font choices and your design choices help people decide if they are interested in what you have to say.

Finally, we got into Photoshop. We learned about layers, levels and selection tools. Some classes got into basic photo retouching. After we all review this together, I want to check that we grasp the basic concept of the selection tools. Please answer this question.

With that out of the way, I want to show you how to do some basic photo retouching. we will follow this lesson, and you will need a copy of this photo to do the work. If we finish early, I want to show you some of the filters available in Photoshop.

Wednesday & Thursday- Today, we are getting into the last of my follow-along tutorials before I set you free to make your own creative choices and work on a project. You will need to save a photo of a flower and a photo of a fern in order to complete this lesson. Please stick with me so we can get this done. If you have the lesson completed correctly, I will give you a project grade. If you missed the shadow or didn't edit correctly with the quick select tool, it will cost you 10 points. Let's all shoot for a 100.

After we finish that lesson, we will talk about our next project. You will use your skills to make composite images of yourself on a vacation around the world. Let's take a moment to brainstorm together and think of different places we can travel. Once you have some good ideas, you should use a few moments of class time to search for and save the very best, highest quality photos you can find to use in this project. It would probably be smart to make a folder inside of your regular folder for this project, since you will be needing at least six photos (probably more like ten) to do the job.

Friday- Today, I want to set up a camera or two in the hallway and let you all take the photos you will need to complete the project. When you have taken what you need, I will put them in the student share folder. I will remind you how to find that. Please copy your own images to your folder from there and start to work on your composite images. You will need to have a total of five photos of yourself on a world tour.

A few pointers-

  • It's much easier to add yourself to a picture than to take someone else out, so find photos without many people in them.
  • Your photo will be easier to cut out if you stand in front of a solid color background that is a different color from your clothes and skin
  • Do not stand in front of a window when taking your photo. That makes for a bad photo in the first place, and it makes your job harder.
  • When working with peers to take photos, make sure you don't accidentally "cut off" the top of someone's head or some other critical body part.

Before you start, you should always know how you will be expected to finish. Here is the way your work will be graded next week:

Points Requirement
4 for each photo Quality, high resolution source photos were selected
4 for each photo Elements of the combined images were sized appropriately
4 for each photo Composite images are realistic and properly edited
4 for each photo Each image has been saved as both e PSD and a JPG file
4 for each photo Excess background has been removed from self-portraits

teks: 1i, 3b, 4a, 5aef

Week 4 objectives
Complete initial writing assignment
Create composite images in Photoshop
Post images to online portfolio made with Google sites

Week 4 vocabulary objectives- Students will learn to define and understand the following terms:

Magnetic lasso Quick mask Flatten PSD
JPG Portfolio    

Monday & Tuesday- One of the things I have to do this year is work on one STAAR tested skill with my students. I usually choose a writing skill. What I ask students to do is read an article that somehow relates to our subject matter. I want us to start the year with an article about how the use of Photoshopped images may influence young people and what some legislators want to do to combat that. You will have to determine what, if anything, should be done about the use of Photoshopped images in advertisements. You will take a stand on the issue, expressing your opinion about the subject, then support your answer by using some evidence from the article to help make your argument. I will use this rubric to grade the work, and the answers can all be entered here. I will use the 3 point scale for answers, and that conversion is on the rubric. Please find the article and the question here.

You will have as much time as you need to complete that work, and after you submit your answer, you can work on the five photos for your big world tour project.

Wednesday & Thursday- I think the smartest thing to do once we have our first big project created is create a Google site. I want to walk you through the initial steps of creating a Google site today, but essentially, it's a quick, easy way to make a webpage. If you have a site online, you can put your work there and show it to people. This includes your friends, your family and even some potential employers. You'll need to save your images as JPG files or some other simple file type to make them accessible on the web, but we will get to that in class together.

Friday- By now, I think I can hand back your writing assignments from Monday and Tuesday and discuss with you how to improve. From there, we can determine a good schedule for future assignments. Otherwise, we will need to wrap up our Photoshop project and place our work online. I will not grade your site this week, but at there will be periodic checks of the content, similar to other teachers who do notebook checks. Please keep it up to date.

teks: 1i, 3b, 4a, 5aef

Week 5 objectives
Continue work on currency project
Complete six weeks test

Week 5 vocabulary objectives- Students will learn to define and understand the following terms:

Magnetic lasso Quick mask Flatten PSD

Monday & Tuesday- We need to start our day today getting some grading done for the students Photoshop projects that took a little extra time to complete. After that. I think I want to spend some of our class time talking about our next project. You will be creating your own country with its own slogan and its own currency. Here are some examples of currency from other countries. You will create a two sided document for your national currency. Just like the United States has dollars, I could make up a country called Dunlap Land and have a currency called shamoleans. You should come up with your own country and tell me about it here.

Also, you should take some time in class to study for your six weeks test, which will be happening on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday & Thursday- I want to start the day with a little bit of review time for your six weeks test, then I want to give the test. I use this site to administer tests. I will tell you how to log in.

Once we finish the test. We'll begin working on the currency project. Please take a look at this rubric before you begin so you can be sure to get the best grade possible:

Points Requirement
10 The document is two-sided, each measuring 3" by 5", and uses a range of well-matched color
10 You have the name of your imaginary country on both sides of your bill
10 You have included a slogan or motto on your bill (like E Pluribus Unum or In God We Trust)
10 There are photos or graphics on both the front and the back of the currency
10 The denomination is shown of both sides of the bill
10 You have maintained consistency in your use of fonts, narrowing your selections to only a few
10 You have used creative elements in your work instead of recreating an existing currency
10 Your work is submitted on time
20 You have created a watermark effect (layer below the others with lower opacity)

Friday- We'll take the day to work on our currency projects in class

teks: 5e, 6abc