Illustrated Words

2020 has been one crazy year. I have been teaching online since March 2019 and have been busy adapting and reformatting everything to use in Canvas. Although we can’t be together in person, my students have been doing a fantastic job.

I have had to change the structure of my CTE design class. Instead of working on MacBooks and Adobe Photoshop in the classroom, they use PhotoPea and Chrome-books at home. I have to say PhotoPea has been a pleasant surprise; while not as good as Photoshop, the skills they learn will translate easily over into Photoshop, and the students have a free program to use anytime they wish at home.

I want to share my students’ Illustrated Words Project. In this project, students created a themed composition focusing on the text. In addition, this project explores layer modes, layer styles, and layer order to achieve different blending effects. Students also explored the text tool and learned advanced techniques to edit typography and download and import different font styles.

New Digital Classroom, Covid 19 Edition

To say things have been crazy would be an understatement. I miss being in class with my students and honestly did not think we would begin the school year virtually. I have been busy updating my curriculum and reformatting my lessons so that my students will have the best distance learning possible. In addition, I have enrolled in several professional development courses through Santa Ana Unified. Thank you. Go PD! I have earned my Google Level 1 Certification and learned a new LMS; Canvas. Here’s a sneak peek of my virtual classroom.

Ugly Dolls- Soft Sculpture

These couldn’t have come out any cuter!
We have been working on a soft sculpture. This is an exciting unit as students have debated whether or not this medium qualifies worthy as art. However, at the end of the project, when we reflected on our work, students, for the most part, agreed that soft sculptures, like those created by Hine Mizushima, are indeed art.


In this activity, students analyzed logos using Costa’s levels of thinking. First, students worked in groups of four to explore the logos, evaluate if the logos were appropriate for their intended audience, and if not, how they could improve them. Students then presented their posters in small groups, returned, and reworked their posters.


This year as we are working on our school-wide AVID certification, we have been focusing on
The Five Phases of the Focused Note-Taking Process.
We take our notes in our Journals and refer back to them often. In addition, we add to our notes, annotate, make connections beyond our notes, and reflect on them.
All students benefit as note-taking becomes a powerful and portable learning tool to carry throughout their entire educational experience.

Phase 1. Taking Notes
Phase 2. Processing Notes
Phase 3. Connecting Thinking
Phase 4. Summarizing and Reflecting on learning
Phase 5. Applying Learning

CTE Brand Identity Collaborative Research Project and Presentation,

Wow! That’s a mouthful! Just like the heading states, students worked in pairs to research the brand identities of some of the most successful companies out there. After studying and documenting their findings, they had a worksheet to help guide them through their research. Next, students downloaded a template for Google slides, made a copy, and shared the Google Slides with their partners so that both partners could work on the slide show simultaneously.
Students then presented their presentation in small groups or delivered to the whole class (extra credit.)

Scratch Board Tiki

In this activity, we focused on the principle of variety.

First, we looked at art that demonstrates good usage of variety. Then the students delved deeper with a collaborative activity where they worked in small groups to analyze, interpret, judge, and evaluate a piece by a master artist (AVID strategy Costa’s Levels.)
Next, students practiced line variety. We learned about hatching, cross-hatching, stippling, using line variety (thick and thin.) We then practiced this by making a value scale using the various line types.

Afterward, we had a gallery walk, discussed the work, and wrote a reflection.

Radial Balance

After studying and looking at various artworks that demonstrate balance, students created their own pieces. They made these designs by creating a template then rotating their designs in an ABAB pattern. Afterward, we had a gallery walk to look at each other’s work and discuss it. Students then independently wrote a reflection/artist statement.