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Freestyle Academy of Communication Arts & Technology

1299 Bryant Ave, Mt. View, CA 94040 T 650-940-4680   F 650-961-1346
2 Required Classes: English and Design 3rd/Elective Class:  + Animation or Digital Media or Film

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English

Instructor: Jason Greco

Email: Jason.Greco@freestyleacademy.rocks or Jason.Greco@mvla.net Voicemail: 650-940-7480

 

Junior Projects

Class

Conceptual
1st Qtr

Visual Narrative
2nd Quarter

Documentary
3rd Quarter

Explorations
4th Quarter

English
(1st required class)

Poetry

Short Story:
Visual Narratives

Magazine Article or Book

Explore a Topic of Your Choice

Design
(2nd required class)

Conceptual Art &
Shoot in RAW

Narrative Illustration

Magazine Article or Book

Explore a Topic of Your Choice

Animation
(3rd elective class)

Animated Haiku &
Exquisite Corpse Dot to Dot

Short Story:
Visual Narratives no dialogue

Animated Documentary

Explore a Topic of Your Choice

Digital Media
(3rd elective class)

Conceptual Music, Website, &
Haiku Video

Autio Short Story &
Narrative Website

Intro Vid &
Documentary Website

Explore a Topic of Your Choice

Film
(3rd elective class)

Experimental Film

Storyboards,
Narrative Short Film

Documentary Film

Explore a Topic of Your Choice

Senior Projects

Class

Reflections
1st Quarter

Narrative Perspectives
2nd Quarter

Zenith
3rd Quarter

Portofolio Showcase
4th Quarter

English
(1st required class)

Personal Essay &
Surrealist Writing

Narrative Perspectives &
Research Paper for the Zenith Project

Humor & Satire

Oral Storytelling &
Senior Showcase Presentation

Design
(2nd required class)

Diptych,
BW HDR Photography

Surrealism Photograph and Illustration,
Book Jacket

Zenith Design

Portfolio Showcase

Animation
(3rd elective class)

Animated Essay &
Exquisite Corpse - Group Theme

Narrative 2
with dialogue

Narrative 2 and Zenith

Portfolio Showcase

Digital Media
(3rd elective class)

JavaScript, Web Animations &
Personal Perspective Video

Book Trailer &
Website

Live DJ Intro and Zenith

Portfolio Showcase

Film
(3rd elective class)

Video Essay

Narrative 2 Film

Narrative 2 Film and Zenith

Portfolio Showcase

 

Expected School-wide Learning Results:

21st CENTURY SKILLS

To prepare students to live, learn, and work successfully in today's knowledge-based digital society, our emphasis at Freestyle will be on developing:

  • Visual Literacy - the ability to interpret, use, appreciate, and create images and video using both conventional and 21st century media in ways that advance thinking, decision making, communication, and learning.
  • Technological Literacy - knowledge about what technology is, how it works, what purposes it can serve, and how it can be used efficiently and effectively to achieve specific goals.
  • Creativity - the act of bringing something into existence that is genuinely new, original, and of value either personally (of significance only to the individual or organization) or culturally (adds significantly to a domain of culture as recognized by experts).
  • Self Direction - the ability to set goals related to learning, plan for the achievement of those goals, independently manage time and effort, and independently assess the quality of learning and any products that result from the learning experience.
  • High Productivity - the ability to produce intellectual, informational, or material products that serve authentic purposes and occur as a result of students using real-world tools to solve or communicate about real-world problems. These products include persuasive communications in any media (print, video, the Web, verbal presentation), synthesis of resources into more useable forms (databases, graphics, simulations), or refinement of questions that build upon what is known to advance one's own and others' understanding.
  • Teaming and Collaboration - cooperative interaction between two or more individuals working together to solve problems, create novel products, or learn and master content.
  • Social and Civic Responsibility - the ability to manage technology and govern its use in a way that promotes public good and protects society, the environment, and democratic ideals.
  • Risk Taking - the willingness to make mistakes, advocate unconventional or unpopular positions, or tackle extremely challenging problems without obvious solutions, such that one's personal growth, integrity, or accomplishments are enhanced.

What Is Expected From The Student

Assessment and Grading:

Quarter grades will be determined on the basis of performance on projects and classwork. Each area of evaluation will be weighted as follows:

  • Minor Prep Work = 30%
  • Major Productions = 70%

*Please note: Only semester grades appear on transcripts.

Grades will be assigned on the basis of the following percentages:

  • A 90 to 100%
  • B 80 to 89%
  • C 70 to 79%
  • D 60 to 69%
  • F below 60%

English Classes: Breakdown of Grading and Late Policies for Project and Prep Work:

Grade Book Update Policy:

Grades may be viewed 24/7 through individual online accounts on https://jupitergrades.com/login/?10334 and will be updated every two weeks or so. Students/Parents will receive grade-viewing info by email.

Daily Assignments:

Daily assignments are determined by tasks needed to achieve project goals. Students are responsible to check assigned tasks on the online daily agenda and end goals and work toward achieving those tasks and goals.

Continuation Policy:

Graduating HS is a very important goal. This requires you to get enough credits for graduation. Passing classes at Freestyle for enough credits is part of that process - especially passing English.

To remain a student at Freestyle:

  1. Each student must achieve a C- or higher each Semester in English and at least one of your other 2 Freestyle classes.
  2. Each student must also achieve a unweighted TGPA of 2.0 or higher each Semester in all your classes at all schools.

Failure to meet these standards will result in being disenrolled at Freestyle because we want you to enroll in classes that you can pass and get enough credits to graduate from high school. Ultimately, Freestyle cannot be the reason why you don't graduate from high school.

Attendance:

Attendance at Freestyle is required of students from 9:30 AM-12:00 PM or 1:00-3:30 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and also 10:05-11:35 or 1:00-2:30 on Thursdays. Note: Students may receive a failing grade "F" in a class where they accumulate 15 or more unexcused absences.

Make Up Work

Absent students are allotted the same number of absent class days to complete assignments. If a student is absent for extended periods of time, it is the student's responsibility to consult with instructor for make-up work.

Classroom Rules:

Because of the various expensive equipment provided for each student, no eating, drinking and chewing gum will be strictly enforced. Students not in their seats when class begins will receive a tardy. Cheating on any assignment or evaluation will not be tolerated. Any student caught cheating will be given a zero for the item and will be subject to further disciplinary action.

Help:

Office hours: by appointment

Email me at jason.greco@freestyleacademy.rocks.

Open Lab hours throughout the year will be posted online and announced in class. Lots of information is on the other tabs at the top of the page.

 

Junior English 3 (Honors)

Textbooks:

Prerequisites: None

Length: 1 year

Credits: 10 Units

UC/CSU: Yes "b"

Class Calendar

 

Course Description:

In this college preparatory, UC approved English course, students will examine a variety of personal and social issues to inform their multimedia projects. In addition to developing research and writing skills through persuasive essays, research papers, creative stories, and poetry, students will also learn to become strong presenters, project managers, collaborative workers, and creative problem solvers.

 

English Junior Projects

Project 1 - Conceptual

For the Conceptual Project, Juniors develop their abstract thinking and communication skills to answer the question,

"How can I use unconventional forms to express myself?"

This project emphasizes creative risk-taking through poetry, music, art, animations, experimental film and web production, challenging students to express their opinions through a distinct personal aesthetic. Students begin developing their technical communication skills by learning a variety of modern professional equipment and applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Animate, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Pro Tools, Autodesk Maya, and Google Apps.

 

Red by John Logan
In English (for all students), you will

  • Read various poems
  • Read Red by John Logan
  • Write an ekphrastic poem in response to a piece of museum art
  • Write Poetry
  • Honors: Poet Study
  • Present a Photo Haiku
  • Perform a spoken-word poem
  • Poetry Rubric

What's new? Everything!

 

Ekphrastic Poem Examples - 2016

Photo Haiku Examples - 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013

Project 2 - Visual Narrative

The Visual Narrative Project asks Juniors,

How well can you visually tell a structured story?"

Beginning with an exploration of prose fiction and the graphic novel, students practice communicating character and story arc through descriptive storytelling, comic design, storyboards, films, and animations. Students deepen their technical communication skills by learning a variety of modern professional equipment and applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Animate, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Pro Tools, Autodesk Maya, and Google Apps.

1984
In English (for all students)

Persepolic
What's new? Learn how to write a story economically in a limited amount of space, to rely on imagery and action to tell a story, to use description to show rather than tell, to develop character and draw plot from character conflict to create a compelling yet believable narrative arc, to create original graphic novel panels using appropriate realism, abstraction, iconography, and closure. 

Project 3 - Documentary

For the Junior Documentary Project, students will portray an intriguing person, group, place, idea, or issue, gathering primary and secondary research sources to develop a distinct perspective about their subject’s significance in the community and/or world. The research-based paper from English serves as the copy for the magazine article in Design and a film, commercial, and website. This unit emphasizes narrative-style journalism.

The New Kings
Freakonomics

In English (for all students), you will

  • Read Freakonomics, selections from the New Kings of Non-Fiction by Ira Glass, and selected news/magazine articles.
  • Investigate the ethical issues journalists, documentary filmmakers, and creative nonfiction writers face in their work.
  • Learn how to write and sequence interview questions and practice interview techniques
  • Write a research-based magazine article or text for a multi-chapter book for printed publication.

Honors students will do all of the above, plus the following:

  • Read and analyze a book-length work of contemporary nonfiction relating to your research topic (your chosen book must be at least 250 pages and approved by Mr. G.)
  • Lead in-class discussions on ethical issues explained in selections from Telling True Stories, A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University

What's new?

  • You will learn to synthesize narrative and research material, to conduct successful interviews, to improve your research skills, and to analyze documentary media.
  • Organization of primary and secondary research within a conventional documentary structure (profile structure or multiple-chapter research paper structure)
  • Finding/using visual metaphors to express writer’s angle on documentary subject.
  • Study ethics in the context of journalism, documentary filmmaking, and creative nonfiction writing.

Project 4 - Explorations

For the Explorations Project, all Junior Freestyle students will explore his/her own passion and improve upon a particular skill set that addresses 21st Century Skills. Ultimately, each student will share his/her exploration with classmates as their Semester 2 Final. Students will have production time in all classes to complete this project. (Note: SBAC Testing will occur in the middle of May)

Details:

  1. All productions must ultimately become digital so that we can have a digital archive of your work to share with the world on our website.
  2. Topics are self-chosen but must address one of our 21st Century Skills.
  3. In English, you will research your topic. You are required to create a visual representation of your research (such as an Illustrator infographic) and present to the class digital documentation of your process developing your chosen skill.
  4. During Finals, we will all share and celebrate your newly learned skill and learn more about you and your passion(s). Each student will, at the very least, share his/her infographic and final production(s) to an audience of teachers and classmates. All students will create a single webpage to document his/her Explorations Project.

 

 

Junior Daily Agenda

 

Senior English 4 (Honors)

Textbooks:

Prerequisites: None

Length: 1 year

Credits: 10 Units

UC/CSU: Yes "b"

Class Calendar

 

Course Description:

English 4 is a college-preparatory senior English class. In this course, students develop expository, creative and reflective writing, critical reading and thinking and public speaking skills as well as learning the fundamentals of English mechanics and grammar. In class discussions developing skills in Shared Inquiry will be an essential component of the class.

 

English Senior Projects

Project 5 - Reflection

The Reflections Project challenges Seniors to explore a question that is at once simple and deeply complex:

"Who am I?"

Experimenting with personal as well as lyrical essay forms, students develop insights about their experiences and identities before translating those ideas visually in an HDR photography diptychs, video essays, websites, and short animations. Students deepen their technical communication skills by learning a variety of modern professional equipment and applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Avid Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro, Autodesk Maya, Propellerhead Reason, and Google Apps.

Blink
Citizen

In English, students will

  • Read closely, analyze in writing, and discuss Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, selected creative nonfiction, personal essays, lyrical essays and prose poems.
  • Examine patterns in your own work that define your “artist’s signature”
  • Identify and reflect on your own biases about race, gender, economic status, etc.
  • Engage in discussions about the relationship between literature and current events/issues relating to race in contemporary American society, citing specific textual evidence from multiple sources to support your perspective and to challenge/question others.
  • Represent stories and perspectives of others in an original prose poem or lyrical essay passage
  • Craft effective personal writing which can be used to fulfill college essay and supplement requirements

Honors English students will do all of the above, plus the following:

  • Undertake more extensive and rigorous reading of poetry and prose in the selected reading categories listed above.
  • Compose an original piece of creative writing or media of your choice for a defined purpose and audience, in response to a controversial current event/issue.
  • As an accompaniment to the creative piece, write a reflective essay that sustains an argument about how and why you thought the way you did during your creative process, citing and analyzing quoted text from our course readings that challenged or influenced you.

What’s new?

  • As with Freakonomics last year, explore how storytelling can enhance research-based nonfiction writing; with Blink, learn how Gladwell delivers insights about psychology and neuroscience by balancing narrative and data.
  • Lyrical essay / prose poetry as literary genre
  • Learn what makes personal writing lively and authentic rather than cliche and dull.
  • As a bonus for those of you applying to college: Gain insight into your audience(s) of college admissions readers and learn how to appeal to them!

 

 

Project 6 - Narrative Perspectives

The Narrative Perspectives Project asks Seniors,

"How well can you tell a dialogue-driven story?"

By exploring various narrative points of view and experimenting with dialogue in their story writing, students develop more advanced storytelling techniques and ideas they apply in the creation of book jacket designs, screenplays, films, animations, trailers, and websites. During this project, Seniors also experiment using photography to explore dreamlike narratives in a unit on Surrealism. Students deepen their technical communication skills by learning a variety of modern professional equipment and applications such as studio strobe photography, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Avid Pro Tools, Propellerhead Reason, Apple Final Cut Pro, Dragonframe, Autodesk Maya, and Google Apps.

In English (for all students), you will
  • Write a Short Story - Rubric
  • Write a sales blurb and bio for an original Book Jacket
  • Read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • Read various short narratives, including selected stories and author commentary from The Art of the Short Story
  • Use the research process to explore, focus, and deepen your thinking about your project in an extended research paper.

Honors English students will do all of the above, plus the following:
  • Read and present literary criticism about The Metamorphosis
  • Compose a literary analysis essay, citing textual evidence from the novella as well as several critical sources.
  • Read two independent books related to your research topic and cite them in your paper.
  • Gather and cite more scholarly sources in your research paper as well as at least two independent book-length readings. The resulting paper will be substantially longer than the regular English 4 paper.

What's new? You will learn about dialogue-based story-telling, experiment with different narrative perspectives/techniques, use Imagine Easy Scholar to gather, annotate, and organize online research sources (including databases), use the revolving research process to focus and deepen a research topic and thinking about your Zenith project, and use the writing process to plan, organize, revise, and edit a longer research paper.

Project 7 - Zenith

The purpose of the Senior Zenith Project is to ignite your passion and elevate your skills and experiences to create your ultimate and most successful Freestyle project.

For all classes, you will complete the following between mid-November and end-of-April:

  • Choose your own project topic and form based on your passion, skills, and experiences.
  • Use the research process and writing to explore, plan, and reflect on your project in a 5-7 page research paper and reflective post-project addendum.
  • Write a proposal for staff approval, including:
    • Your own timeline of achievement goals (including scheduling and incremental deadlines)
    • How you will use at least all eight Freestyle 21st Century Skills to develop your project
    • A plan for assessment
  • Present a Design proposal relevant to your project
  • Create a Design production related to your Zenith Project
  • Follow your timeline and produce the media for your project in Film and Digital Media class. You will still attend English and Design classes as usual.
  • Present your Zenith Project informally to all students including Juniors in early May

Archives (this project started in 2016): 2017, 2016

 

English

Humor and Satire:

While you are toiling away on your biggest project of the year, striving to reach your Zenith, you will find comic relief in English class with the Humor and Satire unit!

 

All English students will

  • Read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • Read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Analyze as well as enjoy classic and contemporary examples of humor and satire across a range of media forms
  • Produce an original piece of humor or satire, applying a variety of techniques you’ll learn. (And have the opportunity to perform!)

Honors students will do all of the above, plus the following:

  • Read and analyze satirical works of the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Compose an essay comparing the satirical purposes and techniques of three satirical works, each of a different time period (eg. Swift, Wilde, and Vonnegut).

Project 8 - Portfolio Showcase

The purpose of this final Portfolio Showcase Project is for Senior students to celebrate and demonstrate their growth at Freestyle by presenting information, findings, and supporting evidence to convey a clear and distinct perspective as a digital artist and receive feedback from professionals in a related field to their presentation content. An additional goal is for community professionals to provide feedback about the Freestyle Academy program based on Senior Portfolio Showcase presentations.

Using the professional vocabulary of the mediums, students will communicate a line of reasoning by presenting projects to a professional audience to elicit feedback with

  • Strategic use of digital media - two Freestyle works (optional 1 non-Freestyle work) to feature the development of the artistic process from conception to completion
  • Justify effective choices for meaning or style or design
  • Demonstrate growth/discovery/development of passion, skills, talent, potential

Assignment:

  • Produce a 5-minute presentation through a WordPress website, developing a distinct perspective of yourself as a digital artist through evidence of your growth across at least two Freestyle projects (optional 1 non-Freestyle work). Your deadline to have your Wordpress website completed is May 14th, 2018 so that we can send those links to the professionals who will review your work prior to your presentation with the goal of providing you more detailed feedback after your presentation.
  • You will ultimately make your 5-minute presentation to a panel consisting of two community professionals related to your presentation content, a Freestyle teacher, and a panelist member that you choose to invite. All presentations are at Freestyle and are open to the public and you may invite family and friends to be part of the audience for your presentation.
  • Here is the presentation schedule and panelist info.
  • At the end of your presentation, the panelists will take 10 minutes to ask questions and provide you feedback about your presentation. The entire process time is maximum 15 minutes.
  • In your 5-minute presentation, you will display your chosen projects and briefly discuss for each one:
    • Demonstrate the development of the artistic process from conception to completion
    • Justify effective choices for meaning or style or design
    • Demonstrate growth/discovery/development of passion, skills, talent, potential
  • Here is the Portfolio Showcase Presentation Rubric

English/Design Class - You will develop your outline and you will rehearse your presentation to develop effective pacing, regular eye contact, and clear speaking, and you will use group feedback to revise your outline for content, organization, and professional vocabulary.

 

Animation/Digital Media/Film Class - You will produce your presentation during class time.

 

Presentation logistics

  • Presentations will occur simultaneously in each of the 5 classrooms at Freestyle grouped according to content (Film content in Film room, Design content in the Design room, etc.)
  • Each student will be assigned presentation time based on content so that we can provide the appropriate professional panelists for your topic.
  • Each student must invite 1 person to be part of the panel and each student can invite any family and friends to be part of the audience for the presentation.
  • Monday May 21, 2018 - 1st presentation starts at 6 PM
  • Tuesday May 22, 2018 - 1st presentation starts at 6 PM
  • Wednesday May 23, 2018 - 1st presentation starts at 6 PM

 

Senior Daily Agenda

 

Jason Greco
English Teacher

Jason Greco

Jason Greco

Email: Jason.Greco@freestyleacademy.rocks or Jason.Greco@mvla.net Voicemail: 650-940-7480

Jason Greco is a graduate of Los Altos High School, UC Santa Cruz (B.A., Literature), and Cal Poly (M.A., English). His professional path includes tutoring in university writing labs, instructing freshman composition classes, co-producing film festivals with students, scoring Lit. & Comp. essays as an AP Reader, and teaching nearly every level of high school English. A fan of literature and film since his late teens, Mr. Greco finds himself at home among his fellow creatives at Freestyle. When he’s not writing his next short story or reading his lit mags, you can find Mr. G. at Bay Area sporting events, camping on the Central Coast, exploring New England, or fishing in southeastern Alaska.