Mrs. Gross' Classroom

Photography (Semester Elective - 7th/8th grade)

This class is meant for photo enthusiasts. This class offers an introduction to traditional photography theory and the history of photography. Specific composition strategies and lighting techniques are incorporated into the class. Themed photography projects are the emphasis in the second half of the semester.

Concepts that will be taught:

-History of photography

-Technical basics (shutter speed, aperture, depth of field)

-Composition, utilizing the frame

-Exploring different “themes”: portraiture, nature, candid, formal, landscape, action, etc.

-Experimenting with lighting

What students will experience:

-Shooting expeditions

-Learning how to properly frame a composition

-Utilizing a digital camera

-Receive a basic understanding of photography fundamentals

Goal: By the end of the semester, students will be able to produce an image with a strong, central focus and good composition. Their images will also show their understanding of technical basics.

Students can also improve on:      - connecting to the viewer  - “asking” the viewer a question  - creating a thought provoking image  - capturing a moment that “says” something to the viewer


ART (Semester Elective - 7th/8th grade)

Continuing 7th and 8th graders may sign up for this Art elective to continue their exposure to different techniques and expand their skills. Two-dimensional drawing and painting is the main focus, and completing projects more independently is encouraged.

Goal: By the end of the semester, students will show mastery of basic drawing and painting techniques and concepts. Constantly challenging themselves and continuously practicing new concepts will have expanded their skills and knowledge.

ART (6th grade Wheel)

All 6th graders have the option to take the elective wheel, where they get a brief taste of the different electives Miller has to offer. Each quarter, the students rotate to a different elective. I teach the Art Wheel where students learn the foundational elements of 2-dimensional art. Painting, drawing, and artist appreciation create the foundation to this class.

Goal: By the end of the quarter, students will show an understanding of the foundational skills that make up 2-dimensional art.


About...Mrs. Gross


Per 0 - Photography

Per 1 - Art

Per 2 - Prep

Per 3 - Photography

Per 4 - Photography

Per 5 - Prep

Per 6 - Art (6th Gr. Wheel)


I grew up in the Bay Area and went to elementary school in the Santa Clara area. I moved to Santa Cruz and continued my education at UCSC, and I later received my Master's Degree and teaching credential there as well. I married my high school sweetheart, Chris, and permanently settled down in Santa Cruz. We own a mini bull terrier named Zephyr, and have welcomed the arrival of our first child Wyatt, born in March 2015.

Things I enjoy when I'm not teaching: reading, painting, photography, traveling, the beach, spending quality time with Zephyr & Wyatt, learning how to surf, vintage cars, antique shopping, being crafty, food, baking & cooking, laughing...

I've always had a love for teaching and art. I enjoy learning and laughing everyday with my students, and enjoy helping them grow academically as well as individuals.