100 hour pacing for AP CSP


#1

I’m assessing whether or not to bring code.org’s AP CSP curriculum to my school. I currently teach a semester-long “home-brewed” Java course.

I’ve noticed that many of the lessons are paced for 50-60 minute periods. My school has 43-minute periods, giving me just over 100 hours of instruction (prior to May) to work with.

Has anyone taught this curriculum on this kind of timeline? What did you do to meet the lesson time requirements? Did it work?

Thanks!
-Troy K


#2

Hi @tdk1nc . I just did the math and I have less than 100 hours before the exam (although I teach a block schedule). I get around 26 hours per quarter. It is definitely doable, but with the shorter periods, you will want to be mindful of the pacing. Many activities can be shortened, and wrap-ups can be turned in to homework-style exit tickets. It’s perfectly acceptable to combine lessons or shorten things as needed - the curriculum is designed to be flexible.

Where you may run into issues is with the performance tasks. These require 20 hours of in-class time. With 43 minute periods, that will take up around 28 class periods for you. Again, doable if you plan well, but something to be aware of.

Good luck!


#3

I teach on a modified block and have students for 52/52/80/52 minutes most weeks. It felt like it was a bit of a struggle to complete the course, but it wasn’t that bad.

I think the biggest issue was one less day of contact per week. Even with 50 minutes or so per class I often had to start a lesson and then have them finish it for homework. With on less day in a week I lost that opportunity a significant number of times. We also lost a lot of time due to State testing, field trips, etc.

It was the first time I taught the course. As a result, I did not keep pace as well as I should have during the first semester. By the time we got to the Performance Tasks things were too tight for my liking.

It is possible to cut out a lesson here or there to save some time, although I did not resort to that.

Are your students motivated? Can they be depended on to finish up at home? If so, I would have no reservations doing the course with your schedule. Just keep things focused and move everyone towards the finish line!


#4

@tdk1nc

I also teach on a modified block schedule (47/47/95/47). This is my third year working with the curriculum and I am getting better at fitting all the content in. I have a better sense of urgency in the beginning of the year now that I have experienced the end of the year crunch.

On paper, I have over 100 hours of class time. However, like @eric.howe stated, the various disruptions to the schedule makes it challenging to engage students in the curriculum for those hours. I have skipped, combined or altered lessons to fit the needs of my students. My students range in levels of both motivation and personal responsibility. My general policy is that unfinished classwork becomes outside of class work. Our IT lab is open most days during lunch and occasionally after school to accommodate students without access at home. This forum and PD has been very helpful with adapting the curriculum to fit my classroom.

Happy computing,
Andrea


Teaching AP CSP in a 4x4 block
#5

Thanks everyone!

I might recommend starting with a non-AP pilot and seeing how that goes!

Best,
-Troy K