5.5 Clicker Game as Practice PT Create

In planning my pacing, it looks like I’ll make it to about 5.5 (but not 5.10) by the end of my grading period. Has anyone used this Clicker Game as a Practice PT either instead of or in addition to 5.3?

As it’s the first time I’m teaching this curriculum, I’m not certain that it is open-ended enough to be well used for this…would it be better to just stop at 5.3 and give more work time/general review/something?

What do you mean to “use as a Practice PT”? How would that be different from assigning the project as is?

I would say unlike other practice PTs, this assessment/project does not appear to have a purpose of honing “PT-specific” skills. It appears mostly to assess specific programming skills - namely how to design an interface and use events and variables to execute the gameplay mechanics. Whereas the practice PTs seem to give PT-like written response prompts and assess students on their ability to explain algorithms, abstraction, collaboration, etc.

In terms of open-endedness, the multi-screen app (5.3) does appear more open-ended than the clicker game (5.5), but what’s suitable depends on what you’re trying to get out of the project. If you can clarify what aspect of a Practice PT you’d like to get out of this, that might help us answer your question better.

I think it would be misleading to use the Clicker Game from 5.5 as a full Practice PT assignment because I don’t believe this project would earn points for questions 2C & 2D (look at Rows 5, 6 & 7 of the 2018 Create PT Scoring Guidelines / Rubric) as it is currently designed. The majority of the game play happens by way of the Event Listeners, which are part of the App Lab library. These Event Listeners are also not considered a student-written abstraction.

That said, I could see using the Clicker Game project as an opportunity to practice writing about the purpose of a program/app (Question 2A) and/or tracking an iterative development process (Question 2B) – maybe develop a journaling tool for students to use while they work on the project and/or a series of reflection questions about what they produced and how they chose to develop it?

Hope that helps!


I have used the 5.5 Clicker game as a summative assessment along with the test provided. When you ask about making something a Practice PT, I assume you mean writing to a rubric modeled after the official CB Create task rubric. I agree with @lanna.mack that making 5.3 a full Practice PT would make addressing the official rubric very difficult. However, you could choose to use it as an opportunity to practice writing – focusing on Question 2B.

With the limited amount of time, you will have to decide how students get access the advanced concepts in lessons 5.5 and beyond. Variables, conditionals and looping will be critical in developing complex algorithms to meet the Create task’s requirements. You may be able to leverage some of the work completed in Unit 3 to adjust the pacing for Unit 5. You may look directly teaching some material and reducing the amount of activity ‘bubbles’ you require. You may want to look at 5.10 Color Sleuth and 5.14 Image Scroller as case studies.

In the end, it is really important to let students know that their work on Code.org is just the foundation for their Create task. If they decide to do a Clicker game, they will need to add significant original work to meet the requirements of the rubric.

Here are a couple of threads from last year that may help.

Happy computing,

Thank you all!

The feedback has helped me to clarify (in my own mind) what I wanted them to get a little more practice on–and how this might support that. My kids definitely missed some of the nuances of answering 2a and 2b on the Unit 3 practice create, so I think that I’ll use this to help them achieve that.

@anmrobnott: I guess I’m a little worried now: my students are on track to start Unit 4 Lesson 4-9 and Unit 5: Lessons 6- 18 at the beginning of January. Suddenly, that sounds like a lot to still have ahead of us.

Are we falling behind where others are/where we should be?

@biermanl, It sounds like you are breaking up unit 4 and 5 and mixing them together a bit - is that accurate? That timing sounds pretty good to me. I am just starting unit 5 now but I think I am WAY ahead. I will need to circle back and do a bit more with unit 4 at some point.

I would take a look at your calendar and do some backwards planning with the 20 hours for the explore/create in there as well (along with spring break, if your district has it).

Right now, if you are done with units 1-3, that seems very much on track. I always fall back that portions of unit 5 can be assigned for homework, or you can skip part of the longer projects in that unit if you are crunched for time, BUT right now it would appear that you are in a good position. Without knowing your school (what your breaks are like, how often you see your kids, if the course is offered all year or only part of the year… etc.) the best way to really know where you stand is to look at the calendar and plan it out. The fact that you are thinking about that now, versus in April, is amazing! :slight_smile: