A/B Schedule and Pacing


#1

I am in year two of CSD and am teaching on an A/B schedule, so I see my students every other day. Last year I was able to get through Units 1-3 and part of Unit 6 over the course of the whole year. Does anyone else teach on this kind of schedule? If so, how do you break up the course? There’s no way to teach the entire curriculum with a structure like that.

Also, I often let kids who are a little more advanced work ahead on their own, but sometimes that creates a huge gap in where students are in a unit. It makes whole group instruction really difficult. If you keep your class all at the same pace, what kinds of things do you do for those quick finishers and kids with coding experience to keep them engaged? I know there are other options like Codecademy, Khan Academy, Scratch, etc., but wondered if there was something different that people do?

Thanks in advance for the help!


#2

I’m thinking you should still get through the same amount of curriculum because the time is the same or at least that’s how my schedule is. Last year we were everyday for 45 min. This year we are every other day for 90 min. so the time is still the same. What I have been doing is instead of one lesson a day, I am teaching two to make up for that. This is just what I came up with… I would love to hear from others! I am also interested in what others are doing for the advanced/ fast finishers to keep them engaged.


#3

I cannot get through the entire CSD curriculum with this schedule. In an entire school year we have 90 class periods, maximum, because of the A/B schedule. (I forgot to mention that each class period is between 46-56 minutes depending on the day) The CSD curriculum is around 180 class periods. So we’ve had to pick and choose what we think is most important and that’s what we teach in the district.


#4

@busykej
I also teach on an A/B day schedule and am on my 2nd year teaching the CSD curriculum. In addition to every other day, every time there is an assembly, grade level meeting etc. we do not have class. Last year I got through all of Units 1 and 2 and started Unit 3, but only got a couple lessons complete. This year I am trying to move a little faster so we can get farther into Unit 3. My classes also have a project to do for the school and that takes a lot of 3rd marking period. When I have early finishers they have choices of Everfi.net where they work on a course about STEM Career Choices or Math and Coding (but the math and coding course is pretty tough for some of my students). Some students will do Khan Academy or Quizziz or Kahoot (Quizziz and Kahoot they are only allowed to do activities that correspond with CSD). Once we get to the HTML unit I encourage them to continue to work on their websites. If none of those options interest them, I have students work on Typing skills using TypingClub.com or Typing.com.

I hope this helps!


#5

Thank you for sharing @donna.montgomery! I also barely get through the first part of Unit 3 in the first semester. I just have my CS 2 students continue where they left off. I have had kids work on Khan Academy before and have used Quizziz to assess student progress. I also have kids use Codecombat.com and Codecademy.com if they get done early, but I have a hard time holding back the really efficient students because they just want to keep progressing through the lessons.


#6

@buyskej You might be able to find some helpful differentiation strategies in this thread:
https://forum.code.org/c/csd/differentiation

I’m not sure I’m understanding the schedule that you have fully but it seems to me that you should be able to get through Units 1-3 since you have the students about 1 semester spread out over the course of the year. You could switch it up and do units 4-6 if need be.


#7

@wadc_edavis Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the differentiation thread. I’ll be sure to check it out. As far as the schedule goes, I do get through Units 1-3 in a full year. I was asking more about what exactly other teachers might do in a full year with an A/B schedule. Last year I did teach Units 1-3 and about half of Unit 6. We abbreviated Unit 1 a bit this year and are on pace to cover a bit more, so perhaps I’ll be able to get through more of Unit 6. I have a CS 1 class first semester and a CS 2 class second semester, and I don’t always have the same kids continuing on, so sometimes students need to start at the beginning of Unit 3 because they haven’t already started it. It’s a bit of a mess but we make do with what we have.